Gold Rush History

Gold Country Villian
      The Tommyknockers
Gold Rush Country
Gold Rush Country

    The towns of Nevada City and Grass Valley have a rich heritage of Welsh miners. One of the more colorful of their stories, was of a kind of gnome that lived in the mines. They were called "Tommyknockers". It was believed that Tommyknockers would knock on the wooden beams to warn of a pending collapse. The gnomes cared for the safety of the miners and it was believed that they were giving a warning in an effort to allow the miners ample opportunity to escape.

The truth was that the "knocking sound"  was caused by the slow buckling of the support beams just prior to a cave in.

Gold Rush Country
photo not of welsh miners

  The Cornish miners often took for their noon time meal a meat pie of sorts called "pasties". These pasties were made with extra pastry or breading on the edges serving as "handles" for his meal. The dirty hands of the miner would not soil the part of the pastry to be eaten and he could discard the soiled edges when he was done eating. In the early days of lode mining, the miners were forced to work by candle light. It was not uncommon to find a miner whose pasty hung just above the candle, keeping it warm until he was ready to eat it. To this day you can still find a restaurant or two in Nevada City that makes pasties for their customers.
Copyright 2003

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Brass Miners Lamp

Treasures from a Bygone Era: Brass miner's lamp

Add rustic charm and a historic glow to your dcor with this fully-functioning, brass and copper miner's lamp. Identical to those used by Welsh miners in the 19th century; handcrafted today down to the last detail by their great-grandchildren! Serial numbered. Burns either kerosene or paraffin. Brass fuel-funnel included. Gift boxed with instructions, story card and certificate of authenticity. 8 3/4 ".