The Venue: North Star House

Experience Nevada County’s newest outdoor venue – an historic hidden treasure nestled under Pine Trees and a big sky only 5 minutes from downtown Grass Valley.

The Stars benefit concert is held on the 14-acre grounds of the North Star House. The 10,000 square foot mansion, built in 1906 and designed by Julia Morgan is an early example of California vernacular Arts and Crafts design and is considered an epic achievement by the young designer and first licensed female architect in the nation who would later become famous for her design of Hearst Castle.

It was the residence of North Star Mine Superintendent Arthur De Winte Foote and his wife, author and illustrator of pioneering women in the West, Mary Hallock Foote. It was used as a hospitality center for investors and innovators in our local gold mining industry. It\’s the setting for Wallace Stegner\’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Angle of Repose, and it\’s now the home of the weekly Nevada County Growers Market.

The House is currently under historic renovation with plans to become a community event facility. This will be the second year this large-scale event will take place on the spectacular landscape of giant ponderosa pines, a heritage orchard and sloping lawns.

  • LOCATION & PARKING: The North Star House is located just off McCourtney Road near the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Event admission, parking and wrist-banding is at the Fairgrounds. General Admission Parking: $3 per car, includes shuttle for a short ½ mile ride to the venue. Gala attendees and ADA license holders, will be directed to park at the North Star House grounds. We strongly encourage car pooling.
  • SEATING: General Admission seating is on a sloped lawn. Patrons are invited to bring blankets and low back chairs. Patrons with high back chairs will be directed to sit in a designated section. There are no reserved seats. No umbrellas, please. The site will be in full shade for the concert
  • OTHER: Comfortable shoes are recommended.  Sorry, no dogs.  Able-assist animals ok.  This is a NO SMOKING event


In 1905 Arthur deWint Foote, superintendent of the North Star Mine and his wife, noted author and artist Mary Hallock Foote decided they needed a home to entertain the investors, dignitaries and celebrities that were flocking to Gold Country.  They commissioned an up an coming architect to design a home, both elegant and in keeping with the newly developing California environment and way of life.  The North Star House was architect Julia Morgan\’s first residential commission.  Morgan,  famed for designing Hearst Castle and the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove is considered a pioneer in the California early Arts and Crafts style. The Foote family history and their life at North Star House is celebrated in California literature and the results of  Foote\’s collaboration with Luther Burbank on hybridizing fruit trees lives on in the surrounding orchards. 

Julia Morgan (1872-1957) was the first woman to earn an architectural degree. The mansion was an early commission for Morgan, and is a model of Arts & Crafts design, underscoring local leadership in an important regional style.  Morgan used local waste rock from North Star Mine and materials from site including hand-peeled logs and redwood shingles.  The mansion exemplifies how Foothill landscape, climate and vegetation infused her work. She went on to design other noteworthy and significant works including the Crocker Art Museum and Hearst Castle in San Simeon.

The house is currently under historic renovation with plans to become a community event facility.  Since the beginning of the restoration process almost a decade ago, hundreds of volunteers have worked passionately on this community project. The restoration is being managed by the North Star Historic Conservancy.

The mansion will be open for tours by knowledgeable docents dressing in period costume, during the concert event for Gala attendees. The general public is invited to come back Saturday morning for the Farmer’s Market for a tour of the house.


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