Almaden History Now Open to Public - NBC Bay Area

Almaden History Now Open to Public



    Not Getting Enough Sleep? What’s Your Excuse?
    The gold rush is what brought so many to the golden state.

     Before California was deluged with an influx of dreamers and  deceivers drawn to the state's gold-laced hills, a building just south of San  Jose was the mining hub of the California Republic.

    The New Almaden Mines attracted interest during the Gold Rush for  its production of mercury, which was a key component to extracting gold and  silver from raw earth.

     Santa Clara County residents will now be able to explore a link to  the county's past at the newly restored Casa Grande, the county's second-most  historical building that is set to be dedicated at a special event Saturday.

    The Casa Grande is associated with the early development of the  mines, and is part of the surrounding New Almaden National Landmark Historic  District.

    The building, which in the 1800s was associated with the early  development of the New Almaden mines, now houses the New Almaden Quicksilver  Mining Museum.

    A $5 million transformation at the 150-year-old Casa Grande, made  possible by a mix of mostly state and county grants, has restored the  building to its late 1800s heyday, according to county officials.

    The classic revival-style mansion was designed and built by  architect Francis Meyers in 1854 and its six-acre grounds were later  landscaped with the assistance of John McLaren, designer of San Francisco's  Golden Gate Park.

    Street-level rooms are now filled with period furniture and the  new Almaden Quicksilver Mining Museum, while outdoor spaces feature gardens  landscaped in the style of the times.

    Of the mixture of local, county, state and federal funds, three  grants from California State Parks contributed more than $4.1 million to the  restoration, with another $727,000 funded by the county's Historical Heritage  Commission.