Northstar Mining Museum
If you are a hardware buff, this is the museum for you. Indoors and out is a restored and preserved collection of mining paraphanalia from steam engines to picks and shovels. Headframes, skipjacks (20 man!), Pelton Wheels (the biggest pelton wheel ever made, by gum!) and if you don't know what they are, or what they were used for, it's about time you found out.
Water, after traveling miles along canals and aquaducts reached a pipe called a Penstock. The Penstock for this water cannon (called a Monitor) was 14" in diameter and one mile long. By the time the water reached the 14" nozzle it was moving 5,835 gallons per minute. The water shot out with sufficient force to wash away whole mountains of dirt. The water and dirt was washed across riffles in a sluice box (a wooden channel). The heavy gold settled to the bottom because it is heavier than the other sand and gravel. When the monitors fell silent, the miners would clean the sluice box and recover the gold. Unfortunately all the remaining debris was washed into the streams and rivers. Downstream farms, ranches, even towns were covered in mud and silt. This is why hydraulic mining was eventually outlawed.
Ore cars were used in hard rock mining to carry the ore laden rock from deep in the mines. Fans of Indiana Jones, and Scooby Doo might fantasize about riding in these cars, but the miners usually rode in specialty cars called skipjacks, that took them down into the mine each day. These and many other pieces of equipment, photos, memorabilia, and a nice place to picnic overlooking Wolf Creek await you at the North Star Mining Museum in Grass Valley.