offer gold, grit and gardens
“Empire Mine’s Seasonal Tours are a popular highlight,” said Garden Tours Coordinator, Marsha Lewis. “We offer the public a variety of ways to discover different, in-depth aspects of Empire’s legacy.”
Garden Tours, Living History Tours of Empire Cottage and the Clubhouse, plus extended access to the Mineyard are ready to enthrall and educate visitors from all over America – and all over the world. Here’s a schedule worth keeping, especially for family and friends vacationing in this area.
Garden Tours take place every Saturday and Sunday from
April 22nd until October 1st at no extra charge.
Guided tours start at 11:00 a.m., and run approximately 50 minutes. Visitors will learn the history and heritage of these magnificent gardens – as well as the care that goes into maintaining them. Please note: No Garden Tours on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 14th) or on Miners Picnic (Saturday, August 26th).
Empire Cottage Living History Tours are offered each Saturday and Sunday
from May 6th through September 3rd – with an additional $2 charge
for those 17 and over (no extra charge for children).
Docents in lavish, Edwardian costumes bring history to life, as they portray the characters who colored our past with gold and prosperity. Mr. and Mrs. William Bourn, Jr., George and Libby Starr, and outspoken housekeeper, Katie Moriarty will answer questions and share their insights, as they recreate Empire’s heydays in the early 1900s. Tours are offered from 12 noon to 2:20 p.m. They start every 20 minutes, and last for an hour. Please note: No Living History Tours on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 14th),
or Miners Picnic (Saturday, August 26th)
Clubhouse History Tours run each Saturday and Sunday from
May 6th through September 3rd at no extra charge.
Short, approximately 10-minute tours are available from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Docents in Edwardian-style costumes guide you through this stately building. Originally a gentlemen’s club, here’s where Mr. Bourn and Mr. Starr entertained mining owners and managers from around the world. Please note: No Clubhouse Tours on July 15th and 16th.
Mineyard Living History – special days when the
workshops are open to the public at no extra charge.
Enjoy access to the behind-the-scenes places that were essential to Empire Mine’s success. The Hoist House, the Compressor House, the Blacksmith Shop, Mine Shaft, Machine Shop, Wood Shop, Refinery, and the Mine Manager’s Office will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 14th), Saturday, June 10th, as well as Friday, November 24th and Saturday, November 25th. These buildings may be open on other special days. Please note that the Mine Shaft remains open during regular Park hours (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), and the Blacksmith Shop is open for a limited time on most weekends. Sometimes, in extremely hot weather, Mineyard Living History is cancelled. Phoning the Visitor Center, (530) 273-8522, is highly recommended to double check.
“These tours and experiences provide fascinating insights into the beauty, the architecture, the mechanics – and the magic that make visits to Empire Mine State Historic Park unforgettable,” Lewis added, “and we invite everyone to join us, and learn about our fascinating history.”
Empire Mine State Historic Park is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Admission is $7 for ages 17 and over, $3 for ages 6-16, and admission is free for children under 6. Parking is free, and well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome. For further information, phone the Visitor Center on (530) 273-8522 or visit http://www.empiremine.org
Photo by Richard Bannister
From the picturesque Cottage to the efficient Mineyard, there’s always something new and surprising to learn at Empire Mine State Historic Park.