Annual Father’s Day Fishing Derby a Success

By Jim Johnston

Left to right: Sequoia Fadden (the youngest-ever winner of this competition), Raven Costa, and Hector Nevarez were winners of last Saturday’s Father’s Day Fishing Derby for young anglers.

(DOWNIEVILLE) – The annual kid’s Downieville Lion’s Club fishing Derby, always held on Father’s Day, was a huge success. Young anglers came from far and wide to test their skills. Thanks to the California Fish and Wildlife Department, a special planting of trout took place in advance of the contest. Fish ranging from eight inches to over four pounds were swimming in the frigid waters on the North Yuba River under the Courthouse bridge. The prize money for the derby was graciously provided by the local Lion’s club. The first place prize of $100 went to Downieville local three-year-old Sequoia Fadden for her 15 and 3/4 inch rainbow trout. Second place of $50 was awarded to Raven Costa for his 14 and 1/4 inch prize catch. Third place of $25 went to Hector Nevarez of Sierra City. Special thanks to Cindy at the Sierra Hardware Store for her generous donation of salmon eggs for the participants. Mike Galan was incredible in his ever so accurate weighing and measuring of the contestant’s fishy entries.

2022 Sweetheart of the Mountains Contest Concludes

By John Steffanic

Quincy Junior-Senior High student Hailey Crump has been officially announced as the 2022 Sweetheart of the Mountains by the PSCF Foundation. She and several other young ladies from Plumas and Sierra Counties applied for the scholarship by writing an essay on why small county fairs are critical to the communities they serve. All applicants had obvious connections with the Fair and offered some creative insights on its relevance to our communities. Miss Crump will receive a $500 scholarship to further her education and will fulfill the traditional duties of the title, including hospitality at and public representation of the Fair. The contest’s First Runner-Up is Adeline Taylor, who will receive a $250 scholarship and will represent the title if Crump is unable to.

The history of the Sweetheart of the Mountains title is long and rich. There have been interruptions and changes in format throughout the years, and 2022 is no different. With so much doubt as to what sort of activities would be acceptable, the PSCF Foundation decided to scale back all the fundraising and the live performance; along with the essay, academics and school involvement were considered in the process. Expect to see our new Sweetheart of the Mountains, Hailey Crump, welcoming visitors to the Fair at the front gate at various times. She and Adeline will be riding in the parade and representing the Fair at events throughout the week. The official crowning and introduction of the Sweetheart of the Mountains and First Runner-Up will take place at the County Fair’s grandstand concert by local legend Jake Jacobson on the evening of Saturday, July 30th.

Preservationist Demonstrates Gravestone Restoration in Downieville

By Carl Butz

The top half of the B.T. Eggleston gravestone as found in the Downieville cemetery Jonathon Appell, preservationist, when he visited the historic site on Monday, June 20th.

(DOWNIEVILLE) – Thanks to the efforts of Corri Jimenez and Jan Hamilton of the Sierra County Historical Society, Jonathan Appell of Atlas Preservation in Conneticut made the Downieville Cemetery one of the sites he is visiting during his current tour of graveyards in the lower-48 states.

As a result, this past Monday, from 9 AM to 3 PM, over 20 people (mostly from Sierra County, but also from Quincy, Sacramento, and Reno) were provided with instruction on the use of tools and materials needed to clean, repair, and reset gravestones.

For example, those in attendance – including local cemetery trustees, Dean Fisher (Downieville), Cheryl Durrett (Forest/Alleghany), and Jen Kennedy (Sattley) – learned much: how to remove lichens from gravestones with a biological solution, how epoxy does a wonderful job of adhering two pieces of stone when mixed with ground marble and secured with clamps while drying, how leveling a headstone is important to preventing future damage, and how the process of adhering can involve lead and wood spacers, epoxy, caulking, and, quite possibly, sturdy poles and a winch to lift hundreds of pounds of stone into place.

The Eggleston gravestone after being repaired by Dean Fisher, Trustee for the Downieville Cemetery District, during Jonathan Appell’s 48-State Tour of graveyards.

Annual Star Gazing Night at Packer Saddle!

By J. R. Blair

San Francisco State University’s Sierra Nevada Field Campus is offering free to the public The 33rd Annual Star Party, Thursday June 30, 2022 from dusk to the wee hours. Students of the Observational Astronomy class from the Field Campus will place their telescopes for your viewing pleasure atop Packer Saddle (above Packer Lake). See planets, galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, and stars of many colors.

To move around in the dark, please bring a flashlight covered with red tissue paper. Covered flashlights will allow your eyes to fully adapt to the dark. This will help you, and those around you, to see many more heavenly objects. Also please, please dim your car lights as you approach Packer Saddle to protect the night vision of others.

A New Cross for St. Thomas Catholic Church

(SIERRA CITY) – St. Thomas Catholic Church in Sierra City has a new cross atop its steeple. While working on the historic building in 2020, Rudy Rodriguez of Alpine Painting noticed the original wooden cross had deteriorated to the point that was in danger of crashing to the ground. He removed it, and the parishioners of Immaculate Conception Parish launched a campaign to fund a new cross. Encouraged by generous donors including Father Borlaug, a visiting priest with a special affection for the building, church members raised the money and initiated the project. They contacted Ace Welding in Grass Valley who created an aluminum replica of the original, and powder coated it to resemble wood. On Monday, June 13 the cross was raised to its lofty position, some forty feet above the ground, by contractor Bob Eiermann and his crew.

St. Thomas Church has had a rough history.The original building was built in 1881, but burned down a year later. A new structure was erected in another part of town in 1887, but it was demolished by an avalanche in 1890.The existing church was built in 1903, and stands proudly with her pristine cross reaching heavenward.

St. Thomas, located at 100 Butte Alley, Sierra City is a mission church of the Diocese of Sacramento. Due to a shortage of priests, masses are currently only offered there three times a summer.The remaining masses this year are scheduled for July 17 and August 21 at noon. (Submitted by Mary Nourse, Parishioner, 530-414-5161)