Month: July 2021

On The Shelf [7/22]

By Paul Guffin

Historical Doings in the Month of July
We are more than halfway through the month of July, and have celebrated one big July event. But, there were more.(All of this information was found on the internet, which is possible to achieve at the Downieville Library, using either the library’s computer or your own device via the library’s WiFi connection.)

July 1: Canada Day, formerly known as Dominion Day, commemorating the confederation of Upper and Lower Canada and some of the Maritime Provinces into the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867
July 2: 1788, Congress announced that the U.S. Constitution had been ratified by the required 9 states
July 3: 1608, Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Quebec
July 4: 1884, the Statue of Liberty was presented to the United States in Paris
July 5: 1946, the bikini made its debut at a Paris fashion show

July 6: 1885, Louis Pasteur gave the first successful anti-rabies inoculation to a boy who had been bitten by an infected dog
July 7: 1906, baseball pitcher Leroy R. (Satchel) Paige was born in Mobile, Alabama
July 8: 951, the city of Paris was founded
July 9: 1868, the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, defining U.S. citizenship, prohibiting individual states from abridging the rights of any U.S. citizen without due process and equal protection under the law, and barring individuals involved in rebellion against the U.S. from holding public office
July 10: 1973, the Bahamas gained their independence after 250 years as a British Crown Colony

July 11: 1804, former Vice President Aaron Burr killed Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel
July 12: 1817, philosopher Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts
July 13: 1985, Live Aid Concerts, raising funds from famine relief in Ethiopia, were held in cities around the world,
including London, Philadelphia, Sydney, and Moscow
July 14: 1789, the fall of the Bastille occurred at the beginning of the French Revolution
July 15: 1099, Jerusalem was captured and plundered by Christian forces during the First Crusade

July 16: 1969, Apollo 11 Lunar landing mission began with liftoff from Kennedy Space Center at 9:37 AM
July 17: 1859, Puerto Rican patriot Luis Munoz-Rivera was born in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico
July 18: 1947, President Harry Truman signed an Executive Order determining the line of succession, if the president
becomes incapacitated or dies in office; this eventually became the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1967
July 19: 1848 (and July 20) a women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York, marking the beginning
of an organized women’s rights movement in the U.S.
July 20: 1969, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong took the first step onto the moon, proclaiming, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”

July 21: 1898, Guam was ceded to the U.S. by Spain
July 22: 1933, Wiley Post became the first person to fly solo around the world
July 23: 1952, Egyptian army officers launched a revolution, changing Egypt from a monarchy to a republic
July 24: 1783, Simon Bolivar (“The Liberator”) was born in Caracas, Venezuela
July 25: 1956, the Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the Swedish liner Stockholm

July 26: 1953, the beginning of Fidel Castro’s revolutionary “26th of July Movement”
July 27: 1953, the Korean War ended with the signing of an armistice at Panmunjom, Korea
July 28: 1932, the Bonus March eviction in Washington, D.C. occurred as U.S. Army troops under the command of
General Douglas MacArthur, Major Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Major George S. Patton, under orders from President
Herbert Hoover, attacked and burned the encampments of unemployed WWI veterans
July 29: 1928, Walt Disney’s “Steamboat Willie” premiered
July 30: 1965, the Social Security Act Amendments, establishing Medicare and Medicaid, was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson
July 31: 1790, the U.S. Patent Office first opened its doors (the first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins of
Vermont for a new method of making pearlash and potash).

Update on Community Hall Renovation

At the Downieville Improvement Group (DIG) meeting on Tuesday, July 13, Bryan Davey from Sierra County Planning/
Public Works spoke to the group about the progress made on applying for Prop 68 funding of improvements for the
Downieville Community Hall.

Davey explained to the group how the grant application requires solid documentation of the matching funds demanded (20 percent of the total cost) to qualify the project for a grant. DIG’s donation of $70,000 will meet this figure and the County has prepared a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) certifying the money will be available to cover 20 percent of the project’s costs.

This MOU was placed on the Consent Agenda for the July 20th meeting of the Board of Supervisors and during their August 3rd meeting the Board will recognize DIG for their generous contribution to the project. Six years ago, when DIG sponsored the first Brewfest, their goal was to raise money for work on the Community Hall. It’s nice the group will be able to take a bow on August 3rd. Accolades for their support of the Community Hall will be even greater when the project is completed, late in 2022, if all goes according to plan.

A Celebration of Don Marshall’s Life

Donnie never wanted a funeral—he wanted a party. So a
party he will have. A party in honor of Don ‘Donnie’
Marshall’s life is planned for Saturday, August 14, 2021,
between 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. at ‘Don and Laura’s house’ in
Sierra City. Refreshments and food will be served, no utensils
will be provided (because Donnie didn’t believe in them). All
are welcome to celebrate this fantastic man.

Letters to The Editor [7/22]

Got Beef?
Each week I look forward to reading The Mountain Messenger, but the “Cattlewomen Ride Tall in the Saddle” (6/10 edition) story stunned me. These ladies are allowed to go into the schools and encourage children to eat beef. Extensive, objective research has shown regularly eating red meat and processed meat can sharply raise the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, particularly colorectal cancer.
And coronary heart disease is the largest cause of death in the U.S.

The schools should not be an extended marketing arm of the beef industry. Instead, the schools would be far better served by having dieticians teach the children eating habits and the knowledge to make wiser choices in their food and drink selections.

With love to all,
Dick Kazan
Palo Verdes Estates, CA

Calling All Local Artists

The Sierra City Improvement Group is soliciting local artists to draw and design artwork that will be placed on street banners up and down Main Street welcoming folks to our historic community. We would like the artwork to include local historic buildings, area attractions and/or items that identify importance to the Sierra City area.

Please submit your artwork for consideration to or so we can gather
the ideas and put them to a vote. The winner gets a free T-shirt from this year’s car show but ultimately, the greatest reward is the satisfaction knowing that you have contributed something wonderful to your community!

The deadline for submissions is August 31, 2021 – we hope you will consider helping promote and improve your
community. These banners will help brighten up the town and provide a more welcoming atmosphere to all!
Thank you and we look forward to seeing some great ideas and artwork!

Jim Westfall
Sierra City Improvement Group.
Sierra City, CA

Sincere Appreciation

On behalf of the entire Marshall Family I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the first responders, community members and the Doctor that just happened to be in the Sierra Country Store (and I never got your name!) for all that you did for Donnie. The kind words, hugs, cards, food, crazy stories I had not heard before…it all meant so much to me—to us. You will never be forgotten, ever. I am so proud to call Sierra County home and it is

because of all of you.
Laura Marshall and Family
Sierra City, CA

The Secret Life of a Country Wife

Part 8 of Where Two Rivers Meet: A Matter of the Mother Lode By H.A. Silliman

Promptly at eight o’clock a.m., Sally drove up in her white Subaru Outback for our trip to Red Eagle. It was Thursday. Richie and the kids were off to school after delivering the Ledger. Before we left, Sally checked on Mack Boyd, and then she and I piled into the car. She brought along a Thermos of hot coffee for the hour-long, twisty drive down Highway 49. As the roadway is narrow and attracts Sunday drivers even on weekdays, one needs to be alert. We drank coffee while chewing over facts.

“If Barbara was supposed to be golfing most days, I can’t see how she could stand this road,” I said.

“I suppose if you have an unpleasant husband then a getaway would be a huge relief and rejuvenate—more time away from a bad situation,” Sally suggested, and then described how she had been kept awake at night trying to figure out what had been going on between the Wyders. We considered the many angles we already knew—Don’s drinking, money issues, her possible affair, his obsession with finding gold: they all counted for something.

About an hour later, we came down the hill into Red Eagle. A touristy-trap town, the little stores are in buildings that had been an old lumber camp. Shingle-sided shacks now painted in festive colors—bright green, red, blue—lined the highway. The stores cater to valley folks. While the men play golf, their “little ladies” go shopping.

Red Eagle sports three antique shops, several heavily incensed stores selling candles and crystals, and with airy
music tinkling in the background; there are two dress shops, a place that offers very expensive backpack and outdoor gear, a land office and the post office, a bakery, two cozy cafes, plus a bookstore. All-in-all, the typical fare in the typical Gold Rush town—only useful if you need to buy a birthday gift—still, cheery like Disneyland Main Street.

Beyond town, lay the Red Eagle Golf Course. The course sits on a forested ridge above the Empire River. The links
wend their way among tall Sugar Pines and outcroppings of granite—a spectacular, one-of-a-kind scenery. Early on, the property served as the playground for wealthy lowlanders who came to soak in the warm springs onsite and relax at the massive-timbered Red Eagle Lodge. Over the decades, the lodge passed down through a succession of owners. It has been a chautauqua venue, a prep school and an alumni retreat of a private university. Then, some valley developers snapped up the acreage and created a members-only golf course and club. Locals are welcome if they can plunk down the very hefty membership fees.

We turned onto the property and passed newly-built condominiums—cottage style, with Victorian architecture— red metal roofs. Very cute, very expensive. Red Eagle has gentrified and citified, more Knott’s Berry Farm now than Old McDonald’s Farm. A beautiful spring morning in the Mother Lode, a host of golfers could already be seen swatting on the links. We went inside. The café bustled, the air heavy with freshly brewed coffee. Men sat in little clutches around tables. They eyed us with a bit of interest—or suspicion. Sally waved back, as if she knew them.

“They’re not going to intimidate me,” she whispered. A group of lady golfers—just one table—chatted on merrily. If anyone would know about Barbara’s doings here, they would. Then Betty Norbert, who knew we were there to visit, came dashing in and hastily escorted us to the back offices.

“Your café looks lively,” Sally commented as we settled into our chairs. “How’s business?”

“Doing well,” Betty said. “Most members are retirees. They eat here a lot. The rest are folks who come up for the weekend or vacations. The owners only solicit memberships to people making over a hundred grand a year or whose net wealth is above $2 million. You have to prove it with bank records. Very exclusive. Too posh for me, but it’s a job!”

Sally got right to the point. “So that means that Barbara Wyder must have been really well off. The membership
couldn’t have been her husband’s.”

Picking up a sheaf of papers, Betty studied them. “Since I just started working here, I’m still learning the system. Barbara joined two years ago. Paid cash for the membership. She pays $200 a month for a golf cart. The entire account is active and up-to-date since it’s on autopay. All of last year, she paid for golfing lessons at $60 a pop. She had three a week.” Betty broke off, flipped some more pages, “Wow. Here’s the charge sheet for the food. Her café bill ran about $300 a week.”

She stopped again. “A lot of drinks—and each time, she’s paying for meals for two!”

“Is she paying in gold nuggets?” Sally joked. “When was the last time she ate here?”

Betty studied the papers again. “April 3 is the last charge. No recent fees for lessons, either.”

Sally and I glanced at each other in disbelief. Richie had said the last time he’d seen his mom was just after Thanksgiving—and then his father said she’d gone to visit her parents back east. The mine accident that killed Don had happened in mid-April.

After Sally related this timeline Betty mused, “So, she was golfing here after Don said she’d left town. She stopped
coming to the club not long before her husband died.”

“What is the billing address for her credit card?” I asked. Shuffling through the account papers, Betty said, “Here in Red Eagle—1873 Marshall Way. That’s those condos down at the entrance.” She stopped. “And I’ve seen that address elsewhere.” Betty pulled up a screen on her computer. “Here it is!” she exclaimed. “That’s the same one that Gavin Stallard uses—he’s one of our golf pros!”

Writer H. A. Silliman grew up in the Gold Rush country and
now lives in California’s Outback country on a small ranch with

a dog named Bodie. You can read the first two installments of the
anthology, As Happy As Sutter and The Mystery of The Saints, at Copyright © 2021.