Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vintage Getaway: Gold Rush Town, Downieville CA

Written by Suuzi, a key member of Nachokitty.

Isn't it great to get away? Even though I adore my house, it feels so freeing to take a break. With all the reminders of work that needs to be done, it felt wonderful to escape for the day.

At long last my husband and I found a weekend night we both had free. We zoomed along Hwy 49 to Downieville, a town about an hour further into the Sierras from Nevada City & Grass Valley. This is one of our favorite getaways, truly a "vintage vacation:" a tiny, isolated mountain town that has retained much of its gold-rush character.

Vintage downtown Downieville
Downieville has a population of about 300. It was a big town during the gold rush, but since then it has become a very, very quiet little community. The residents are proud of their town, and have a unique identity & love of their colorful local history.

Modern Downieville: not much has changed!
As always, I asked at the B&B: "Are there any antique shops in town?" I was directed to Vintage Gal Antiques. There is nothing better than an out of the way antique store.

The shop was closed, but there was a sign on the door: "Call if you want me to open up!" So I went ahead and called owner Cherry Simi. She was finishing up dishes and came over to let me in when she was done. I was sooo happy I called when I went inside! Vintage Gal Antiques is absolutely gorgeous, with beautiful lighting, music and cases. Cherry's had fabulous stock of vintage & antiques. I especially loved her bottles, tins, and jewelry.

One of many old tins & store display pieces

I perused case after case of beautiful, sparkling rhinestones and pearls.

BLING at Vintage Gal

Hubby opted to wait in the hotel room with his Ipad. I didn't want him to be angry when I got back, so I restricted my purchases to only two things: a cute "wishbones" lapel pin & a champagne mink collar.

I love timeless yet quirky vintage fashion

Heidi and I hope to make a "Nachokitty Buying Trip" later this year. It's just up the road from us by about an hour, but it feels a lifetime away.

Downieville Masonic Cemetery

The next day we went on an adventure to the Downieville Cemetery, my favorite place in the town. This mountainside cemetery has the most incredible sacred, slightly spooky, beautiful atmosphere. Most graves date from the Gold Rush. I took lots and lots of pictures of the antique stonework on the graves at this stunning mountainside cemetery, featured in a future post!


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  2. Hi, I just found your blog! Thank you for the kind words about my shop, Vintage Gal Antiques. Hope you're enjoying your purchases and that you'll stop by again this summer!
    Best Regards,
    Cherry Simi