Gary Noy, an esteemed member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, has just released his latest book, Gold Rush Stories: 49 Tales of Seekers, Scoundrels, Loss and Luck (Heyday Books and Sierra College Press, 2017). At the most recent Night at the State Library event, Mr. Noy gave a fascinating talk that was well-attended and enthusiastically received. Foundation Executive Director Gary Kurutz, who wrote the foreword to this latest book, introduced Mr. Noy at the event, touting the semi-retired teacher at Sierra College in Rocklin for his contribution to High Sierra historiography. Mr. Kurutz mused,
“I use the term semi-retired with caution as he is constantly producing fabulous books like Gold Rush Stories, and is always on the road telling historical and community organizations up and down the state riveting stories about his beloved mountain range. He is a native of Grass Valley and his Cornish father and grandfather both worked at the renowned Empire Mine and as a young boy was lulled asleep by the sweet sound of the giant stamp mills.
I can imagine how lucky his students at Sierra College were to have Gary as their teacher. They had discovered intellectual gold with this son of the Sierra. In addition to teaching hundreds of students over the years he has made Sierra College a community college of distinction by founding the Center for Sierra Nevada Studies and the Sierra College Press – the type of program one would expect to find at a university.”
From the book’s description, it “features 49 stories of the Gold Rush focusing on aspects of this seminal event in world history. These stories include motivations, life in the diggings, transportation, violence, gambling, mining techniques, intriguing individuals, race relations, early government and law, grizzly bears, floods, fire and much more. These tales are told with a focus on the words of the participants, some of which have never been published previously.” Many of the historic images in the book come from the collections of the California History Section of the State Library.
On the morning of the talk, Mr. Noy spoke with Capitol Public Radio’s Beth Ruyak.