Tour guide Chris Ward, as a child roamed the Rose Bar countyyside exploring the natural landscape and the remnants of the more recent gold rush history but for eons now, has been a professional archaeologist in both prehistoric and historical archaeology in California. Mr. Ward specializes in California prehistory, Faunal Analysis, and the California Gold Rush Era. Since moving back to Nevada County about 3 years ago, his projects have consisted of and focused upon, undertaking an extensive archaeological survey of the Yuba, Feather and Bear Rivers, including cultural resource recordation, mapping, photography, artifact and faunal analysis of historic and prehistoric deposits in the region. He lends his vast knowledge of the area as a guide for the tours of the Blue Point and Excelsior area.
Year after year the most popular events at Pioneer Day were the tours so we added lots more. We even added more wagons. Guided tours of the Blue Gravel Mining area and the former town site of Sucker Flat will be guided by experts in the history of the area. You will be amazed at what there is to see in Smartsville's backyard.
The tours will run continuously all day long. Check the map for where to board the wagons for your trip back in time.
Brian Bisnett is the owner of the former mining area and our host for these special tours. He is very knowledgeable about the historical mining business that were located on the property over the past 150 or so years.Take Brian's tour and he will be happy to tell you about his vision of the future of this spectacular land.
We welcome back as a tour guide, former California State Park Ranger Chuck Scimeca. Chuck has lived in Nevada County since 1994 where he was assigned to Bridgeport State Park. He helped develop the natural history and cultural interpretation programs in several California’s State parks. He taught history classes for docents and volunteers. This gives Chuck the essential knowledge involving the gold rush and its impact on the area necessary to be a very informative guide.