Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc.

Letters to the Editor - The Union

Underground Tour at Empire Mine a Necessity


Dear California State Parks:


As a hard core, dyed-in-the-wool Midwesterner, I have all my life believed that there is simply no greater place on earth to take a vacation and spend leisure time than in the state of California.


On one great vacation taken back in the 1980s, we visited the Empire Mine State Park near Grass Valley. Unfortunately, I was bitterly disappointed that there was no underground tour at that time. I actually felt kind of cheated and ripped off. This would be like getting to visit the Empire State Building in New York City and paying an admission to visit the lobby, only to find that there is no elevator ride to the top. This is completely unacceptable.


A few years ago I was positively elated to learn that they were working on developing an underground tour. I was thinking about planning a vacation to California to see this. Now I am crestfallen to learn that this will not happen after all and after the state spent $3.5 million on the project — something about “corrosion” on the beams. This, too, is completely unacceptable. This issue needs to be addressed and resolved. It is completely unfair to the people of the Golden State.


It’s also unfair to millions of people like me who plan to come to California to spend their money on vacations. Without wonderful attractions like Empire Mine, we might just decide to go elsewhere. If we do come at all, there surely would be no compelling reason to visit the Nevada City/Grass Valley area.


I would like to strongly urge you to take whatever steps are necessary to get this project going again and get it finished.


Fred M. Cain,

Topeka, Indiana




We need to speak up now on Empire Mine State Park


In reference to ‘Anyone want to buy a state park?’ (The Union, March 29), thank you for the well-written editorial and amusingly appropriate cartoon expression your view of this subject.


The Empire Mine State Historic Park is much more than a tourist attraction. It is a monument to a spectacular era that created the state of California and made it known throughout the world. It belongs in the state parks system and should stay there.

To now have a Senate subcommittee suggest that it be put up for sale is sickening. We should be treasuring this historical asset and properly funding it for the benefit of future generations.


We need to speak up now and let our Legislative representatives know we appreciate and expect their support in preserving this precious historical monument that we in these Gold Rush communities are privileged to enjoy.


Sens. Jim Nielsen and Ted Gaines,and Assemblyman Brian Dahle,need to hear from all of us, either by email, a direct phone call or by writing them at: State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.


"The Empire Mine State Historic Park is much more than a tourist attraction. It is a monument to a spectacular era that created the state of California and made it known throughout the world."


Virginia Brunini

Grass Valley




Lamphier opposed to "privatizing" Emprie Mine State Park


I’m disappointed that our state park system is entertaining the idea of selling our treasured Empire Mine State Park, apparently because of ongoing toxic remediation costs.


I am strongly opposed to privatizing this historical gem and urge the state to hold the original mine owners 100 percent responsible for the environmental damage to our community. They profited from it, and they should pay for it.


We, the taxpayers, own this park and Grass Valley owes its very existence to the Empire Mine — it is our park. It is a core part of our community, state and national history and is extremely important to local and regional tourism.


I resolve to make it a top priority to opposing privatization of the Empire Mine State Park.


Terry Lamphier

Nevada County Supervisor, District 3

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