California Historic Landmarks

North Star Mine Powerhouse

Site Information

Official Plaque with Mining Museum in Background
site photo
Landmark Number: 843
Location: South Mill Street at Allison Ranch Road, Grass Valley, Nevada County
Marker Plaque: Official State Plaque
Admission: Free access to site.


From California Historical Landmarks:

The North Star Powerhouse, built by A. D. Foote in 1895, was the first complete plant of its kind. Compressed air, generated by Pelton water wheels, furnished power for the entire mine operation. The 30-foot Pelton wheel was the largest in the world, and was in continuous use for over 30 years.

This aqueduct brought high-pressure water to two Pelton wheels in the building. Inside the structure is a 20-inch diameter riveted metal pipe. Pressure at the Pelton wheel buckets was 354 pounds per square inch.



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