Finney House

Construction layers of this original homestead tell much of Nevada City’s “boom and bust” history. In 1864, miner Frank Finney and his bride, Mary, moved into a cabin on this property that had been constructed the previous year. The cabin forms the core of the present house. The newlyweds soon added the front room, decorating the log walls and ceilings with muslin stretched smooth to mimic plastered walls, then applying wallpaper over the muslin. Clapboard siding covered the rough exterior log walls in the front, and by the end of the 1860s, the house had a second story, some gingerbread trim, and a picket fence. A well provided water for laundry and a nearby spring supplied their drinking water. The Finneys used a fireplace until they could afford a woodstove, then they blocked the chimney. The couple’s four children, three of whom survived to adulthood, were born in the house. Another abandoned miner’s cabin to the north became the Finneys’ summer kitchen. A yearly coat of whitewash in the kitchen grew to be inches thick. The Finneys kept milk cows and Mary made butter and cheese, the best in the region. The Finney family lived here continuously from 1864 until the 1950s when daughter Cora Finney was Nevada City’s last resident. Unlike their neighbors who moved on, the Finneys stayed and adapted what their neighbors left to their own uses, helping to preserve a sampling of the local building traditions and structural forms of the original mining camp.



Corner of Main and California Streets, Nevada City, Montana ~ Public