Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park and the town of North Bloomfield, Ca. recently revealed its wares to a group of experienced photographers partaking in a new photo workshop program hosted by “Friends of North Bloomfield and Malakoff Diggins”, a cooperative association of South Yuba River Park Association (SYRPA). The well-preserved gold mining town houses buildings from the 1800s consisting of a drug store, general store, church, museum, school house, and the Skidmore house to name a few. The photo workshop program was conducted as a collaboration with Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Sacramento led by George and Jo Ann Aiello of Aiello Studios. As a result of Viewpoint’s advertising, a group of twelve experienced photographers signed up and paid for a day of rarely experienced interior access to the historical buildings still stocked as they were left when people moved away for lack of any further hydraulic gold mining in the area.
George Aiello described the first workshop as a ‘pilot’ program and coordinated with Janet Peters, the photo workshop manager for the state park effort.
It is the intent to continue this program in the future and expand it out to South Yuba River State Park, Bridgeport, and a self-contained program at Empire Mine State Historic Park.
All proceeds paid for the use of the park go directly to the State Park where the event takes place and used for preserving programs along with improvements of the park.
Some of the people who contributed their time to the new photo workshop effort were: Janet Peters, Robert Coats, John Thompson, Paul Keasberry, John Field, Ranger Michele Green, Ranger Matt Green, Ranger Dan Youngren, Brooke Betz.
Three of the historic buildings were made available to the chosen photographers during the few hours allocated, followed by unlimited time to photograph exteriors including the “Diggins”. (Skidmore House-left, Drug Store-center, General Store-right). Photography by: John Field