Renegade Labs - Grass Valley California

The Grass Valley Area

Miners in Empire Mine Grass Valley (located in Nevada County) is situated in the Sierra Foothills in northern California's Gold Country. The terrain is hilly and covered mostly in Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pines. The elevation varies from about 2200 to 3800 feet, which means, we get snow almost every winter; typically 3 to 8 inches. In 1989, we got 3 feet but that was unusual. The official population of Grass Valley is 10,922, but in the surrounding unincorporated areas reside over 100,000 people.

Grass Valley got its start with the opening of the Empire Mine around 1850. The mine produced 5.6 million ounces of gold, extracted from 367 miles of underground passages, before its closure in 1956. It reaches to a depth of 22,000 feet, all under water of course, now that the pumps are no longer running. The forested Grass Valley area was clear cut to build buildings and fuel boilers. The steam was used to make electricity and compressed air for mining operations. Today, the Empire Mine State Park is surrounded by a beautiful thick forest once again.

GVG Switcher Two years after the mine closed, another business started by the name of the Grass Valley Group. Perhaps you have heard of them. :-) GVG was started by the late Dr. Donald Hare and our good friend Bill Rorden. The Grass Switchers became the new source of gold in the Grass Valley area. At its peak, GVG was by far the largest employer in Grass Valley with over 1500 employees in 4 facilities spread out all over town. Renegade Labs now is now headquartered in what was once part of the GVG Modular Products Division at the Nevada County Airport. The success of the Grass Valley Group spun out a number of well-known broadcast equipment manufacturers into the local area.

Downtown Grass Valley Today, the Grass Valley Group is called "Grass Valley". Grass Valley is a great place to live and work. Our schools rank among the highest in the state and the nation. We are about an hour's drive from Lake Tahoe which, in the winter time means lots of snow and skiing. We are near Tahoe National Forest, with its Sierra lakes, rivers, forested trails and not to mention, fresh air. Closer to home, we have the Nevada County Fairgrounds where many exciting events are held throughout the year. The historic downtown Grass Valley has many unique shops including antiques, art galleries, restaurants, wine tasting rooms, and the restored Del Oro movie theater. There are bike trails, museums, the Yuba River, and right next door, the unique gold-rush town of Nevada City with its fine dining, wine tasting, great theater, art galleries, musical entertainment, and specialty shopping.