Nevada City is Buying the Home My Parents Built

I picked up the Union at the SPD yesterday and discovered that Nevada City was buying the house, my parents, Burt and Margaret Steele built in 1939, the year after I was born.

In June, the city agreed to purchase a property at 425 Nimrod St., which Parks and Recreation Supervisor Dawn Zydonis called an “island” of land within Pioneer Park that the city previously didn’t own.

It was the city’s long-term goal to acquire the property, according to a staff report, but no plans are set in place yet for how the property will be used.

“It’s a future conversation we’ll have to have, as far as use,” said Interim City Manager Catrina Olson

Reading the story brought back many memories of growing up in Pioneer Park with my brother Robert and Ronald. We lived in the house until I was in the 5th grade when we moved to a house on the Thomas Ranch for a short while before moving to Idaho.

If the City decides to tear down the house they will find little cone-shaped piles of rust scatted randomly under the main floor of the house. I was just a crawler during the early construction, and the subfloor was pine boards with knot holes. According to my mother, I entertained my self by dropping nails down the knot holes.

I first discover the cones of rust in the summer of 1946 when our dog Lady Jill, a Llewelyn Setter, had her puppies under the house and I had to crawl under the house to bring out her puppies.

My dad was a mucker at the Murchie Mine. One time he violated company rules and brought home some high-grade quartz. He hid the gold in the wall, under a light switch in the dining room, tied to a string. When we moved in 1948, the string was there but the high graded gold was gone, and it may still be in the wall.

In the summer my brothers and I swam in the Pioneer Park pool from opening to closing all summer long. We were often the first in and the last out. Before she was married to my Uncle Bud Thomas, aunt Dode was the lifeguard at the pool.

There are hundreds of other stories to tell about living in Pioneer Park during WWII while my Dad was in the Army Air Force, the town team baseball games, fishing in Little Deer Creek, and collecting bottles to exchange for candy at the little store at the top of Nimrod Street and much more.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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3 Responses to Nevada City is Buying the Home My Parents Built

  1. Bob Hobert says:

    Very cool story, Russ.


  2. George Rebane says:

    Thanks for that early chapter of your life. Looking forward to more of your Nevada County experiences and adventures.


  3. rl crabb says:

    Great story, Russ. Makes me want to go over the house with a metal detector.


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