Bourn Residence ImageThe Empire Mine State Historic Park is the site of one of the oldest, largest, and richest hardrock gold mines in California. From 1850 when gold was discovered here, until its closure in 1956, an estimated 5.8 million ounces of gold were extract-ed from the 367 miles of underground passages.

Bourn Residence and Gardens"The Cottage" was the summer residence of William & Agnes Bourn, the owners of the Empire Mine from 1877-1929. The Bourns enjoyed a rich and active social life as evidenced by the lovely gardens, residences, tennis court and clubhouse. The Bourn Cottage is now a popular wedding site and offers a beautiful and unique setting for your event within a California State Historic Park.

Bourn Fountain image

Empire Mine State Historic Park

2024 Wedding Program 

At this time Empire Mine SHP only permits small wedding ceremonies, to retain the park's historical authenticity and provide for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of all visitors. Receptions are not permitted. As Empire Mine is classified as a State Historic Park, the preservation of the park's valued historical resources takes highest priority. 


Please review all information below and attached, prior to making your wedding reservation:

Ceremony Fee: $400, which includes a $200 non-refundable reservation fee. Refundable security/damage deposit: $500. Special Event Insurance is required (see attachment).

Group size: A maximum of 25 guests are allowed, including children (excludes infants under 12 months of age).

Time allotment: All ceremonies are scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Maximum ceremony time is 2 hours, including wedding photography. Event set-up may begin no earlier than 1:30 p.m., and all chairs, supplies, etc. must be removed by 4:45 p.m. All guests must be out of the park by the 5:00 p.m. closing time; failure to leave by this time may result in forfeiture of security/damage deposit. 

Availability: Weddings are scheduled for Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays ONLY, from May 1st through the first weekend in October. Ceremonies may not be scheduled on some major holiday weekends or when in conflict with Empire Mine SHP scheduled special events.

Decorations/Set up: Simple weddings only with no rentals; only minimal props and décor are permitted. Chairs are available on-site for permittee to set up and take down as needed. There is no access to indoor changing areas. All activities are outdoors on the Bourn Cottage lawn with no guarantee as to weather.

Food/Drink: No food or beverages, glassware, or alcohol will be allowed; no receptions.

Parking: Parking is available in the main parking lot, and guests will access the wedding site by walking through the grounds on paved and graveled pathways. No shuttle is provided.


  • Wedding Reservations are accepted up to 1 year in advance; first-come, first-served.
  • Applicant(s) must first complete all the required forms and pay fees before date is reserved, including Special Event Insurance.
  • Events may be cancelled due to COVID restrictions, fires or other extreme circumstances.

For more information and detailed terms and conditions, contact Special Event coordinator David Townsend at 530-273-8522 or  Please phone to check availability of your preferred date and for additional details. Thank you for considering our park for your special day.