Many who came to settle in Grass Valley were tin miners from Cornwall, United Kingdom. Most arrived between 1860 and 1895, composing three-quarters of Grass Valley's population.
Grass Valley still holds on to its Cornish heritage, with events such as its annual Cornish Christmas and St Piran's Day celebrations. Cornish pasties are a local favorite dish with a few restaurants in town specializing in recipes handed down from the original immigrant generation. Grass Valley is also twinned with Bodmin in Cornwall.