Opportunity Details

Arts & Culture
Building/Construction,Cleaning,Event Organizing,Gardening/Planting,Outreach/Marketing

Age Minimum (with Adult): 18+, Minimum Age:18+

Overview of Volunteer Opportunities at the North Star House

Our mission is to rehabilitate and transform the historic North Star House into a premier cultural event center and to promote Nevada County’s legacy by fostering local arts, letters and sciences.

Come join a team of fun, interesting people who are passionate about restoring this important, historic landmark. Whatever your talents and interests are, we offer a variety of volunteer opportunities, including giving tours, working on events, construction, gardening, and more.

The North Star House is a beautiful home built in the Arts & Crafts style on the grounds of the former North Star Mine in Grass Valley. The house was built as the home for the superintendent of the North Star Mine, Arthur De Wint Foote, and his family. It was designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan and built in 1905.

The North Star House is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the California State Historic Buildings Register. The home reflects the philosophy of Arts & Crafts style, using fine, hand-craftmanship and natural materials such as wood and rock from the site. It is a 10,000 square-foot home which was used for entertaining visiting dignitaries as well as being home to the Foote family.

In 1929, the Footes bought the home and a few surrounding acres. Foote descendants continued to live there until 1968. At that time it was sold to someone who planned to use it as a boarding school. Unfortunately, the school owner did extensive, poorly constructed modifications to the home, causing significant structural and aesthetic damage. After the school went bankrupt, the house sat empty for over 20 years. During that time, major vandalism plus continuing weather-caused damage took the house to the brink of no-return.

In 2003, a developer who had purchased the 700+ acres of North Star property recognized the historic and architectural importance of restoring and preserving the North Star House. He gifted 14 acres to the Land Trust. The North Star Historic Conservancy was then formed as a non-profit organization, dedicated to restoring the home to its original design and elegance.

You can help us restore this community treasure!  

In addition to volunteers for a variety of positions, we also welcome donations of materials and supplies needed to rehabilitate the house and grounds.


Volunteer opportunities

  • Docents Learn basic information about the North Star House and its history, then welcome visitors to the house, answer questions, and offer to show them around if they would like a brief tour. 
  • Events Committee Members Discuss ideas for events and plan the details of the events at the North Star House.
  • Day-of-Event Helpers Work before, during, and/or after events at the historic North Star House
  • Garden Crew for the Heritage Garden Maintain all aspects of the garden and hardscape at the North Star House, assuring that it is an asset to this historic property. 
  • Grounds Keepers Maintain a few acres of lawns, shrubs, etc.
  • Experienced Masons Work on the construction crew that is restoring the historic North Star House.
  • Carpenters Work on the construction crew that is restoring the historic North Star House.
  • Outreach Coordinator Connect with organizations in Western Nevada County to schedule speaking engagements for North Star Historic Conservancy representatives.
  • Grant Writer Research grants that may be applicable to one or more aspects of North Star Historic Conservancy activities, then write and submit grant applications.
  • Archivist Help design a database system, then use it to archive thousands of photographs, documents, etc. for easy retrieval.

Please click the links above for details of each opportunity.

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Express Interest

Volunteers needed through 12/30/2025

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