The foundry dates to 1856 and for many years provided metal and steel fabrication for the local mines. The first Pelton Wheel, a Nevada County invention which revolutionized hydroelectric power production, was built at the foundry in 1879. In its earliest days, the foundry was known as the Nevada Iron and Brass Foundry and Machine Shop. It became known as Miners Foundry in 1907 and operated until 1965. From 1974 to 1989, the foundry was home to the American Victorian Museum.
Guests may enjoy historic artifacts exhibited throughout the foundry. Many of the displays are described in a printed self-guided tour to the foundry available at the entry. Today, Miners Foundry Cultural Center is a community and performing arts center, hosting more than 200 events per year.