Wednesday, December 12, 2012

10 Steps to Establishi​ng a Local Historic District

Dear Readers,

You may know that we have historic districts in Amador County and may be familiar with them, but many may not understand what had to be done to create those districts, or what it takes to maintain an active district! I thought this link provided an easy explanation of the process and  couple of useful ideas on keeping a district vital. For all of you preservation activists, "Preservation Nation" is an interesting and helpful web site from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is, "... the nation’s leading voice of preservation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is focused on saving America’s historic places. These are the places that tell our stories, offer unique and memorable experiences today, and promise a vibrant future for the generations of tomorrow."  Speaking of story-telling, don't forget the eager group of Cedric Clute, Bonnie Evans, and Keith Sweet who are re-invigorating an Oral History Program. For more information, or to tell your story, please contact Keith at or 209-419-3770.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

TSPN INTERVIEW: Keith Sweet, Amador's Oral History Project

Jackson City Council member Keith Sweet talks with Tom Slivick about the Amador County Oral History project as well as the current status of renovations at Vista Point.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Oral History Program instigated by the Amador County Historical Society

Oral History Program to begin immediately under the chairmanship of Keith Sweet, Jackson city council-member and newly elected board member of the Amador County Historical Society.(ACHS)

The ACHS at its meeting on the 15th accepted a presentation by Keith Sweet, Cedric Clute and Bonnie Evans regarding their efforts to re-institute a dormant oral history program that was once active in the county. Larry Cenotto was also a member of the committee, and his untimely death has only reinforced the understanding that many memories of our counties past history are as yet unrecorded for our future citizens use and appreciation. Jim Guidi of KVGC Radio is also a participating member of the committee and has offered technical assistance.

 The ACHS will host all recorded interviews on their website and will provide 501c3 status to the project in the event of contributions to the project.

The first project completed by the committee has been to scan and place over 100 previously transcribed interviews on the ACHS web site. These can be viewed at

The name of the project, mission statement and goals are as follows:
2 Mission Statement is  CAPTURING THE PAST FROM THOSE STILL PRESENT                             
A. Gather memories of Amador County long time residents via recorded interviews (pre-1960ish)
B. Preserve those stories and historical snippets for generations to come.
C. Organize prior historical interviews and surveys
D. Make all information accessible to interested parties utilizing, library, museum, web site, etc.
E. Enlist as many volunteers, both adult and student, as possible.

Individuals who would like to participate or who need more information are asked to call Keith Sweet at 209.419.3770 or Jim Guidi at 209.223.1340

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Preston Castle Dickens Fair - Dec 1 & 2

Preston Castle Dickens Fair
Saturday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 2, 10 am to 4 pm

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth, so help celebrate on December 1st and 2nd at the Preston Castle.  The Dickens Fair will be a step back in time to the Victorian era.  The centerpiece of the event is a holiday bazaar.  Many vendors will be on hand to display and sell their arts, crafts, jewelry, baked goods and other gift items.  Listen to carolers singing Christmas songs, as you buy your Christmas tree and gifts. Santa will be there, starting at Noon each day. So bring your kids to tell him their Christmas wishes and take photos with Santa.  Also, this is the end of the Castle tour season.  For the last time this year, take a tour of the historic Preston Castle. There will be no “Bah, humbug!” at this event.

The Dickens Fair is free.  Tours are $10.  For vendor information, contact Yvonne at 408-858-9183 or Anna at 916-233-8443. For general information,, call 209-256-3623, or email:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Gold Rush Trail: How the 49er's Came to the Gold Diggings - Sat Nov 10

Frank Tortorich, a fifth generation Amador County resident, retired educator, Pioneer and Gold Rush historian, scholar and author will be speaking in on Saturday, November Nov. 10 from 2-3PM at The Methodist Church on Main Street in Sutter Creek. Frank's topic will be The Gold Rush Trail: How the 49er's Came to the Gold Diggings.

Frank has spent over thirty years studying Early California, Pioneer and Gold Rush history, published books, is a Forest Service historical consultant, and has been a featured speaker at numerous Pioneer History conventions and events around the western states.

This is a unique opportunity to learn more about Gold Rush History and is free to all. Please contact the Sutter Creek Visitor's Center for more information: 209-267-1344 or Dennis Price: 304-0892

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sierra DAR: Pearl Harbor Memories of a Navy Wife - Thurs Nov 8

The Sierra Amador Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) will hold this November meeting 3:00 pm, Thursday, November 8th, at the Church of the Nazarene, 14050 Ridge Rd, Sutter Creek. All are also invited to join our tea at 2:30 pm.

DAR November Meeting: Pearl Harbor Memories of a Navy Wife
11/8: In honor of Veterans' Day, Barbara Reid will share up-close and personal memories of events in Hawaii and their impact on family members during and after the Bombing of Pearl Harbor.  The Community is invited to join us for lunch and to hear Barbara speak.  Barbara's husband was stationed on the USS Arizona, while she was living at Waikiki.  Now 94, Barbara will describe these personal experiences.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Preston Castle Halloween Haunt - Oct 19-20, Oct 26-27

Friday, Oct. 19, Saturday, Oct. 20, Friday, Oct. 26, Saturday, Oct. 27, starting at 6:30 pm

What you’ve been waiting for!  Experience a mystery haunting at the strikingly eerie Preston Castle in Ione. Visitors will be guided by the spirits of the wards who lived there.  It will be a safe, fun, and somewhat scary evening.  Special activities for kids.  Our third Haunted Castle event will be even bigger and better this year.  Four nights this year over the last two weekends of October.

Adults - $20, High School and younger students with ID - $10.  Fun fair/carnival for children under 10: $5

For more information and photos visit, or call 209-256-3623.  Tickets available online and at Clarks Corner and Curves in Ione, and the Celtic Knot in Jackson.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sierra DAR presents Rex Ruth as "Sam Adams" - Sat Oct 13

Noted author and speaker, Rex Ruth, brings history alive as "SAM ADAMS" in Sutter Creek Saturday, October 13th, at 1:00. Sierra Amador Chapter of the DAR hosts this presentation at the Church of the Nazarene (14050 Ridge Rd.)

A book signing opportunity will also be provided by Rex, author of: Blood, Fire and Faith; How Freedom Became a Country.  The community is also invited to participate in the 12:30 pot-luck luncheon which precedes the 1:00 meeting.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

October Means Harvest Faire in Ione- Sat Oct 13

Harvest has begun in the vineyards and soon will occur in local pumpkin patches, in anticipation of Ione Business and Community Association’s Harvest Faire. The day will include a Pumpkin Contest, Scarecrow Contest, Chalk the Walk, Dog Costume Contest, and Vendor Booths on Saturday, October 13th, starting at 8:30 am in downtown Ione. Events occur all day long and festivities conclude at 5 pm.

The Pumpkin Contest promises to be bigger than ever, as seeds were distributed several months ago to all interested pumpkin growers. Of course the Biggest Pumpkin will win and Weirdest and Best Decorated/Carved are the other categories available. The largest cash prize is $1,000 for the adult with the biggest pumpkin and $500 for the kids’ category. Awards at noon and 3:30 pm; pumpkins may be picked up at 4 pm. If you choose not to take your pumpkin home, your pumpkin will be donated to Preston Castle’s Halloween Haunt.

Chalk the Walk takes place on both sides of Main Street, on the sidewalks of downtown Ione. Chalk is provided and the event is free to all who wish to display their artistic talent, as long as your knees can take it. Prizes are awarded to Kids, Adults and Groups.

The Scarecrow Contest has many ways to participate: classrooms, kids, adults or groups. Classrooms build their scarecrow in advance, and it will be delivered for judging the day of the Harvest Faire. Individuals build their own scarecrows starting at 9 amthat day, and compete for cash prizes. Up to $500 in awards will be distributed. Scarecrows will be on display throughout downtown Ione through Halloween.

The Dog Costume Contest is the chance for your best friend to shine. Categories are: Scariest, Prettiest, Most Festive, and Looks Like Owner. Mike and Cherie Flores of Gold Country Pet Resort are conducting this event. Check-in is at 10 and awards are at 1 pm. Gold Country Pet Resort also plans a Canine Demonstration at 2 pm.

Vendor booths will fill the parking lot by City Hall. You will be able to buy pumpkins, arts and crafts. If you are interested in taking a space, contact Skip Schaufel, committee chair, at 274-4905.

For more information:
Pumpkin Contest, Elmer Rohde, 217-6210
Chalk the Walk, Bill Thiry, 559-3686
Scarecrow Contest, Megan Taylor, 223-1485 x255
Dog Costume Contest, Mike Flores, 223-9663
Vendor Booths, Skip Schaufel, 274-4905

Monday, September 17, 2012

Free and unique Gold Rush History session at Minnie Provis Park - Tues Sept. 18

Frank Tortorich, a fifth generation Amador County resident, former teacher at Amador High School, Plymouth School Principal, Assistant Superintendent of Amador Schools and one of most recognized authorities on Pioneer History in the Western United States will be giving a special history inservice to Sutter Creek Visitor Center Docents and any Sutter Creek Residents that wish to attend. 

Frank has been studying and researching Early California, Gold Rush and Pioneer History since 1978.  He is the "on-call" historical expert for Cal Trans, an interpreter/researcher at Sutter Fort, works for The El Dorado Forest as an expert historian, has written several books, but best of all he is great story teller and is fun to listen to.

Please meet Frank at Minnie Provis Park at 5:15 on Sept. 18. and your friends family and friends are invited, too.  Frank will keep his talk to 30-45 minutes.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mark Your Calendars: Tailing Wheels meeting - Tues Sept 11

Hello All:

Just a reminder that our next meeting is Tuesday, September 11 at 4pm in the Jackson Civic Center. An agenda will be sent to you on Friday.

Keith Sweet

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reprints of the Amador Record "Special Mining Edition - 1897" now available

Reprints of the Amador Record "Special Mining Edition - 1897" are now available from the Amador County Historical Society.  This Special Edition was made possible by the Ledger Dispatch and is being sold to support history projects in Amador County Copies are $20 and are sold at the Ledger Dispatch office and also online at the Historical Society's web site at via PayPal.

Friday, August 10, 2012


The Demolition of the oldest part of the Depot is to Begin Saturday 8/11/2012 in the AM.

The Martell Amador Central Railroad Depot in Martell is being torn down. Currently under ownership of Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI), The demolition began this morning with five workers. The dis-assembly of the building is being done so as to salvage as much lumber from the building as possible. The warehouse portion of the Depot came down first.

Built in 1905 and operated under the Eastern & Ione RR, Amador Central RR and the Foothill RR until about 2002, the building has been falling into disrepair. Once a predominant structure in Martell, It served freight and Passenger line service from the Jackson and Sutter Creek areas to the Ione Depot where passengers and freight were linked to the Central Pacific, Southern Pacific, and later the Union Pacific railways for destinations further down the line.

It was through this station rescue teams from the east side of the Rockies traveled in a heroic attempt to save the 47 miners trapped in the Argonaut Mine disaster.

The Amador Central Depot will be remembered for it's historical link from our Foothill homes and lumber mills to the Cities to the west.
The historic Amador Central Rail line still exists between State Highway 88 at Ridge Road Near Martell to the Ione Depot. The line is owned and maintained by a partnership of the Amador County Historical Society and the Recreational Railroad Coalition and Historical Society.
The Ione Depot is currently being rescued from demolition in Ione under the efforts of the City of Ione and the Amador County Historical Society.