Nevada City

Ott’s Assay Office & The South Yuba Canal Building

The South Yuba Canal Building is one of the oldest business buildings in Nevada City. Built in 1855, the two-story brick structure was fitted with the standard iron doors and shutters, and edged with a filigree balcony railing. Originally known as the Potter Building, by 1861 the structure was home to the offices of the South Yuba Canal Company, which eventually became the state’s largest water system. Originally established as a consolidation of three rival ditch companies and known as the Rock Creek, Deer Creek, and South Yuba Canal Company, the name was shortened to the South Yuba Canal Company in 1870. This company went on to build and operate a system of reservoirs, water ditches, and flumes which carried billions of gallons of water to thousands of miles of connecting water systems, which in turn supplied the hundreds of hydraulic mines in the area. They later entered the utility business, eventually becoming the Pacific Gas & Electric Company, P. G. & E., one of the world’s largest utility companies. This building is located at 132 Main Street.

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