Settlement of Grass Valley began when settlers’ cattle wandered from their campsite on Greenhorn Creek to the area, where the grazing was better. At the same time, miners were panning for gold along Wolf Creek.
In October 1850, George Roberts discovered a hard-rock gold vein in a quartz outcrop on Ophir Hill. He sold the claim in 1851 to Woodbury, Parks, and Company for $350, who consolidated several local claims into the Ophir Hill Mine. However, they mismanaged their finances and in 1852 were forced to sell the business at auction, at which time it was purchased by John P. Rush and the Empire Quartz Hill Company.
I’ve driven past that mine hundreds of times (and I’m not exaggerating) and never once stopped in. It was always one of those “I’ll catch it next time around” deals that never happened.