Empire Mine State Park

Celebrating springtime, gals and gold one day early – Empire Mine hosts a “first”

On Saturday, May 11, Empire Mine State Park will be hosting a special event to enjoy the beauty and history of the historic landmark.  Previously a Mother’s Day event, the staff decided to host this newly expanded day in the garden the day before so that families could attend but also be able to make mom’s day unique in their own way.

“We’re calling this new celebration Springtime at Empire Mine,” announced State Park Interpreter Jenna Randar, “And for the first time, we’re hosting it the day before Mother’s Day on Saturday, May 11th when folks may be more available to come and enjoy the Park.”

The gardens should be glorious, and visitors are welcome to pack a lunch and picnic on the grassy knolls near the stately trees.  Food, drinks and treats will be for sale by local vendors.  “It’s a day that focuses on women,” Randar explained.  “Complimentary cups of tea will be served in the special Tea Garden, and that’s become a popular addition over the last few years.  Of course, our Living History docents will be dressed in their beautiful, turn-of-the-century attire – a bit reminiscent of Downton Abbey, as they recreate our golden past.”

Heifer Belles
Local band the Heifer Belles will add their own western-style romance and grit to the entertainment line-up. Photo by Richard Bannister

The event will also feature lots of live music from local artists such as Heather MacAdam, Celtic Joy, Back Porch Swing, Tad and Diane Kitada, and saxophonist Tim Profitt, plus magician Bruce Gauthier.  All-girl band the Heifer Belles will be playing outside Empire Cottage from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. 

Children will enjoy a variety of activities.  The Potting Bench, for example, is a favorite with youngsters, where they can make little, living gifts moms will treasure.  Just behind the 1905 Clubhouse, there will be Lincoln Logs, coloring tables, and instead of hobby horses, hobby mules will be on hand.  “Since mules played such a key part in Empire’s history, it’s only fitting,” Randar added. 

Empire Mine State Park
“Look mom, I made this just for you!” The Potting Bench and other children’s activities add to the fun. Photo by Richard Bannister

The Mine Yard, with its busy Blacksmith Shop and Mine Shaft, will be buzzing with activity, giving visitors a chance to experience at least some of what life was like during Empire’s heady days of prosperity.   The Gift Shop, with its treasure trove of selections for all budgets, will be open as well.

“Everyone’s invited,” Randar confirmed.  “Our volunteers and staff have put so much creativity and extra effort into making this event memorable it’s both exciting and heartwarming.”  Special activities will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Regular admission fees apply:  $7 for those 17 and over and $3 for ages 6-16.  Admission is FREE for children under 6 – and parking is FREE.  Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome, too, making it a day for every single member of the family to enjoy.  Phone the Visitor Center on (530) 273-8522 or visit empiremine.org for further details.

Content provided by Courtney Ferguson, Empire Mine Park Association