September 8, 2018 @ 11:00 am – 4:30 pm
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
23579 N Bloomfield Rd
Nevada City, CA 95959
$5 Day-use fee
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park
(530) 265-2740


What: Malakoff’s French Connection Festival
When: Saturday September 8, 2018, 11am-4:30pm
Where: Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, 23579 North Bloomfield Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
(We strongly recommend accessing the park via Highway 49 and Tyler Foote Road, to avoid the rough unpaved section of North Bloomfield Road from Edwards Crossing.)
Why: To celebrate and commemorate the French heritage of the park
Cost: $5 Day-use fee. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at the event.
Bring: picnic blanket, re-usable beverage container, beret (optional), friends and family!

Contact: Syd Brown, [email protected]

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, Nevada County, California–On Saturday, September 8, 2018, from 11 am-4:30 pm, the Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins and California State Parks will jointly commemorate the French heritage of the park in a delightful small-town festival.

Attractions include French-themed music performed by Nevada County favorites Beaucoup Chapeaux, a reprise of the enchanting original marionette play, “How Malakoff Got its Name” by the Theatre of AWE, a guided tour of North Bloomfield’s French heritage, including the historic cemetery, locally sourced picnic-style food, beer, and wine, and a raffle with a grand prize of a week’s stay in a small villa on the French Riviera (Villa La Grisette, in Vence, Donated by Dr. Claudine Chalmers).

Research has revealed that the French influence at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park was widespread. Entrepreneurs designed massive water systems and hydraulic ventures, opened hotels and businesses, and planted gardens. They dominated the local scene at the Park for 15 years, laying the groundwork to the nation’s biggest hydraulic operation of the day, the North Bloomfield Gravel Mining Company, which was commonly called the French Company for years. The Malakoff Mine became so large that it was the defendant in the famous federal lawsuit that handed down the Sawyer Decision (1884), the renowned injunction against the laissez-faire practice of polluting waterways.

Malakoff’s French Connection II Festival commemorates those French and French-Canadian pioneers responsible for much of the early technological and cultural developments at the Park in a festive, lively gathering open to the public.

We will welcome dignitaries from near and far, including the French Consulate General from San Francisco, M. Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens.

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park is located 26 miles northeast of Nevada City, nestled in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Within the Park’s roughly 3,200 acres of forested hills, lakes, dramatic cliffs, and historic buildings lies the exciting and significant story of the nation’s largest hydraulic gold mining operation and the nation’s first environmental regulation.

Today the Park is often characterized as a place of peace, quiet, and solitude, an ironically drastic shift from the destruction and devastation that created it. Popular activities include historic town tours, hikes through scenic diggings, mountain biking, camping, fishing, and photography.

The Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the educational and interpretive activities for the state park, through fundraising, developing programs to bring new visitors to the park and creating new experiences for traditional and non-traditional park users alike. In 2018 we began a new series of adventures on the second Saturday of each month we call Discover Malakoff! Our First Day Hike attracted an enthusiastic crowd of 200 plus! We have hosted guided hikes to the historic cemetery with author and archeologist Chris Ward, to the Diggins with author and naturalist Hank Meals and with retired ranger Mark Michalski, and we hosted a kids fishing derby in May and the ever-popular Humbug Day in June.

For more information on Malakoff’s French Connection event, visit malakoffdigginsstatepark.org

To learn more about the research that led to our understanding of the French at Malakoff, you can visit the park website or view or download the 137-page report using this link.

Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins Mission Statement

We enhance the interpretive experience for visitors, promote park-based education for learners of all ages, and support and preserve the natural and cultural resources of Malakoff Diggins SHP.

We also assist other cooperative associations and the State Park System mission for the benefit of the public.