We had a rough start getting our new tipi rental and sales business, 2 Feathers Tipi, off the ground. We had a website, which was also new to us, and things were moving pretty slowly. We needed to get our name out there and let the neighborhood know that we hand crafted custom tipis for sale and rent. Then we advertised in Mountain Valley Living Magazine and the phone and website lit up like Christmas. One week after the magazine reached the shelves we had sold three custom tipis and had several calls for summer rental rates. The local campgrounds are sure to house 2 Feathers Tipis this year. We even sold one tipi to a web reader in South Carolina and our own website hits went from barely one hundred to over a thousand per day. In seven short days, we were well on our way and customers states away knew our name! What a relief to get the ball rolling. Thank you Mountain Valley Living Magazine.
2 Feathers Tipi
po box 586
Westwood, Ca 96137
$5,000 SEED MONEY FOR YOUR BUSINESS OR IDEA
First Ever California Business Plan Competition Starts at County Level
As part of a statewide effort to boost the economy and encourage entrepreneurs, the Business and Entrepreneurship Center at Feather River College (BEC) is announcing a business plan competition for anyone over the age of 14.
While the value of writing a business plan is often debated in the entrepreneurial community, studies have shown you are twice as likely to successfully launch or grow your business or be awarded funding if you have taken the time to write a solid business plan.
The plans for this contest must be based on an original idea for either a new business, a business in operation for less than two years, or a substantial improvement on an existing business.
First place at the county level will win $500 in each of three age groups: 14-17; 18-27; and over 28 years. These winners will be entered into the same age brackets at the California State competition for an opportunity to win an additional $5,000 in seed money for their business.
All entrants must be legal California residents, and business plans must be submitted using LivePlan software. A software license may be provided free of charge from Feather River College for individuals under the age of 28, and assistance in the planning is available.
Starting a business is an exciting proposition, but it’s also an incredibly challenging undertaking. Business plans are an essential roadmap for business success, and win or lose, every contestant will walk away with a valuable plan to launch a new business idea or improve an existing business.
The Plumas County Business Plan Competition will accept entries through March 1, 2013.
The contest is part of a three-pronged approach by the BEC to strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit in California, assist with regional and statewide efforts to increase the success of business, and expand entrepreneurship curriculum across community college campuses.
For more information contact Amy Schulz at Feather River College, 284-0202 x 358; firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s Summer…Is Your Car Safe to Drive?
State Farm® Agent
Summer is here and that means it’s time for vacations, cookouts and summer road trips. Before you jump into the family vehicle, have you done everything you could to ensure safe travels? If not, you may want to think twice about driving “Old Faithful” across the country or across town to a BBQ.
We all know with summer comes extreme heat, which can wreak havoc on a car. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure you keep your car in its best operating condition.
- Get your oil changed. Every 3,000 miles, or every three to six months, is usually the amount of time between oil changes. (It’s also not a bad idea to rotate your tires every other oil change to ensure equal wear.) Oil is critical to the function of an engine. Not changing the oil can lead to increased wear and tear on the engine, which could decrease performance. An under performing engine can lead to many other problems.
- Check all engine fluid levels (along with coolant, transmission and brake fluids).
- Have your vehicle inspected. Before going on long road trips, it is highly suggested you have your vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic. They will be able to diagnose and assess any issues your vehicle may have.
- Check your tire pressure (including the spare). For the most part, vehicles can lose about one pound of pressure per month. Driving on under inflated tires can lead to increased gas consumption, and more wear and tear on the tires among other things. Above all, it just isn’t safe.
Not only do you want to make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound, but you also want to make sure you keep the proper necessities available in your car. If you were to become stranded somewhere, do you have items that would make your wait a little less painful? Here are just a few items you’ll want to make sure you keep in your car, not only in the summer months; but year round.
- Flashlight, flares, and a first-aid kit
- Jumper cables
- A mat or blanket
- Extra clothes and gloves (you never know when you may have to go under the hood or the car)
- Paper towels
- Extra washer fluid
- Nonperishable food
- Basic tools (1)
Now that you’ve had your car inspected and you’ve stocked your trunk with the proper necessities, you should be ready to go. Remember to get plenty of rest before you drive long distances. Safe, happy travels to you!
1 www.foxreno.com. Summer Driving Tips. June 2010
Courtesy of the US Forest Service
The national forests in California offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities and beauty. With the wonders of adventure, however, come certain hazards.
The most effective way to prevent mishaps is to adequately prepare for the trip. Knowledge of the area, weather, terrain, limitations of your body, plus a little common sense can help to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. For example, be aware of hiking conditions. If you plan to enjoy the rivers and streams, make sure you are aware of the depth and speed of the water. Take care of yourself and your pets and be alert to changing conditions, wildlife habitat and any potential hazards. Here are some further tips to assist you in having a safe and pleasurable visit to one of California’s 18 national forests.
- Travel with a companion. You don’t want to be by yourself in case of an emergency. Tell someone where and when you are going, when you expect to return, and how many individuals are in your party.
- Be in good physical condition. Set a comfortable pace as you hike. A group trip should be designed for the weakest member of the group.
- Stay hydrated. You, your children and your pets.
- Think about your footing while traveling near cliffs. Trees and bushes can’t always be trusted to hold you. Ensure you are on solid ground.
- Stay on developed trails or dry, solid rock areas with good footing. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the trail conditions and season.
- Check your equipment. Keep your equipment in good working order. Inspect it before your trip. Do not wait until you are at the trailhead.
- Be weather wise. Keep an eye on current and predicted weather conditions – for example, how hot it will be for the day. Know the signs for approaching storms or changing weather conditions. Avoid bare ridge tops, exposed places, lone trees, streams, and rocks during lightning storms. Find shelter in a densely forested area at a lower elevation. Even in the summer, exposure to wind and rain can result in hypothermia.
- Learn basic first aid so you will know how to identify and treat injuries and illnesses. Carry a first aid kit with you. Learn how to identify the symptoms of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia, and dehydration, and know how to treat them.
- Make camp before dark. Traveling after darkness has resulted in many accidents from falls, so travel only during daylight. Set up camp well away from the edge of cliffs, and learn the terrain during daylight. If you have to leave camp after dark, stay in areas you have seen in daylight, go with a friend, and always use a good flashlight.
- Be alert for slippery areas and take your time to avoid tripping. Low-hanging branches and variable terrain makes running unsafe, and leaves can hide slippery areas underneath.
- Alcohol does not mix with cliffs or water play activities! If you drink, stay away from cliffs and from skilled water activities. Judgment, agility, and balance are all reduced by alcohol consumption.
- Think before you drink! No matter how clean or pure stream water looks, it’s likely to contain water-borne parasites and microorganisms that can cause discomfort and sometimes serious illness. Pack your water in, or purify through chemical treatment.
- Wildfires: Despite heavy precipitation in some parts of the state and late snowfall across the Sierra, forest visitors should not let their guard down for wildfires. As summer temperatures continue to dry out vegetation, the fire danger is increasing. Whether you’re car-camping or backpacking with a portable stove, know the local fire restrictions in the area in which you’re visiting.
- Campfires: In areas where open campfires are allowed, always make sure yours is completely extinguished before leaving. Drown your fire with water and stir it until it’s cold to the touch. Abandoned campfires are illegal and consistently rank as the number one cause of human-caused fires in California and the nation.
Plumas Sierra County Fair Digs Back to its’ Roots
Plumas Sierra County Fair celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Modern Agricultural Fair through a new exhibit, Made in America: The Story of the Modern Fair. This exhibit unveils the history of the first modern fair and shares the traditions of our farms and ranchers from past to present.
Fairgoers will enjoy stories and images dating back to 1811 from across the country and experience how the modern agricultural fair evolved and spread during the last 200 years into what it is today. It also features a look at the history of our Plumas Sierra County Fair, which celebrated it’s 150th Anniversary just last year. Made in America offers a chance for patrons to discover the history of unique fair foods, the expansion of entertainment and livestock and what it takes to create the magical fun and educational experience of fairs everywhere.
Research, text, photo-editing and contemporary fair photographs of Made in America: The Story of the Modern Fair were provided by Drake Hokanson and Carol Kratz, authors of the award-winning book Purebred & Homegrown: America’s County Fairs, University of Wisconsin Press, 2008. Created by Western Fairs Association and funded in part by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Fairs and Expositions.
Made in America: The Story of the Modern Fair will be in Serpilio Hall for the duration of the Plumas Sierra County Fair.
This interesting look at the last 200 years is only half of this year’s theme; Pride in the Past, Faith in the Future. The other half is addressed with a wonderful exhibit of the top science fair displays from all our local schools. Come see what our future scientists and inventors have learned. These kids are our future. The science fair exhibits will also be presented in Serpilio Hall for the entire Fair.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
By Brian Wilson
State Farm® Agent
Cars and trucks far outnumber motorcycles on the roadways. No matter what type of vehicle you’re driving, everyone needs to follow the rules of the road and watch out for other vehicles. But, drivers of cars and trucks often don’t recognize or see motorcycles. Because of their smaller size, motorcycles may present special concerns for motorists.
To help motorists better understand the need to share the road with motorcyclists, here are some safety tips from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF-USA):
- Motorcycles may look farther away than they really are. When preparing to make a turn, assume that the motorcycle is closer than it appears.
- Take extra caution in checking blind spots, as a motorcycle may be hidden from sight by the body of your car or masked by objects such as bushes, fences and bridges.
- Motorcycles may appear to be going faster than the rest of the traffic, but don’t assume every motorcyclist is a speed demon.
- Motorcyclists can slow down without activating the brake light. Turn signals may not cancel after a turn.
- Allow greater distance between your car and a motorcycle for stopping and don’t assume turn signals mean they are going to turn again.
- Motorcyclists often adjust their position in a lane so they can be seen more easily, avoid debris or minimize the effects of passing vehicles. Don’t assume that this adjustment is a reckless maneuver.
Although motorcycles have greater maneuverability than cars and trucks, don’t expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way or be able to stop on a dime. Continually scan the road in front of you for all types of vehicles and allow more following distance behind a motorcycle, for your safety and that of the motorcyclist.
Western Pacific Railroad History ~
The Western Pacific was incorporated in 1903 to build from Salt Lake City, Utah and a connection with the Denver and Rio Grande Railway to Oakland, California. It was part of the Gould family of railroads that stretched from Utah to the Atlantic Coast with only a few small gaps. The WP was intended by both its East Coast financiers and its West Coast supporters and managers to provide a second transcontinental connection into central California, competing with the Southern Pacific Railroad and famously earning the ire of the mighty Edward H. Harriman, president of the SP, who vowed to prevent the WP from being built.
The railroad was completed in 1909 with the driving of a golden spike at the center of the Spanish Creek trestle at Keddie, California (near the city of Quincy). This trestle is now part of the famous Keddie Wye. By using the spectacular Feather River Canyon as its entrance into the Sierra Nevada range, the WP kept a gentle slope to its railroad and avoided the tremendous snow removal problems which rival Southern Pacific faced on its much steeper route over Donner Pass. So committed were the builders to maintaining a shallow grade to the line that they built the Williams Loop, where the tracks actually form a circle and cross over themselves, rather than violate the maximum dictated grade of 1 foot of rise in every 100 feet of linear run. The WP crested the Sierras at Beckworth Pass, the lowest saddle of the mountains, on the California-Nevada border. This well-engineered line allowed the railroad to move more freight with less power than the SP.
Such advantages, however, did not initially translate into success. The railroad’s charter forbid it to open branch lines and traffic levels were low. In 1916, the opening of the Panama Canal was the final nail and the WP went bankrupt. It was reorganized as the Western Pacific Railroad and, freed of the original restrictions, began acquiring feeder lines and building up its traffic base. Among the lines it acquired were the famous Sacramento Northern Railway and the smaller Tidewater Southern Railway, two electric interurban railroads in the fertile Central Valley of California.
In 1926, a financier named Arthur Curtiss James acquired control of the WP. James had major holdings in several large northern railroads, including the Great Northern. He saw the WP as an extension of the Great Northern into California, again competing with the mighty Southern Pacific. While the Great Northern built south from Washington State, the WP constructed a new line north from its Spanish Creek Trestle at Keddie, transforming the river crossing into the Keddie Wye, the most famous location on the railroad. The first 5 miles of this Northern California Extension (more commonly called “The High Line”) were the steepest and most expensive on the railroad, in some cases nearly 3 times as steep as the original mainline. The two roads met at the town of Bieber, California in 1931, completing the largest railroad construction project undertaken during the Depression.
As the WP was always overshadowed by its larger rival, the Southern Pacific, the smaller road learned to be innovative and frugal. While large, modern steam locomotives helped the road tackle larger freight cars, its original steam locomotives, outmoded they day they were built, continued in service until replaced by diesels. When the railroad needed new cabooses, it converted old, obsolete wooden boxcars and saved its money for revenue equipment.
When the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors introduced its FT diesel-electric locomotive in late 1941, the Western Pacific became one of its first purchasers and eventually became the first large western railroad to eliminate steam locomotives entirely. After World War II, the railroad completely modernized, becoming one of the first railroads to embrace such innovations as roller bearing freight car trucks, centralized traffic control systems, computerized traffic and inventory management, and turbocharged diesel locomotives.
The railroad also teamed with long-time partner Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, to operate the first passenger train designed around Vista-Dome passenger cars: the California Zephyr. These famous cars, with their 360 degrees of view in the upper dome section, were the trademark of the train. From 1949 to 1970, the CZ was the pride of the railroad, never downgraded in service even as it lost a reported $1 million per year by the end.
As fortunes rose and fell and the railroad industry changed, the Western Pacific found it increasingly more difficult to earn a profit. By the late 1970’s, mergers were folding many of the smaller railroads into larger systems. The trend finally caught up with the famous Feather River Route on December 22, 1982, when it was purchased by the Union Pacific Railroad along with Midwestern railroad Missouri Pacific. Soon, the WP image was quickly fading, although the UP generously aided many efforts to preserve the history of the railroad, including the establishment of the Feather River Rail Society and the Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola, California.
Today, the Salt Lake City to Oakland mainline serves the Union Pacific in conjunction with the once-rival Southern Pacific line over Donner Pass (the SP was later also purchased by the UP). The High Line, after years of neglect and low traffic, was later sold to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, which also acquired trackage rights from Keddie to Stockton, California. Now, more trains than ever roll over the former Feather River Route, confirming the foresight and vision of those people who helped build the railroad 100 years ago.
Public Information Sheet on the Western Pacific Railroad Historical Society (WPRRHS) for Portola Railroad Days 2011 publication – By FRRS Board Member Wayne I. Monger
The Western Pacific Railroad Historical Society (WPRRHS) is the archives and library subsidiary division of the 501(c)(3) educational non-profit Feather River Rail Society (FRRS). Founded by Western Pacific Railroad engineer and Portola resident Norman Holmes during 1983, the Feather River Rail Society is the owner and operator of the Western Pacific Railroad Museum (WPRM) at Portola. The WPRRHS was formed during November 1996 by a group of dedicated members within the FRRS and given the specific mission of:
- The collection and preservation of documents, photographs, memorabilia, oral history and other artifacts of, and pertaining to the history and operation of the railroad company known at the Western Pacific Railroad. This would include subsidiaries, connecting shortlines and industrial railroad operations.
- The dissemination of said information through FRRS and WPRRHS publications, library services, historical seminars, conventions, guest lectures and FRRS/WPRRHS social functions and public events.
Every year since 1997, the WPRRHS has held an annual history conference (open to the public) at various cities once served by the Western Pacific Railroad or subsidiary rail lines. These cities have included Sacramento, Oroville, Chico, Stockton, Tracy, Livermore, Fremont, Oakland, Reno and Quincy. During May 2011, the WPRRHS participated in the first joint history conference with the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway Historical Society at Bend, Oregon. The Spokane Portland and Seattle Railway (plus SP&S parent Great Northern Railway) was the connecting railroad for the WP to markets in the Pacific Northwest. Upcoming WPRRHS annual history conventions are currently planned to be held at Vacaville, CA in 2012 and Elko, NV in 2013. The WPRRHS also produces and publishes the Western Pacific Railroad history and modeling magazine “The Headlight” three times per year.
Thanks to very generous donations by FRRS members and family members of former WP employees over just the past 8 years, the WPRRHS now has accumulated the vast volume of the Western Pacific Railroad Corporate Archives. Supplementing this irreplaceable archive that dates from the incorporation of the WP in 1903 are many dozens of very important personal histories and collections from retired Western Pacific employees. The WPRRHS in is the second year of an ongoing digital imaging project (supported by tax deductable donations to the FRRS “WPRRHS Library and Archives” Restricted Fund) of historically significant documents and photos, which will be the core of a proposed on-line digital research library. The long-term plans of the FRRS/WPRRHS are to establish a centralized climate-controlled archive storage facility, public research library and museum visitor center at a rehabilitated and expanded historic Western Pacific Railroad Hospital site overlooking the Western Pacific Railroad Museum grounds at Portola.
The History of Portola
Written by Rebecca Rhode
for an 11th Grade History project,
Portola High School, 2003
The town of Portola, California, sits along both sides of the middle fork of the Feather River, in Plumas County, on the upper eastern part of northern California. Portola lies off the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. The local landscape is best described as being part of the Feather River drainage, which flows westward down the Feather River Canyon. Portola has an interesting history, although there is little published information on its beginnings. This report describes roughly the first twenty-five years of the formation of Portola, with brief background information on the prehistory and history of the surrounding area, to help set the stage of introduction of the town’s place in California history.
About five miles to the east of Portola, the headwaters of the middle fork of the Feather River spring forth in Sierra Valley, the largest valley in North America above five thousand feet in elevation. Sierra Valley is important to the settling and establishment of Portola due to its location, ease of travel, and ease of passage between the rugged mountain ranges and the steep Sierra Nevadan terrain. In the 1850′s, James P. Beckwourth, a self-described mountain man, trapper, and explorer, became the first white man to settle in the region (Beckwourth was actually part African American and part American Indian). Beckwourth built a house and trading post where the town of Beckwourth is today. His trading post became a stopping place for many travelers heading east to west, especially those lured by the California gold rush of 1849.
Before Beckwourth settled in Sierra Valley, the surrounding region was home to Maidu and Washoe Indians. The Maidu held most of the land along the Feather River, while the Washoe claimed Sierra Valley and Long Valley. Little is known of the exact numbers of Native American populations in northeastern California and the Portola area, and whether they stayed in the area year round or just seasonally. There are, nonetheless, traces of Native American culture in the form of seed grinding holes in local granite and basalt boulders along the Feather River and nearby hills, in addition to arrowheads and other artifacts found in and around Portola and Sierra Valley. With all the native game species such as deer, small animals, and fish, Portola and the surrounding area has been home for native peoples for hundreds of years.
Like many other towns in the northern California Sierras, Portola was founded on the industry of logging. In 1905, lumbermen from the nearby city of Reno, Nevada, came into the Portola area only to find large stands of pine and fir treees. The Roberts Lumber Company logged on the north side of the Feather River, while the Reno Mill and Lumber company worked the south side around Beckwourth Peak. More logging companies from other areas also began to survey and harvest trees from the surrounding hills. In 1905, the Portola area got its first name, “Headquarters,” after a small logging camp with about one hundred men. Soon, thereafter, another group of loggers from Utah settled into the area, and the camp became “Mormon Junction,” and shortly after, in 1908, “Imola.” Several saw mills were built to process the logs. Kerby Mill, located near Grizzly Road and Highway 70; Roberts Mill, located on A-15 just south of Portola; Delleker Mill (Old Gibson and Spencer Mill), located in the town of Delleker; and Clairville Mill, located six miles west of Portola (west end of Fillipini Flat, or Delaney’s Valley), were all early mills in the area. Another mill, located on the south side of Portola where the little league fields are today, also served the area early on.
With all the logging going on, the railroad soon followed. The railroad was necessary to move both unfinished and finished timber from the local saw mills to distant towns and cities for further processing. In addition, many logging spurs were built into local hillsides and ravines to bring fallen trees to the mills. Steam donkeys and teams of oxen and harnesses were also used to lift and carry the heavy logs. On Beckwourth Peak, lumbermen also constructed wooden log chutes. These wooden chutes ran in sections downhill and were greased so that logs could skid downward and be guided to flat ground or into the Feather River, where they could be floated to nearby mills.
The first railroad into the Portola area was the Sierra Valleys Railroad. In 1885, the California Land and Timber Company began the Sierra Valley to Mohawk railroad, mainly for delivering goods to and from Reno. This operation came to a halt due to financial reasons. In 1894, Henry Bowen bought the railroad and land, along with Kerby Mill (on Grizzly Creek). Two other nearby railroads, at that time, were already completed and in operation. The Boca and Loyalton, which ran from Boca, near Truckee, to Loyalton. and the NC&O (Nevada, California, and Oregon), which ran north-south along Long Valley and Highway 395 from Oregon to Reno. Bowen sought to link Portola and Sierra Valley to the NC&O and the Boca and Loyalton. Finally. in 1903, the Sierra Valleys Railroad was completed between Hallelujah Junction and Clio. The railroad tracks ran on the north side of the Buttes in Sierra Valley, north of Highway 70 and the Feather River today, through Beckwourth and Portola, with a depot where the Gold Rush Sporting Goods Store is today, continuing westward past Delleker, Clairville, and Clio. The Sierra Valleys Railroad quit running by 1911, due to financial problems. However, by then, the Western Pacific had been completed on the south side of the Feather River, and it became the main railway through the region. In 1910, Portola was served by three railroads: the Boca and Loyalton (B&L), the Nevada, California, and Oregon (NC&O), and the Western Pacific.
One of the most under-heralded figures in putting Portola and Plumas County on the map, literally, was Arthur Walter Keddie. Born in Scotland in 1842, Keddie came to California as a civil engineer and surveyor, and soon thereafter made his home in Quincy. In 1863, he began surveying and mapping the Feather River Canyon and Plumas County. The map was the first of its kind locally, with remarkable detailing and uncanny accuracy. But the map was only the beginning of several more important achievements. Keddie is also credited for the construction of the first telegraph line into Plumas County in 1874. His two crowning achievements, especially in respect to Portola, was his survey work and engineering of the Western Pacific railway from Oroville, through the Feather River Canyon, Portola, Sierra Valley, and on into Reno. The completion of the project in 1910 made Portola a prime stop on the trans-continental railway. Keddie, known to many as “the father of the Western Pacific,” would also be instrumental in overseeing the construction of a state highway along the same river route.
Along with the railroad, logging, and farming operations, more and more families began to settle into the area. between Beckwourth, Clairville, Portola, and Mohawk Valley, the population grew to over five thousand residents. Stores, saloons, and other businesses formed to serve the growing population. The town finally settled on its namesake, but not before one more name change to “Reposa” in 1909. In 1910, Virgilia Bogue, queen of the 1909 Portola Festival in San Francisco and daughter of Virgil Bogue, a prominent local engineer for the Western Pacific, suggested the name “Portola” in passing, and soon thereafter, in a town meeting, it became official.
With the completion of the Western Pacific Railway through the Feather River Canyon in 1910, Portola was an ideal location for a depot. The town of Clairville, however, would become a ghost town in a matter of a few years, since it sat on the north side of the Feather River and its narrow gauge rails became obsolete. Many of the Clairville residents and their businesses would pack up and move to Portola. Some of the buildings were also torn down and relocated as well. It is perhaps possible that had the Western Pacific taken over and retrofited the Sierra Valleys railroad route between Clio and Sierra Valley, then Clairville and Delleker would still be the bustling communities they once were before 1915.
In 1907, the first hotel in Portola (probably still Imola then), the “Home Hotel” was built. In 1909, the first grammar school was established on the north side of town, called “The Little Red School House.” It burned down in 1911, and the school was moved to the south side of town. Portola’s first high school was built in 1921, somewhere near downtown Portola, but it too burned down in 1925 and rebuilt at its present location in 1926. Fires were very common and many buildings, mills, and entire blocks burned to the ground in the early years. In 1928, a huge fire destroyed twenty-six homes and businesses along Commercial Street in Portola, from the southern end of the Gulling Bridge and halfway up Commercial Street.
The main problem was a lack of a water system. In 1908, water was delivered in town by bucket and sled from nearby creeks and springs. By 1908, streets were platted by the Reno Mill and Lumber Company. In 1910, Ed Lane established the Portola Water Company. Underground pipes dug and placed, however, there were no pumps. A large wooden water tower was built at the west end of town. Before 1915, there was no electricity in Portola, and lights were powered by kerosene. Grizzly Electric Company, in 1915, introduced the first commercial electricity in Portola. Electricity was only available at night at that time, and until 1928, it was used solely for lighting. Residents were charged ninety cents per light, businesses were charged one dollar.
Much of the historical information on the area was recorded from local news sources from the era. In 1866, the Plumas National began collecting news in Plumas County. Most of the stories covered mining and farming activity centered on Qunicy, Johnsville, Jamison City, and other local communities. Farming, dairying, and other local activities, were often mentioned from the towns of Beckwourth and Smiths Neck (Loyalton), and from ranches around Sierra Valley. In 1892, the Plumas National became the Plumas National-Bulletin. This would be the primary source of information for most of Plumas County for the next twenty-five years. In 1910, another newspaper, the Portola Gazette, established itself for about two years, when it eventually folded. In 1916, the Portola Sentinel came off the presses until 1927, when the Portola Reporter took over and still operates today. These old newspapers are an invaluable resource for looking back in time on the history of the region, and many of the stories chronicle the successes and failures of towns, townspeople, and businesses.
The Feather River has divided both sides of Portola since its early days as a lumber camp. Commercial Street, on the south side of the river, and Riverside Avenue, on the north side, both held early businesses and residences. In order to travel across the river, the first bridge was built where Beckwith Street is today, at the east end of town. The bridge was actually a foot bridge, where horse-drawn wagons and sleds could travel freely. A crude rope bridge was also strung across the river on the western end of town. Around 1910, railroad tracks ran on both sides of the river, so the bridge actually ran from track to track. Commercial Street, around 1910, had several rooming houses, blacksmiths, mercantile stores, and more than several saloons. A “red light” district existed on the southeast end of town.
Downtown Portola has undergone many changes in businesses, although most of these changes have been made by name only. The buildings in the downtown area have had numerous facelifts, having survived fires, structural changes, and occasional improvements. In 1928, the wooden baseboards and dirt streets were replaced with concrete sidewalks (partially) and asphalt streets. By 1930, there were over thirteen saloons, with many having poker tables, slot machines, dice, blackjack, and a Chinese lottery. One of the first stores on Commercial Street in 1910 was the Racket Store, and supplies mainly came from Reno, Sacramento, and San Francisco.
For almost one hundred years, Portola has kept its small-town image as a “railroad town.” There are many towns like Portola in northern California that were born out of early mining and lumber camps; some have preserved their unique place in California history. The railroad industry has seen its importance become less and less, and this is perhaps why Portola has not grown leaps and bounds like other California cities. It is no coincidence that most of California’s logging towns have pretty much kept their bucolic, small-town image, perhaps eternally constrained by geographic and economic factors. Downtown Portola still has some of its original buildings and sidewalks. Local newspapers still hold the archives of the development of Portola and its surrounding community. A few longtime residents still carry valuable memories of early Portola. All of these resources preserve what little we know about the local history.
Ronald Christensen selected as “Grand Marshall” for 29th Annual Portola Railroad Days Golden Spike Parade Saturday ~ August 20,2011
Portola, Calif. (June 22, 2010) — Portola Railroad Days (PRRD) committee nominated Ronald (Ron) Christensen as Grand Marshall for the 29th Annual Portola Railroad Days Golden Spike Parade on Saturday, August 20, 2011 in Portola, California. The event kicks off with a community barbeque, music and a carnival on Thursday, August 18, and ends on Sunday, August 22.
Ron Christensen was born in Oroville, CA on April 20, 1952 and about a month later the family moved to Portola where he was raised. After graduating from Portola Jr/Sr High School in 1970 he headed to San Jose State for a two years.
During the summer months after graduating high school Ron worked as a “Gandy Dancer” (laborer) for Western Pacific starting with the Chilcoot and Portola Section Gangs. After two years of college he hired out full time with Western Pacific as of June 5, 1972, continuing as a Gandy Dancer.
Shortly after starting full time with Western Pacific he met Marilyn. Being a Reggie Jackson and Oakland A’s fan and the fact that she was the prettiest girl wearing an Oakland A’s shirt with Reggie Jackson’s number 9, it was love at first sight and so they were married , now going on 38 years.
Over the next 10 years, he held the positions of Assistant Foreman, Relief Foreman, Track Rider and Track Inspector before accepting an Officers job, the Assistant Road Master at Keddie. Ron and Marilyn moved to Quincy in 1982. Also in 1982 during the first Portola Railroad Days event, he was encouraged to participate in the “Spike Driving Contest”. In Ron’s own words, “It was just myself, my wife and two daughters, out for the day at Railroad Days, when one of the guys from work came up and began encouraging me to participate in the spike driving contest. After awhile I conceded and I won. I think it took about 20 seconds and I won $250.00. I beat out a World Record holder that I just happened to work under at the time. Things didn’t go well after I beat him”.
The Western Pacific was bought out by the Union Pacific in 1983 and Ron became a Track Supervisor, traveling all over the former Western Pacific route on Tie Gangs and Rail Gangs. He walked on every inch of the former Western Pacific Rail lines from Oakland to Salt Lake City. It took six years and he covered 911.32 miles. Ron went back to a track Inspector in 1989 and worked on the Bieber and Canyon Subdivisions.
Since 2007 to the present day, Mr. Christensen is a Construction Coordinator for the Information and Technology Department, supervising the construction and protections of the fiber optic lines running along Union Pacific Right-of Way. His territory runs from Stockton to Salt Lake City. He plans to retire June 5, 2012 after acquiring 40 years of service.
The theme for the 29th Annual Portola Railroad Days Festival, August 18-21, 2011 is “Gandy Dancer-Pride of the West ”. The hard working Gandy Dancers built the Western Pacific through the Feather River Canyon and spiked the rail into place. Special events at this years railroad days festival will demonstrate the fine art of driving spikes into wooden ties and will honor the Gandy Dancers.
The “Feather River Express” will again travel through the scenic Feather River Canyon bringing folks to Portola from the Bay Area and Sacramento Valley for Portola Railroad Days. This years excursion passenger train will honor the Gandy Dancer. On Friday August 19 the train will depart Emeryville at 8:00am and will pick up additional passengers in Martinez, Davis, Sacramento and Oroville before arriving in Portola at 5:00pm. New to this years schedule is a stop in Oroville to pick up folks living in this area.
On Sunday, August 21, the train will depart Portola at 8:00am for the westbound five hour journey down the spectacular Feather River Canyon, with a stop at Oroville scheduled for 1:00pm. As the train races across the Sacramento Valley towards the Bay Area, additional station stops will be at Sacramento, Davis, and Martinez with a 5:00pm arrival in Emeryville. Special options are being offered so that local folks can again ride this train through the Feather River Canyon.
Folks who wish to ride the “Feather River Express” train should purchase their tickets soon, because the charter is filling quickly. For a full range of prices and availability, visit www.traintrips.biz or call toll free 1-800 359-4870.
The Portola Railroad Days event includes an outdoor art and crafts show. City crews close Commercial Street to automobile traffic so that vendors and pedestrians can have free reign of the entire street for the weekend. Many local merchants host special sidewalk sales. There are many activities planned for the whole family to enjoy including live bands.
Vendor applications for the outdoor art and crafts show are still available. For information regarding vendor applications including food please visit www.PortolaRailroadDays.com or call Lorraine Wakefield for art and crafts at (530) 832-0446 or Pat Bridge for food vendors at (530) 836-0164.
Contact: Chris Skow
Portola Railroad Days Planning Committee
Media Contact Phones:
(530) 836-1083 Home
(530) 386-2969 Cell
E mail: email@example.com
Fax: (530) 836-1904
29TH ANNUAL PORTOLA RAILROAD DAYS AND
THE FEATHER RIVER EXPRESS TO HONOR THE GANDY DANCER
Portola, Calif. (March 29, 2011) The theme for the 29th Annual Portola Railroad Days Festival, August 18-21, 2011 is “Gandy Dancer-Pride of the West ”. The hard working Gandy Dancers built the Western Pacific through the Feather River Canyon and spiked the rail into place. Special events at this years railroad days festival will demonstrate the fine art of driving spikes into wooden ties and will honor the Gandy Dancers.
Gandy Dancers started with the driving of the first spike at 3rd and Union Streets in Oakland on January 2, 1906. It took almost four long years to complete the Western Pacific. It was the Gandy Dancers from the east and west that met on the Spanish Creek Bridge at Keddie, now called the Keddie Wye Bridge, on November 1, 1909. Gandy Dancer and Foreman Leonardo di Tomasso drove the last spike to officially open the Western Pacific.
During the construction years the Gandy Dancers spiked down 927 miles of mainline track which included crossing 41 steel bridges and going through 44 tunnels between Oakland and Salt Lake City. Construction was not easy for the spike driving gangs and in fact the Feather River Route was to be open for business by late 1908, but fell over a year behind schedule and proved considerably more costly than first figured.
The “Feather River Express” will again travel through the scenic Feather River Canyon bringing folks to Portola from the Bay Area and Sacramento Valley for Portola Railroad Days. This years excursion passenger train will honor the Gandy Dancer. On Friday August 19 the train will depart Emeryville at 8:00am and will pick up additional passengers in Martinez, Davis, Sacramento and Oroville before arriving in Portola at 5:00pm. New to this years schedule is a stop in Oroville to pick up folks living in this area.
On Sunday, August 21, the train will depart Portola at 8:00am for the westbound five hour journey down the spectacular Feather River Canyon, with a stop at Oroville scheduled for 1:00pm, to drop off folks living in this area. As the train races across the Sacramento Valley towards the Bay Area additional station stops will be at Sacramento, Davis, and Martinez with a 5:00pm arrival in Emeryville.
A special option is being offered for local folks to ride the “Feather River Express” either direction between Sacramento and Portola. On Friday August 19 several charter motor coaches will depart from the Western Pacific Railroad Museum parking lot at 6:30am and arrive in Sacramento via I-80 in time to board the train which departs from the Amtrak Station in downtown Sacramento at 10:15am and arrive in Portola at 5:00pm. On Sunday August 22 the reverse option is being offered to local folks. Passengers will ride the train westbound Portola to Sacramento and return by charter motor coach. Departure from Portola is at 8:00am with an arrival back in town scheduled for 6:00pm.
Chris Skow, Rail Tours Manager at Trains and Travel International based in Reno, is again in charge of this years train. Skow is a retired conductor and a 43-year resident of Portola and also one of the founding fathers of the Feather River Rail Society and the Western Pacific Railroad Museum. He is committed in doing all he can to promote Portola Railroad Days, and the museum. He has arranged to have part of the ticket sale proceeds donated to the Feather River Rail Society to help improve the Western Pacific Railroad Museum and the Portola Railroad Days Planning Committee to help fund this event.
Folks who wish to ride the “Feather River Express” train should hurry, because the charter is filling quickly both in Premium and Coach class. There are a variety of prices being offered on several different private rail cars including dome cars, Pullman sleepers, lounge cars and coaches. Round-trip from Emeryville to Portola in coach is $248 and one way in either direction is $178. For locals taking the bus one direction and return by train price is $148. For a full range of prices and availability, visit www.traintrips.biz or call toll free 1-800 359-4870.
The Portola Railroad Days event includes an outdoor art and crafts show. City crews close Commercial Street to automobile traffic so that vendors and pedestrians can have free reign of the entire street for the weekend. Many local merchants host special sidewalk sales. There are many activities planned for the whole family to enjoy.
The Portola Railroad Days Planning Committee has started receiving vendor applications for the outdoor art and crafts show but says there is still plenty of room available. For information regarding vendor applications including food please visit www.PortolaRailroadDays.com or call Lorraine Wakefield for art and crafts at (530) 832-0446 or Pat Bridge for food vendors at (530) 836-0164.
March 29, 2011
Portola Railroad Days Planning Committee
P.O. Box 312
Portola, CA 96122
Media Contact Phones:
(530) 836-1083 Home
(530) 386-2969 Cell
E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: (530) 836-1904
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FEATHER RIVER RAIL SOCIETY
When the 80 year corporate life of the Western Pacific Railroad began ending with the merger into the larger Union Pacific Railroad, a group of WP employees and historians came together to form the Feather River Rail Society. Their goal was to preserve some measure of this unique and significant railroad. The WP had long been a force in the railroad industry far out of proportion with its relatively small size. Always a frugal and innovation operation (even, sometimes, in the face of bankruptcy), the WP had helped pioneer such important advances as diesel power, turbocharging, centralized traffic control, roller bearing-equipped freight cars, computerization and the use of concrete ties to name a few. These attributes had long earned the WP admiration among railfans and historians and its passing was widely mourned.
In 1983, the Feather River Rail Society was formed and quickly began laying plans for a permanent museum. The Union Pacific Railroad graciously donated several pieces of equipment to the city of Portola (including WP streamlined locomotive 921-D and Union Pacific Centennial locomotive 6946, the last built of the largest diesel locomotives ever made) and leased the WP’s Portola Locomotive Facility to the city for $1 per year. The FRRS became the steward for the new Portola Railroad Museum. In time, all equipment and the lease of the facility were transferred to the FRRS proper.
By the late 1990’s, the FRRS had assembled one of the premier collections of railroad history in the country focusing on a single railroad family. At that time, the society reevaluated its mission and rededicated itself to telling the story of railroading in America through the unique history of the Western Pacific and its corporate family, which included the famous Sacramento Northern interurban railroad, the Tidewater Southern Railway and the Central California Traction Company.
Today, the collection of the FRRS includes many unique and important items of railroad rolling stock, including Western Pacific 2001, a General Motors GP20 locomotive and the first of its model ever built; Western Pacific 805-A, a streamlined locomotive that is the last survivor of those built to pull the California Zephyr passenger train; California Zephyr dome-lounge car “Silver Hostel” and dining car “Silver Plate”; Western Pacific 501, an early diesel switching locomotive and the first diesel locomotive purchased by the railroad and such other rarities as a maintenance car used to build the WP line in the early 1900’s, a collection of railroad cranes and an unparalleled assortment of freight equipment. In addition, the FRRS owns a growing library of photographs and WP historical documents and has preserved several historic railroad structures, including the WP’s Portola Hospital and the Magnolia Jct. interlocking tower from Oakland, California.
The FRRS has become a vanguard for progressive historical preservation, even in the face of a shrinking economy and a location well removed from large population centers. We are one of the very few rail preservations groups regularly allowed to run our historic equipment on modern, high capacity railroad lines. Our Zephyr Project is one of the most ambitious rail preservation currently in progress in North America, with a goal toward recreating an entire and completely authentic 1950’s streamlined passenger train. The Western Pacific Historical Society, a division of the FRRS dedicated to historical documentation, holds annual conventions with an ever-growing attendance record and is the steward of an expanding archive of corporate documents and photographs. A complete rebuilding of the WPRM facility is in the works including restoration of the WP Hospital and the Magnolia Tower. The FRRS has also been instrumental in helping other museum organizations, including spearheading the complete relocation of the Golden Gate Railroad Museum collection from San Francisco when this group lost their home. In 2005, the FRRS joined with the Bay Area Electric Railway Association of Rio Vista, CA in completing one of the largest equipment trades in the history of the rail preservation movement. This trade helped both groups rationalize their collections in accordance with their established missions. This deal was widely hailed across the national preservation community and placed the FRRS as organization willing to innovate and break long held conventions in order to best preserve the history in its care.
THE FIRST SCHEDULED WESTERN PACIFIC PASSENGER TRAIN
IN THE FEATHER RIVER CANYON
August 22, 2010, marks the 100th Anniversary of the first through passenger train operated over the Western Pacific Railway, which made a stop at Portola on August 21, 1910 for the night. On Sunday, August 22nd , 1910 the first scheduled through passenger train departed for the run down the Feather River Canyon.
This first westbound passenger train was a 7-car Press Representative Special. This train departed Salt Lake City, Utah at 7:00AM on August 20, 1910, arriving Portola the next day. It then continued down the Feather River Canyon on August 21 , making a stop at Hartwell, which is now called Quincy Junction. Here a Quincy & Western Railroad special met the Western Pacific special and all passengers rode this train the five miles to Quincy for a celebration and parade. After re-boarding the WP train it continued westbound to Oroville. On August 22, 1910, the first passenger train ran on into Oakland.
The train arrived in Oakland running down the middle of 3 rd Street near Broadway which is now known as Jack London Square. The first through passenger train from Utah arrived at Western Pacific’s 3 rd Street Station promptly at 4:15pm amid the shrieking of factory whistles and crowds of people. Engineer Michael Boyle eased the train through the Arch of Triumph at 3 rd and Broadway and stopped in front of the Depot and reviewing stand. This train was greeted by thousands upon thousands of men, women and children standing on the street, on roofs tops, in windows, and atop telegraph poles to get the best possible view.
Western Pacific Vice-President C.H. Schlacks commented; “Our trip from east to west has been a continuous celebration”. All along the route hundreds gathered to cheer and give welcome. According to one eyewitness, a staff writer for the San Francisco Call, “The welcome which greeted this train is likely to never again be equaled”.
The trip was amazing with towns decorated, salutes fired, parades and brass bands were everywhere. Once speeches were made in Oakland a parade of welcome four miles long escorted the passengers and railroad officers to a banquet at the Claremont Country Club.
Lassen County Fair ~ (530) 251-8900 ~ Lassen County Fairgrounds ~ Susanville, CA
For information regarding: Tickets, Fair Schedule, Grandstand Events and Carnival – call the phone number above or www.lassencountyfair.org
* Miss Lassen County Pageant ~ Tuesday 8:00pm
* USO Show ~ Wednesday 7:00pm
* JDX Country Showdown ~ Thursday 7:30pm
* Auto Races ~ Saturday 6:30pm
* Demolition Derby ~ Sunday 6:00pm
* Carnival Every Day-Kiddies Day
* Joe Nichols Concert ~ Friday – July 22, 2011
* Coors Light Country Night ~ Sponsored by D & L Distributing
(click on image below to go to Lassen County Fair website)
LASSEN TRUE VALUE HARDWARE ~ 318 ASH ST. ~ WESTWOOD, CA (530) 256-3141
Download your free coupon good toward a $25 purchase, But, while you are here at Lassen True Value Hardware in Westwood, CA, do check out our latest sale flyer from True Value. … There are tons of great buys including:
BUY ONE – GET ONE FREE paint. through May 31, 2011! If you did not get a sale flyer, stop by the store and check out ALL the great buys like the 5 piece dining set including a 40″ round table with welded steel frames in a coffee colored powder coated finish.
Take a look at all the deals in our full color flyer. HURRY SALE ENDS MAY 31, 2011. See store for details.
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El Dorado County – Caltrans today announced that U.S. Highway 50 at Echo Summit is closed. It will remain closed for approximately two weeks, depending on weather, as Caltrans removes the damaged rock wall barrier and replaces it with a barrier that meets current safety standards while retaining the natural beauty of the original wall. All travelers from California’s Central Valley to South Lake Tahoe will be directed to use the alternate route. Highway 50 remains open for visitors to Placerville, Apple Hill and other locations as far east as Sierra at Tahoe Road near Echo Summit. Highway 50 will be open with no restrictions on Memorial Day weekend.“Travelers to South Lake Tahoe can enjoy the scenic alternate route through the gold country of El Dorado and Amador Counties,” said Caltrans District 3 Director, Jody Jones. “The drive is a wonderful opportunity to get to see some of California’s historic countryside, rugged river canyons and vineyards on their way to experiencing the legendary beauty of South Lake Tahoe.”
Motorists should allow approximately one hour of extra travel time to reach South Lake Tahoe during the two week full closure. Alternate routes are in full effect. The alternate routes available from U.S. Highway 50 are:
• From Sacramento: Exit at Power Inn Road and take State Route 16 east to State Route 49 south, at State Route 88 in Jackson, turn left (east). Take that to State Route 89 and turn left again (north), and follow it back to U.S. Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe.
• From Placerville: Exit at Missouri Flat Road and take State Route 49 south. Follow it to State Route 88 in Jackson and turn left (east), At State Route 89 turn left (north) and follow it back to U.S. Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe.
Motorists coming through the Stockton area can exit State Route 99 as usual at State Route 88 east, continuing onto State Route 88/49. In Jackson, turn left to continue on State Route 88 east. At State Route 89 turn left (north) and follow it to U.S. Highway 50 in South Lake Tahoe.
Caltrans will place electronic message signs at key positions on all of these highways to direct travelers.
Caltrans has a web site (www.Way2Tahoe.com) featuring a map, up-to-date information about the project, information about the alternate routes and sites to visit along the way, live traffic cameras, and answers to frequently asked questions. There is also an e-mail alert feature, allowing the public to sign up for project updates. Web site visitors can also track the project’s progress via Twitter (@Way2Tahoe) and on Facebook.
The closure is part of the first stage of a safety enhancement project that will remove damaged rock walls and replace them with a barrier that meets current safety standards. The project is funded in part ($1.9 million) by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). California has obligated nearly $2.6 billion in Recovery Act funding to nearly 1,000 highway, local street, and job training transportation projects statewide. For more information on the
Recovery Act visit: http://recovery.ca.gov/.
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR AN EMERGENCY?
By: Brian Wilson
State Farm® agent
Every year we face possible disasters – wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and winter storms. If a disaster strikes your home, are you and your family prepared? Do you know where important documents, medications, and essential supplies are in case you have to evacuate? Do you and your family know how you would get out of your house? What you would do with your pets? Where you meet each other, if you get separated? Do you have a single point of contact you can call to let others know you’re safe?
If not, now is the time to prepare. Don’t wait until faced with a disaster to begin thinking about emergency preparations. No matter what potential disaster you might face, there are basic items everyone should have in their emergency kit:
Battery-powered radio (don’t forget extra batteries)
Non-perishable food items and a manual can opener
Important family documents in a waterproof container
One complete change of clothing and sturdy footwear
These items should be in a backpack or other easily portable bag that is stored in a safe place for quick retrieval. Each family member should have their own kit. At least once a year rethink your kit and replace batteries, food and clothes.
In addition to an emergency kit, be sure your family has an evacuation plan and communications plan. Every member of your household should be fully aware of what to do and where to go in case of an emergency. Additional information on being prepared for a disaster is available from emergency assistance organizations or at statefarm.com.
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St. Elizabeth Community Hospital & Red Bluff Round Up ~ Tough Enough to Wear Pink
Feather Falls Trail Emergency Closure – U.S. Forest Service Emergency Warning
Plumas National Forest – The Feather Falls trail is closed until further notice as a result of significant damage to two trail bridges. A combination of snowload, wind and rain are responsible for causing a top to break out of one tree and another to be uprooted, both subsequently falling on the structures. Because of the serious safety hazard, visitors are asked to stay out of this area until the repairs are complete.
For further information please contact the Feather River Ranger District at :
(530) 534-6500 or visit 875 Mitchell Ave. Oroville, CA 95965.
Courtesy US Forest Service
THE PEOPLE OF PLUMAS
Proudly Present the
HARLEM AMBASSADORS TOUR
The internationally-acclaimed Harlem Ambassadors will be visiting Plumas County for a game at Feather River College on May 10th 2011 at 7pm.
The Harlem Ambassadors offer a unique brand of Harlem-style basketball, featuring high-flying slam dunks, dazzling ball-handling tricks and hilarious comedy routines.
The Ambassadors feature non-stop laughs and deliver a positive message for kids ( stay in school and stay off drugs! ) wherever the Ambassadors play. “At our shows, we want the kids to know that they’re part of our team too,” Coach Ladè Majic said. “We invite as many kids as we can to come sit on the bench, have a front row seat during the show, and get involved in all of the fun stuff we do.”
The Ambassadors set themselves apart from other “Harlem-style” basketball teams by working with local not-for-profit and service organizations and holding Harlem Ambassadors shows as community fundraising events. For the Plumas County event the Ambassadors have partnered with Eastern Plumas Chamber of Commerce, Quincy Chamber of Commerce, Soroptimists International of Portola, FRC Athletic, FRC Foundation and FRC Rodeo and Greenhorn Guest Ranch to help raise funds for promoting fund raising events and scholarships.
For More Information Contact:
Audrey Ellis at Eastern Plumas Chamber of Commerce
(530) 836-6811 email@example.com
TICKET PRICES ARE : IN ADVANCE $8
AT THE DOOR : $10 per person
Lassen National Forest snowmobile and ski routes will be off-limits to wheeled vehicles from December 26, 2010 through March 31, 2011. The roads where wheeled vehicles are seasonally restricted from traveling are identified on the recently-published Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) that are available at Forest offices and on the Forest website. This year, the Forest added 275 more miles of seasonally restricted roads to protect more ski routes. These restrictions stem from concerns for both resources and visitor safety.
As Forest Supervisor Jerry Bird explains, “The wet weather we get during the winter softens the ground and roadbeds, increasing the chance of wheeled vehicles getting stuck and causing damage.” The ruts created by wheeled vehicles in the snow can also result in hazardous conditions for snowmobilers and skiers. “We are working to provide you with a safe and rewarding winter recreational experience on your National Forest,” added Bird.
Violation of the road and trail closure is not only dangerous, it can be costly. It could mean a fine of up to $5,000 for an individual, $10,000 for an organization, and imprisonment for not more than six months. Violators could also bear the cost associated with repairing damage to trails. Visitors are reminded that the use of any motorized vehicle is prohibited in designated wilderness areas.
The Forest has six major designated snowmobile areas that offer more than 400 miles of groomed trails. A weekly groomed trail report to keep snowmobilers apprised of conditions will soon begin posting to the Forest website. Funding for snowmobile trails maintenance and grooming comes from the State of California’s Off-Highway Motorized Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division. According to Public Services Officer Christopher O’Brien, “This funding allows the Lassen to maintain one of the largest groomed snowmobile trail systems in California.”
Snowmobiling on Lassen National Forest snow routes can be a great and fun experience. However, snowmobilers are reminded to ride safely and to respect the rules of the Forest. The following are some suggestions:
Always check the weather forecast; never ride alone; make sure you tell someone where you are going and when you will be back; obtain a map of your destination and determine which areas are open to snowmobiles; ride only where permitted and respect private property; wear a helmet, eye protection, and other safety gear; respect the environment and try not to disturb wildlife; and always use common sense and courtesy when on the trails. Keep in mind that in the event you become stranded, it’s best to stay with your vehicle since it’s much easier to find a vehicle in the Forest than a person on foot.
Additional information about maps, restricted areas, or current conditions may be obtained by visiting the Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/lassen, or by calling the following:
Almanor Ranger District (530) 258-2141
Eagle Lake Ranger District (530) 257-4188
Hat Creek Ranger District (530) 336-5521
Forest Supervisor’s Office (530) 257-2151
Watch for great deals on hotels, dining, adventure and more at mountainvalleyliving.com
Biz Blog November 2010
FALL FESTIVAL A SUCCESS; CHRISTMAS AROUND THE CORNER
It was a huge success, the first Fall Festival in Westwood. The Westwood Area Chamber of Commerce did an outstanding job bringing our community and vendors together for this fun filled event. Now the chamber is getting ready for “Christmas In the Mountains” and evening celebration which will include a visit from the jolly old elf himself, the lighting of the Christmas tree, along with vendors, sleigh rides and bonfires at the Walker Mansion, music and more old fashioned fun spread out from the visitors center to the community center under the Paul Bunyan statues. Get ready for the light parade also held that evening in downtown Westwood. For float information, call 530-256-2800.
Mountain Meadows Mead - Peg Fulder pours samples of their organic honey wine at the Fall Festival across from the winery in westwood
SHARING A THANKSGIVING FEAST
Country Villa Riverview Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center will celebrate Thanksgiving by gathering patients, their families, and staff for a festive meal, according to Administrator Robert “Steve” Hendrickson. The facility kicked off the season with a Halloween Carnival for kids, complete with haunted house, games and prizes, and of course Trick or Treat!
CONSIDERING A CAREER IN NURSING?
Beginning the first week of November Country Villa Riverview will offer classes for new Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA). Call for dates, and registration. Class size is limited.
HOT OFF THE PRESS!
Margie’s Book Nook in Historic Uptown Susanville has all the latest 2011 calendars, and they’re perfect for gift giving! Speaking of gifts, check out their unique children’s puzzles, and other well-made toys for tots!
PLUMBING OR HEATING PROBLEMS AFTER HOURS? MADDEN’S GOT YOUR BACK!
No automated answering machine here! Judi Madden of Madden Plumbing and Heating in Quincy says when you have trouble, they’re on it 24/7. Now that’s what I call service!
OH TO BE A SIZE 0!
Then I could fit into the great deco jeans at Sierra Style in East Quincy! Not to worry though, owner Ken Whitaker has racks of jeans, and other women, men’s, and children’s clothing in every size. Did I mention the prices? Talk about a wow factor!
COAXING BUSINESS TO JOIN THE CHAMBER
If you own a local business, joining the chamber of commerce stands to help both your business and your community of businesses. The Red Bluff/Tehama County Chamber of Commerce has some fun plans for their new membership drive. They are inviting new members and of course their members to bring potential new members to a wine tour. They have rented buses for the New Member Wine Tour November 13th to take 60 wine connoisseurs on a tour through the Manton Wineries. The cost is $15 for chamber members or $10 if you bring a potential chamber member. Sign ups are available at redbluffchamber.com.
SEARS: EARN POINTS FOR EVERY DOLLAR YOU SPEND!
It’s easy! Just sign up at your local Susanville or Red Bluff Sears store, or on line for “Shop Your Way Rewards.” It’s free, and you can redeem your points at Sears. Kmart, Lands’ End, The Great Indoors, Sears Auto Centers, and MyGofer. You can even get weekly bonus offers for extra points; join My Sears Community for product reviews, and chances for more points; and earn your way to VIP Membership for exclusive benefits! Now that’s a way to make your budget stretch further!
NEW FASHIONS & OLD FAVORITES
Something new is happening at Ayoobs in Quincy. No, it’s not owner Charlotte Smith that has had the business since 2007, and who also owns Smith Financial Services for accounting, bookeeping, and payroll. It is the new management of Charlotte’s grandaughter Ashley Stevenson. Ashley has added younger styles to freshen the environment of the store, but not to worry, you’ll still see lots of your old favorites for missy and women shoppers. Add to that lots of new fashion boots and shoes, as well as fall and winter clothing arriving daily. For the working, and sporting man, they will continue to carry all your favorite clothing, and boots. Computer savvy? Visit them on Facebook!
It has been quite an adventure since the beginning of Mountain Valley Living Magazine and the launch of mountainvalleyliving.com. I was so nervous when we printed our first run of 5,000. We now go through 10,000 magazines per month and have been consistently getting over three hundred thousands hits to our website each edition. We have embraced some great adventures and faced some tough times, but we have never lacked for readers and interest in the publication. We are the only publication in Nor Cal and Nevada that serves the people who live in the rural, “old west” towns Nor Cal and Nevada and those who enjoy visiting or look forward to relocating to a rural community in our Sierra Cascade region. Our website allows us to reach way beyond the colorful pages of our magazine.
We represent rural communities and promote the events that make our small towns unique. We explore lifestyles and adventures in the North State and into parts of Nevada, and now with great pleasure we enlarge our territory to include Red Bluff and Tehama County. This grand old ranching area well represents the old west ways our magazine strives to help preserve. I must say I have been nervous every time we have made a big move, and every time, it has proven to bring even more readers. Again with some nervousness, I approached the Red Bluff market. On my first day out meeting the community and the business owners, I ran into two separate locations where the person I was speaking with had lived in the same small town that I do! (I love it when I get confirmation like that!)
We are here for the locals who live in the communities we serve and we are reaching out for potential visitors from our neighboring areas. With travel trends showing folks are staying within a 400 mile radius these days, we are all about encouraging locals and travelers to get out and enjoy the communities, the special events and the outdoor activities that make mountain valley living so appealing. With home and garden in the center of life in the great outdoors, we enjoy showing off great ideas, projects and recipes. We hope you’ll share yours!
We invite you our readers to become part of your community magazine. We greatly appreciate all the excellent photos and story ideas we get from our readers. Let us know where some of your favorite spots are in our grand Sierra Cascade wonderland. Show us your innovative home projects or share a great recipe. We’d love to hear from you!
Eileen Majors, Publisher
I witnessed a couple of really cool events again this week, the kind that leave you wondering. Always having been a believer of the words “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,” I count it quite lucky to see someone sowing something cool. That’s what happened today, more than once, thus more than cool.
Our designer Teresa and I were in a local retail store when we spotted a gentleman buying several sets of matching outfits: our wild imaginations just knew they were for quadruplets! We couldn’t resist; we hollered across to the man, ” How many babies are you buying for?” He quietly murmured, “We just buy for ones that don’t have,” as he quickly scurried his tall stack of clothing to the counter for check out. He seemed perhaps embarrassed by the notable crowd who now knew of his good deed. I, however got to see that goodwill spread. Within minutes, as if his generosity had been contagious, I saw one of the others who had been in the listening crowd slip much-needed money to a man with terribly torn shoes. I began to reflect on all the good I had seen in this one day.
Earlier, taking kids to school, I watched as parents and kids rummaged onto school grounds; the bell rang. Soon I saw a couple dart up and open the doors for one youngster who was obviously late. Knowing the couple, I teasingly offered, “Oh, late to school today, huh?” “No, that was our neighbor kid we found running to school,” the man said. “He said he forgot to set his alarm; his parents don’t even wake him up or feed him breakfast.” This caring young couple now knew the needs of their neighbor child. Just a few minutes earlier that morning I had watched a young mom send off her two young kids to school with hugs and a reminder, “Now remember, if you can help somebody, help them and if your teacher needs help, help her.” I got to thinking, what if everyone started the day thinking like that? I imagined further, “what if every good deed done really is a good deed spread?” Perhaps it is. As we kick off the season of holidays and the season of need for many, may the good deeds spread!
By Melissa Wynn
Melissa | Mountain Valley Living Magazine
Dr. Webb and Staff
On behalf of the residents of Chester, MVL would like to welcome Dr. Brent Webb DDS to our community. Dr. Webb recently purchased the practice that he still shares with long time Chester dentist Dr. Hugh Eltgroth DDS. Before setting up shop at 211 Laurel Lane in Chester, Dr.Webb proudly served our Greenville neighbors for five years after ten years of practicing his successful trade in Quincy. Previous patients will be happy to know that charming registered dental assistant Rachael Goings joins Dr. Webb in Chester. Dr. Eltgroth’s lovely ladies Vicki Francis (dental assistant), Debbie Gibson (registered dental hygienist), and Lynne Nielsen (registered dental hygienist) continue to provide their services with smiles as well. New to this friendly neighborhood house of dentistry is the lovely Nicole Marceau (dental assistant) and the cheerful office receptionist Karen Grossjan that keep the ship sailing smoothly behind the desk. So the saying holds true: make new friends and keep the old, for one is silver and the other is gold. The office is open 8-5 weekdays with Dr. Webb in Mon-Wed and Dr. Eltgroth Thur-Fri. Appointments can be made during business hours at 530-258-2201.
Local Youth Conservation Corps a Success
Susanville, CA – The Lassen National Forest hired a four-person Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crew this summer to work on Forest projects. Due to declining budgets and other work priorities, the Lassen has not had a YCC crew for many years. When an opportunity came to apply for program funding this year, Forest Fire Chief Lorene Guffey volunteered to manage the program, and Forest staff selected the projects.
Once funding was secured and project work was identified, the hiring process started. After the random selection process was completed, successful applicants were Larrisa Clark, Sean Domondon, Alex McConnell, and Kelsey DeRose. All of the enrollees are from the Susanville and Janesville areas. The crew started June 7 and worked until July 30. During that time, the crew built fence around wildlife guzzlers and campgrounds, learned how to split cedar rails, removed ladder fuels to lessen the impact of wildfire, installed erosion control barriers, and completed trail maintenance on part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). On another project, they were joined by the Tribal Youth Conservation Crew from the Susanville Indian Rancheria to repair the entry fence at Camp Ronald McDonald.
When the crew was asked what made the biggest impression on them, Domondon said he “enjoyed building the fence at Willow Lake where they had to cross the river several times.” He went on to say, “It was hard work, but we got it done.” Clark liked working on the fence around the wildlife guzzler. The fuel reduction project stands out for McConnell, who said “I liked seeing the difference in the area after we removed the ladder fuels.” DeRose stated she enjoyed doing trail maintenance on the PCT. As a hiker herself, she could appreciate the need to keep the trail safe and in good condition.
All crew members agreed they valued the opportunity to learn about the variety of resource management activities of the Forest Service because it gave them some ideas for possible careers options.
“The program would not have been successful without their crew supervisor, Mo Suarez,” Guffey said. “Suarez’s primary job is range management on the Eagle Lake Ranger District, but his Ranger was willing to loan him for the eight-week program. His knowledge of the Forest, resource management, and how to safely and effectively get projects accomplished made my job easy,” Guffey added. Suarez got a lot of satisfaction from teaching the crew how to safely and effectively work on the different projects, including how to use the variety of tools needed for their completion.
The Youth Conservation Corps is a summer employment program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Forest Service and by the U.S. Department of Interior – both Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service. Since 1970, the YCC program has operated as a work-learn-earn program for youth as provided for in Public Law 91-378, 1970, as amended.
The three main goals of the YCC program are: 1) to accomplish needed conservation work on public lands; 2) to provide gainful employment for 15 through 18 year old males and females from all social, economic, ethnic, and racial classifications; and 3) to develop in youth participants an understanding and appreciation of the nation’s natural environment and heritage.
The YCC program is designed to prepare America’s youth for the ultimate responsibility of managing the nation’s natural resources for the future.
Osprey Overlook Trail Re-Opens
Mural’s Facelift Complete
Susanville, CA – Nearly a month after its closure, the Eagle Lake Ranger District on the Lassen National Forest has re-opened the Osprey Overlook Trail to visitors. The area had been closed to ensure the safety of both the public and the contractor during restoration of the water tank mural. Scaffolding platforms had been in place that enabled local artist Janet Fraser Dickman to reach the tank and complete the restoration of the ten-year-old mural. Additionally, because the paint Fraser Dickman used dries quickly, it was imperative that she not be interrupted during the work.
Fraser Dickman used 190 custom-mixed colors to restore the Osprey Overlook water tank mural. She enjoys creating public art and says she got “carried away” with this mural. “This is kind of my Sistine Chapel,” Fraser Dickman admits, but she also points out that because of the water issues and the sweating concrete of the tank, it’s the trickiest mural she’s worked on. Murals require regular maintenance as they weather due to exposure to elements such as wind, sun and moisture.
Funds for this project are courtesy of the Lassen County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) via Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000. Funds from this Act benefit resources on national forest lands or private lands adjacent to national forests. If you have any questions about this project, please contact Resource Officer Julia Everta at (530) 257-4188.
By Melissa Wynn
On behalf of our staff and all our forest dwelling readers Mountain Valley Living would like to thank CDF and their noble firefighters that risk their lives on a daily basis to protect our beautiful woodland home. One year after the September 2007 Moonlight Fire devastated the residents of Indian Valley I visited several areas in the burn area with Jason Moghaddas, former Fire Ecologist of the Mount Hough Ranger District. My tour was an eye-opening education in the seriousness of fire preparedness and the importance of maintaining a defensible space around our homes. Flames from the Moonlight fire were visible from my own front porch on the day the fire started and I am eternally grateful to the brave men and women that protected my Westwood community from the suffering endured by the many Indian Valley residents that still have charred and barren areas near their homes. In July of 2008 the heroic CDF crews fought the Rich Bar fire between Hwy 70 and Hwy 89 and saved the historic mining community of Seneca that was a huge part of childhood and is the resting place of my father. Once again I was so thankful for the hard work and sacrifices made by the CDF staff. I sometimes called CDF four or five times a day to check the status of the Rich Bar fire and was always treated with kindness and sympathy by a helpful and informed lady on the other end of the line. She even came to know my voice and called me by name, letting me know she genuinely understood my concerns. From the telephone to the forest fire front lines the employees of CDF go above and beyond the call of duty. Acknowledged and appreciated CDF, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!