On Friday, December 20, Grass Valley school children will parade through the streets to commemorate the 136th Donation Day. In 1883, Caroline Mead Hanson, an invalid, was sitting at the window in her home at the corner of Neal and Church streets, watching children troop to school during a time when the local economy was sluggish and many were unemployed. In a letter to the Union, she suggested that school children bring a stick of firewood and a potato to school, where they would be collected and distributed for Christmas by the the Grass Valley Ladies Relief Society. In 1889, A local merchant suggested a parade so that others in town could contribute. It has been a local tradition ever since.
The Caroline Mead Hanson house, located at 319 Neal Street, is registered as a Nevada County historical landmark.
You can learn more about this and other county landmarks, or visit them virtually, by opening an electronic copy of Exploring Nevada County, which catalogues all the over 200 historical landmarks in the County, and is available for any smartphone or tablet from Apple or Amazon. Go to You Bet Press (youbetpress.com) to find clickable links.
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