Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Historic Sutter Creek Grammar School Renovation begins, seeks funding to complete tasks before Winter

Sutter Creek, CA, Aug 26, 2014 - This summer, the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation (SCCBF) and the City of Sutter Creek began the restoration of the historic Sutter Creek Grammar School on Fullen Street. When completed, it will house a community museum, Sutter Creek archives, and will be available to the public for meetings, events and other activities.

The SCCBF is setting out to raise at least $150,000 for the overall restoration. First, they will begin with the removal and replacement of the front porch and stairs, as well as renovation of the steeple, and other public safety issues. The SCCBF is looking to raise at least $50,000 immediately to complete these tasks before winter.

The schoolhouse is rich in Gold Rush history. The original wooden schoolhouse was built in 1856, but burned to the ground in 1870. The building you see today, a thirty-five by fifty-fivefoot, two-story brick schoolhouse was built in 1870 by a community-funded project of $10,000. Some 200 to 300 children from as far away as Plymouth and Latrobe attended the school each year. In 1896 the school district raised $5,000 in bonds to add the wings in the rear of the building. The school remained open until the early 1960s.
The schoolhouse, now on lease to the City of Sutter Creek and no longer used by the school district, was restored by the Sutter Creek Women’s Club in the 1980s and used as a community center until it was closed to the public. A few years ago, a small group of concerned citizens came together to raise money to save the school. In the past three years they have raised nearly $10,000 by holding three Mardi Gras Party & Cajun Cook-Off fundraisers. Some of these funds have been used to seal the attic. Earlier this year a committee was appointed by the City of Sutter Creek, which includes the original group of concerned citizens, to do a feasibility study, scope of work and a cost analysis for the renovation of the school.

In 2012, the SCCBF was founded as a not for profit organization under the umbrella of Amador Community Foundation. The SCCBF is dedicated to the restoration, preservation and development of Sutter Creek’s historic assets and to raising the funds needed for the projects. In addition to the schoolhouse, the SCCBF is currently working on a Park and Gold Mining display on South Main Street and a public plaza in front of City Hall, along with several other smaller projects.

“We are excited to see the schoolhouse being restored to its original beauty.” said Lisa Klosowski, one of the founding board members. “It will be wonderful to see this historic building being used again in Sutter Creek. I would love to see the Dance Classes and the Model Railroad Museum return. I would also like to see new uses, such as art classes and seminars being held for the public.”

If you or a loved one attended the school and have photos, stories, or names of other students, you are invited to share them with us. A “Scrap Book” history is being compiled, and will be a perpetual memory of the rich history of the schoolhouse. All donations of $250 or more will receive a copy of the “Scrap Book”.
Donors may participate in the renovation of the stairs, windows, doors and other projects through sponsorships and cash donations. “All of us at the Foundation are very passionate about preserving the history of our community, and we know there are many others that would love to be a part of this exciting project,” said Frank Cunha, board chairman for SCCBF. “We are hoping that folks will once again come together to save this wonderful old historic building by making a donation or sponsoring a specific project.” Volunteer labor and materials will also be welcomed when the project is under way. To sign up for the email list, please email

Pictured below are members of the Grammar School Restoration Commission cleaning out the interior of the building and also the removal of the front stairs. Also pictured is the dilapidated fire escape, which is slated for removal soon.

For more information please visit WWW.SCCBF.ORG

Deedie Calmes and Lisa Klosowski
Frank Cunha
Old School supplies
Front Stairs torn out
Fire Escape

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sutter Creek’s 16th Annual Ragtime Festival - Aug 8-10

Have you ever wondered what music teenagers of a century ago were listening to that drove their parent’s wild? Well, we have the answer. It was Ragtime and to catch that “feel young again” spirit, come and enjoy the 16th Annual Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival, to be held August 8-10, 2014.

Sutter Creek will be jumping again with sparkling solo sets, the festival extravaganza concerts, mixed sets featuring the talents of several festival artists, plus all the hilarity and good music spilling on into the After Hours sessions where there is always a surprise player or two.

   Do you enjoy silent movies on the silver screen? Well, we’ve got Frederic Hodges and Keith Taylor scheduled for a Silent Movie Night on Friday and On Saturday afternoon don’t miss Squeek Steele and another Silent Movie at the theatre.

How about Gala Festival Concerts? Two of those are planned that feature festival headliners. A “Future of Ragtime” concert is also planned presenting some pretty serious youth performers. Add in five, practically nonstop venues of solo, duos and groups all presenting the many moods of ragtime and you’ve got a festival not to be missed. There is even a pre-festival gathering “Wine and Nibbles” at Skunk Hollow, the Victorian home of Chip Lusby, 50 Gold Dust Trail in Sutter Creek.

The list of invited performers includes Elliot Adams, Patrick Aranda, Jack & Chris Bradshaw, Tom Brier, Amanda Castro, Michael Chisolm, Crown Syncopators, Kylan deGhetaldi, Robyn & Steve Drinon, Marty Eggers, Frederick Hodges, Carl "Sonny" Leyland, Edward Maraga, Larisa Migachyov, Stevens Price,Ragnolia Ragtette, Ragtime Skedaddlers, John Reed-Torres, John Remmers, Tim Rotolo, Saloon Sweeties, Ray Skjelbred, Squeek Steele, Monty Suffern, Bub & Petra Sullivan, Keith Taylor, Virginia Tichenor, and more! You won’t want to miss a note.

   Reserve your badge now through the Mother Lode Ragtime Society: 11310 Prospect Drive #10, pmb 12, Jackson, Ca 95642. Cash or checks only. “All Event” badges, as well as “Individual Day” and “Concert” passes, will be available at the door as well.
     So…Save the dates: August 8-10th and we’ll see you in Sutter Creek!
For more information call: (209) 405-1563 or e-mail:motherloderagtime@comcast

Ragtime fans

 Ragtime Skeedaddlers

 Patrick Aranda

 Town Square Harmonizers

 Squeak Steele

Stevens Price

John Remmers

Oral History Meetings - Aug through Dec

Dear fellow Amadorean interested in oral history:

Please place on your calendars for each month remaining in 2014 that the first Monday of every month at 10:45 there will be a gathering of like minded folks at the ACHS office on Main St. Jackson.

Should I fail to send out a reminder as I did last month, there will always be a meeting or things to discuss. Over the next several months, I hope to get some publicity for the program by utilizing the local media and possibly speaking to local organizations. I would like to involve all of you in this effort so if you can arrange to get us into a group or you can write an article for the paper, or go on the radio, please let me know.

We should be constantly looking for folks to talk to and for others to become interviewers. I would like for each of you to set a goal for the next 6 months as to how many people you will interview. I am going to try for one per month.

Recently, Pat Crew interviewed Dick Cooper (3hrs.) he did an excellent job./ Give it a listen (ok, at least part of it) Stan redkey has joined our group and he is excited to get going. he will be a great addition as has been Keith Davis. Between Pat, Keith and Stan, I suspect they know everyone in the county. Or at least those who went to school here.

We still have a lot of scanning to do in order to make the excellent high school student work we received from Keith Davis available to the public. This can be done in the ACHS office whenever you have a free moment.

See you on 8/4, 9/1, 10/6, 11/3, 12/1

Keith Sweet