* Summer 1999, The Golden Ball "Web Page Resources for Storytellers"
* Oct/Nov 2001, Birds & Blooms, "Bad-Back Gardening"
* Summer 2004, Around Here Magazine "Empire Mine State Historic Park"
* Fall 2004, Around Here Magazine "Day Hike in Dave Moore Nature Area"
* Winter 2004, Around Here Magazine "Winter Birding at Sweetwater Basin"
* Spring 2005, Around Here Magazine "Natural History Excursions"
* Summer 2005, Around Here Magazine "Sutter Creek Gold Mine"
* Fall 2005, Around Here Magazine "Taylor Creek at Lake Tahoe"
* Holidays 2005, Around Here Magazine "Cam. Pk. Rotary Observatory"
* January 2006, foothillstyle magazine, "foothill arts: Writers' Guild"
* February 2006, foothillstyle magazine, "foothill kids: Golden Days"
* Spring 2006, Around Here Magazine, "Olmstead Loop Trail"
* April 2006, foothillstyle magazine, "foothill backyards: Spring Gardens"
* April 2006, foothillstyle magazine, "foothill finds: Daffodil Hill"
* Summer 2006, Around Here Magazine, "Wildflowers at Carson Pass"
* Spring 2007, Around Here Magazine, "Backyard Birds"
* May/June 2007, Sierra Heritage Magazine, Journal: Treasure Seekers
*April 2008, Sierra Heritage Magazine, "California Castle: The Preston School of Industry"
*Summer 2008, Around Here Magazine, "Rise Above the Clay: Raised-Bed Gardening"
*Winter 2009, Around Here Magazine, "Evergreen Privacy Hedge"
*May/June 2009, Bird Watcher's Digest, "Wild Things Belong in the Wild"
*June 2010, The Acorn, "The Importance of Joining a Critique Group"
*Jan 14, 2011, WOW! Women on Writing Blog, "Friday Speak Out: Getting from Here to There" (Guest Post)
As it appeared in the Summer 2004 issue of Around Here Magazine:
THE GOLD COUNTRY'S SECRET GARDEN: EMPIRE MINE STATE HISTORIC PARK
by Angelica R. Jackson
Hidden in the heart of California's Gold Country is a treasure of a different kind: Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley. As you would expect, there are lots of mining displays and equipment to see, but what makes this park stand out is the Empire Cottage and the stunning acreage that surrounds it.
Built in the style of an English manor from local hardrock and brick, the Empire Cottage is furnished as it might have looked when the Bourn (pronounced "born") family lived there, 1897-1929. Costumed docents lead tours most days of the week through the downstairs and kitchen areas of the home. At the height of the tour, the Bourn's cook describes what it was like to live at the mine year-round--- and passes around a tray of cookies and warm cider.
Every leaded-glass window of the Cottage looks out onto the lovingly restored gardens, 13 acres in all. To the south, a grassy area with matching fountains offers a birds-eye view of the cascades and reflecting pool below. The lawns are a popular spot for picnics, weddings, or a game of tag.
To the north of the Empire Cottage is the real showpiece, an historic rose garden featuring more than fifty varieties of roses cultivated before 1929. Roses fill every corner of the brick terraces, in formal beds and along the walls---even growing on a huge arbor. The oldest kinds are in the upper garden, with the more modern ones on the lower terraces. A pleasant walk through the roses ends at a charming pool scattered with water lilies.
A booklet with a self-guided tour of the gardens and grounds is available in the visitor's center or you can catch a docent- led tour of the gardens on Sunday afternoons in the summer. You can also take a piece of this garden home with you; several of the old-fashioned roses and other plants are grown in the historic greenhouse and offered for sale.
Once you've had a good look at the Cottage and grounds, head over to the mine yard to see the mining displays. Many of the original buildings are still standing, and a large array of fantastically-shaped equipment sits idle in the yard. What catches most people's attention, though, is that the 5.8 million ounces of gold recovered during the mine's operation account for only 20% of the gold in the area---the rest, they say, is still buried.
Summer tours of the mine yard are held daily, with costumed docents detailing the mining process on selected days. Sometimes docents in the mine shaft might turn off the lights to give you an idea how feeble the glow from a miner's lamp really is.
If the gardens and mine yard aren't enough, you can explore the 12 miles of trails into a bit of the back country. The forested trails feature mysterious ruins of mine buildings and are open to mountain bikers, horseback riders, hikers, and leashed dogs. "Rockhounds" might head back to the museum and gift shop to see the huge gold mineral display, though, since you are not allowed to collect or remove anything from state parks.
The visitor's center for Empire Mine SHP is located on Empire Street near the junction of highways 49 and 20, in Grass Valley, California. Empire Mine State Historic Park is open daily in the summer. In June, the park holds a Miner's Picnic.
Before planning your trip, check the Empire Mine Park Association's website at http://www.empiremine.org for specifics. Or call, 530-273-8522. With all the sights and activities Empire Mine has to offer, everyone in your family is sure to come away with a treasured memory.