The Native Daughter’s Hall, located at 318 Commercial Street in Downieville, has been gifted to the Sierra County Arts Council, the building’s fourth owner since 1864. After their first meeting spot burned, the Odd Fellows Organization had the hall constructed. In addition to the upstairs meeting space, the lower level housed a kitchen, two bathrooms and an area capable of holding dinners/luncheons. In 1952 two organizations, the Native Sons of the Golden West (Parlor #92) and Native Daughters of the Golden West (Naomi Parlor #36), purchased the hall which they each used for their respective meetings. Occasionally, the two parlors joined together to hold social gatherings. Then, in 1964 the Native Sons sold their half ownership to the Native Daughters. In addition to their monthly meetings the Native Daughters held two annual fundraisers that were open to community members – the springtime Mad Hatter Tea and an Ice Cream Social in late summer. For several years the Golden Rays Senior group used the lower level for their meetings. Then, in the late 1990’s, Sierra County contracted to house the local public library in that space. The library will remain there under the new ownership.
With interest in Native Daughters declining and upkeep becoming more difficult, the sisters of Naomi Parlor felt that it was time to donate the building to an active organization that would not only have the capability to maintain it, but also be able to use it for more events to benefit the community. To quote the Art’s Council Executive Director, B. J. Jordan, “The hall will add to the cultural assets of Sierra County and be put to use for a variety of public cultural events.” The lovely, historical building will officially be known as the North Yuba River Hall.
Since members of Naomi Parlor #36 have voted to close the parlor permanently, in addition to gifting their building to the Arts Council, they have also turned over their responsibility for maintaining Downieville Museum to local Native Sons, Parlor #92.