Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation

Mardi Gras Party & Cajun Cook Off
Saturday February 7th, 2015   
6:30-10:30 at the Sutter Creek Auditorium
Proceeds to: Historic Sutter Creek Grammar School Renovation
Sponsored by Manassero Insurance
www.suttercreek.org or209-267-1344

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If you are interested in helping with general maintenance and small improvement projects at the Historic Grammar School, please email Tim Murphy at Tim@sccbf.org to be added to the contact list.
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Contact Us
P.O. Box 24 
Sutter Creek, CA 95685 
(209) 560-6880 

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Historic Photos
See Historic Photos of Sutter Creek!
General membership renewal letters will be mailed out this December 
Board Members

Letter From Chairman's Desk 
Dear Friends,

        As our second year draws to a close, we'd like to share with you what we've accomplished these past months as well as some of the exciting things we are looking forward to.
  •        Our website is fully up and running thanks to member Bob Greene.
  •        With the help of Foundation members Claire Gusselman and Liz Tone our Facebook page has been updated.
  •      The final plans for the South Main Park and Gold Mining Display have been completed and have been submitted to the City for approval.
  •      We had an information booth and raffle at the annual Sutter Creek Chili Cook-Off.
  •      We are continuing to gather alumni contact information for the future Sutter Creek Grammar School Alumni Party.
  •   Look for our float at the Sutter Creek Light Parade on December 13th, 2014.
  •     Join us at the 4th annual Mardi Gras.
      Our main project at this time is the restoration of the Historic Sutter Creek Grammar School. A hugely successful yard sale was held September 20th, with all proceeds going towards the restoration. Items that were left from the sale have been donated to Operation Care, Veterans Victory Village and Interfaith Thrift Store.  

      A committee has been appointed by the City Council to access the condition of the building. Overall the building is structurally in good condition. Clean up and demolition has already begun, with removal of the stairs in front of the building and the stairway leading to the second floor. A request for bids has been sent out for replacement of the stairs and repairs to the bell tower.

      Next on our agenda will the repairing and replacing of windows, addressing the heating and air condition systems, bathroom remodel, exterior and interior painting and refinishing the floors.

      Our biggest challenge for this project will be raising the estimated $200,000 that is needed for the restoration. Community and member support has been generous but there is still much to be done. We are presently working out the details for the Historic Grammar School Capitol Campaign Kick Off in early 2015 and will keep you informed as plans move forward. If you or someone you know would like to help with the Capital Campaign, work on the grammar school restoration or any of our other projects, we could sure use your help! Please contact either myself at 209-304-9192 or any of the other board members listed on our website.  

      Your enthusiasm for the creation of the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation and its goal for preserving our history have been both inspiring and rewarding. Together we will make a difference.

SCCBF Chairman, Frank Cunha
For questions or comments, please email me atfrankc49@comcast.net or call 209-304-9192
Sutter Creek History Corner

Did you know that approximately 235 children were born on Nickerson Street between 1938 and 1953?  Betty Wiley's Maternity Home was located in the four bedroom home at 16 Nickerson Street. 

    Ms. Wiley was a midwife who was the primary caregiver for her patients.  A doctor would come to help with each delivery. One bedroom in the house was the birthing room, then baby would split time between the kitchen and mom, who would sleep in the other front bedroom.  Mom and baby would stay for 2 weeks after giving birth.    

    During those years Ms. Wiley was very proud of her record of never losing a mother.  The Amador County Hospital opened in 1953 the same year that Betty Wiley's Maternity Home hosted it's last baby.  Legend has it that one of our Board Members, Louis Boitano was the last child born in the house.

    This information was provided by Alan Bierce, a resident of Sutter Creek, husband of another Board Member, Helen Bierce and also one of the 235 children born at Betty Wiley's Maternity Home.  If you were also born here or know more information about the Maternity Home please contact Alan Bierce at alanhelen82@gmail.com.
Building an Endowment through Planned Giving

     In order to ensure the long term viability of Historic Sutter Creek and our Organization's mission, a well funded endowment is ultimately necessary.

     A financial endowment is a donation of money orproperty to a not-for-profit organization for the ongoing support of that organization.An endowment is structured so that the principal amount is kept intact while the investment income is available for use, which allows for the donation to have an impact over a longer period than if it were spent all at once. An endowment also has stipulations regarding its usage.

      Planning now to make a gift after you are gone is a wonderful way to preserve Sutter Creek and create positive change beyond your lifetime. By endowing your gifts today, you can make a difference in your community during your lifetime and provide a gift that lasts forever. 

    If you would like to learn about the terms of our endowment please feel to contact Robert Gordon. We are also happy to structure an endowment that fits your own personal goals.

Robert A. Gordon   209.267.1685
Redkey Gordon P.C. redkeygordonlaw.com
105 Boston Alley
Sutter Creek, CA 95685

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Preston Castle Foundation’s Quest for the Deed is over!

IONE, CA:  Quest for the Deed? The Deed is Done! The Preston Castle Foundation is pleased and proud to announce that they have received the Deed to the Preston Castle and surrounding property, totaling almost 13 acres with 5 freestanding buildings.  This has been the major focus of the Foundation’s fund raising and preservation and rehabilitation efforts over the past several years.

The strikingly beautiful Romanesque style Preston Castle, on a hill in Ione, was actually the administration building for the Preston School of Industry, the first major attempt in California at rehabilitating, instead of just impris­­­oning, young offenders.  Opened in 1894, the Preston School of Industry became a leader in the juvenile prison reform movement by giving convicted boys a real chance at life by educating them not only in academics, but in all of the useful trades of the time.  Closed in 1960, when the Preston Youth Authority moved into a new administration building down the hill, the Preston Castle was left to deteriorate due to weather, vandalism, and general neglect.  It now serves as a vacant, but vitally important landmark for Ione, Amador County, and the Mother Lode.  It is a California State Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Originally incorporated as the Historic Preston Restoration Foundation in 1996, and renamed in 1999, the Preston Castle Foundation (PCF) is a California 501 (c) (3) Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation.
In 2002, the Foundation was successful in obtaining a 55 year lease from the State of California for the purpose of preserving, rehabilitating, and utilizing the historic Preston Castle site.  To help raise money for this important project, the Foundation has been sponsoring numerous fund raising events, historical tours, paranormal tours, event rentals, and soliciting memberships, grants, and donations.  Funds raised enabled much needed improvements to be accomplished, including a new roof, a new 4th floor, refurbished front porch, rebuilt windows, safety upgrades, and many items relating to structural stabilization.  Completing these projects satisfied key terms of the lease that would allow transferring ownership from the State to the PCF.  This prompted, in 2011, the Preston Castle Foundation Board of Directors, under the leadership of Carol Lipchik, Director, to begin their Quest for the Deed.  Carol and her committee put together a large binder with Business Plans, Budgets, Strategic Planning, a Core Historic Structures Report and the Vision and Mission of the PCF.  This book was used at a meeting with the landlord, the Department of General Services of the State of California, to officially ask for transfer of the deed to the Preston Castle property.

Carol and the PCF also began the difficult task of satisfying the State of California with answers to their questions on access issues and the feasibility of providing utilities separate from the State’s surrounding property.

This project could not have been completed without the expert help of several consultants.  Mr. Rob Aragon of Aragon Solutions helped answer utility questions.  Mr. Jay Radke with Nolte Engineering provided maps and plans and overlays for many presentations to State officials.  Mr. Matt Toma of Toma & Associates provided legal descriptions and boundary adjustments to the finalized 12.91 acre site.  Mr. Jim Rooney, County Assessor provided a valuation of the property for escrow purposes.  Mr. Malcolm White of Malcolm White Consulting helped with PG&E engineering leading to completion of dedicated electrical service.   Mrs. Renee Chapman-Mikkelsen helped with the writing and editing.  Mr. Mike Garavaglia of Garavaglia Architecture, worked with the PCF Board on Vision, Planning, the Core Historic Structures Report and National Significance reports for National Historic recognition.
Karl Knobelauch, PCF President stated: “During the eighteen year life span of the Preston Castle Foundation literally hundreds of volunteers have contributed thousands of hours in an effort to preserve the Preston Castle and its history.  That work has paid off with the Foundation receiving ownership.  The Foundation can now pursue more than just preserving the Castle. We can pursue the next big goal, rehabilitating the Castle.”
“I have been on the board since 2002.  It has been our dream to own the castle and the foundation has been working since before 2000 to achieve the goal of ownership.  It just shows with lots of perseverance things come to those who wait and work hard.”  Marie Nutting, Director and past President
“During all the negotiations, the Foundation Board continued holding numerous events for the community and tourists to enjoy while securing funds for permit fees and eventual utility costs.  Thank you to the leadership of all the Foundation Committees and volunteers and the community support that made it possible to say the DEED IS DONE!  On November 7th 2014 the Fee Title recorded from the State of California to the Preston Castle Foundation.”  Carol Lipchik, Director
2014 was a challenging year for the Preston Castle Foundation’s fundraising efforts, as several events and most of our tours had to be cancelled or significantly reduced due to restrictions from the California State Fire Marshal’s office.  With the Deed in hand, we can once again open the majestic Preston Castle to the public.  We are already working on our plans and schedules for 2015 and invite everyone to come visit, join the Preston Castle Foundation, make a donation, and/or volunteer to help.
Help Save the Castle and learn more about our history, events, and tours by visiting www.prestoncastle.com.  All contributions are tax deductible.