Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation Newsletter - April-May 2016

South Main Park Shrimp Feed Saturday May 9th
Saturday May 9th at the Sutter Creek Native Sons Hall - 56 Main Street, Shrimp Feed Kick Off Party fundraiser for the South Main Park.

Hosted by the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation and the Native Sons of the Golden West. 

Limited Tickets available for recipients of the Newsletter. After April 7th we will open up sales to the general public. Please contact Frank at or 209-267-1003 if you would like to purchase tickets. 

Tickets are $40 per ticket. The dinner includes: French Bread, Salad, Pasta, Shrimp and cocktail sauce with a bowl of ice cream after the dessert auction.

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P.O. Box 24 
Sutter Creek, CA 95685 
(209) 560-6880 

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Foundation Updates
Eureka Mine Artifacts:The Board was presented with the opportunity to keep a great artifact in Sutter Creek.  The Board approved the purchase of the shotgun and strong box originally from the Eureka Mine.  The shotgun and strongbox will eventually be on display at the future museum at the Sutter Creek Grammar School. 

The Sutter Creek Grammar School:
We are just a few months away from the main downstairs room becoming available for public use again.  The City of Sutter Creek has adopted standards for the use of the space.  Recently the walls received new plaster and will soon be painted.  We are now working on increasing the the water pressure for the downstairs bathroom.  We suspect that over 100 years in galvanized pipe the interior diameter of the pipe may now be the size of the pin head.

Miners' Bend Park:
As you have likely seen while driving by the Park, the concrete wall separating the park from old 49 has been completed.  We are now working on raising funds to cover the concrete with native rocks.  The park will be graded next week to remove old asphalt and allow us to begin installation of walkways and landscaping.  The first order of engraved bricks was placed and we anticipate that the commemorative brick walk way dedication will take place in May.  Completion of the Park is on course for September of this year.

Miners' Bend Park Brick Sale
The Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation invites you to participate in Sutter Creek's new Miners' Bend Historic Gold Mining Park by buying a personalized engraved brick in the Commemorative Pathway. You and your family will not only provide financial support to the Foundation and help finish this park, but you will cement your place in Amador County's gold mining history forever.
The work at Miners' Bend Park at the South end of Sutter Creek continues. By now you have probably noticed all the mining artifacts that have been placed at the South end of Main Street. Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation has been working hard to make this historical project a reality and now are building a brick walkway that you can be a part of.
The SCCBF's goal for completion of this park is
September of 2016. The Park will feature over a dozen displays telling the story of Amador's roll in the California Gold Rush. Work is being done on interpretive signage that will give visitors a brief history of the gold rush in Sutter Creek and Amador County, with historic photos and descriptions of each artifact on display.
The SCCBF would like to thank all those who have donated time and money to help make this project a reality. The Donor Brick Campaign will help them complete the park. Purchasing a brick is the perfect way to commemorate loved ones, promote your business or organization, honor a special occasion, or find that special gift. Remember, your brick purchase is tax deductible. Buying a personalized brick helps the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation preserve our cultural heritage in Amador County. To order, visit . For more information please call Frank Cunha at 209-304-9192.
Artifact history
The park's centerpiece, a 5-Head Stamp Mill that was built at Sutter Creek's Knight Foundry in 1882 and donated by the Louis Boitano Family, is being rebuilt and installed at the park.
A replica of a head frame with a winch, motor, mine shaft and an ore car, or skip as it was called, has been erected next to the park entrance. The Skip was donated by the descendants of the John (Jack) Tone Family and was used in his mine in the Rail Road Flat Mining District.

Poem By JOE H. CUSANOVICH, June 1920
Reprinted in the Amador Ledger - Thursday -
February 4, 1937
Sutter Creek, the town where I was born,
Our home still stands, though muchly worn.
It's many years since we moved, I must say,
Though memories I'll quote in this zig-zag way.
Memories are flashing in leaps and bounds. 
With me, you'll agree, as you read my rounds.
I'm not a poet - that I'll confess
So you'll forgive, if I make a mess.
The creek we call "Sutter" runs through the town,
Its waters gougy, smugy and a mucky brown.
Flowing through Sutter's roaring mills
Though a foaming, snowy white, from the upper hills.
Dear old Tucker Hill where I flew my kite,
With China Lantern in the dark of night.
Flying kites to me was sublime;
Spent all my money buying twine.
Up the big barn where swallows built nests of mud,
How we would sling-shot them just to hear the thud!
Why, we baked frogs that we never ate,
And out of mud, biscuits we'd make.
Down below the graveyard where the big creek turns,
Gathering Johnny-jumpers, maiden-hair and ferns;
Spearing wood from the Sutter Bridge,
And gathering mushrooms on the Butcher ridge.
Of fallen autumn leaves bonfires we'd make,
What blending colors gathered by rake.
Old brass and copper we sold for five cents a pound;
For old pots and kettles we scoured the town.
Up the slaughter house, waiting for the kill,
How pigs squirmed, munching for swill.
Poor old ox would fret and tremor,
While poor sheep died without a murmur.
The creek that runs from the Mahoney Mill
Where I gathered malginum with my turkey quill;
Spanish Leandro, gentle and old,
On queery scales would weigh my bed-rock gold.
The two tall poplars with ivy entwined
Where birds flocked to nestle at night time;
The canary and the linnet we called "red-head:,
What a pity, how we'd shoot them dead.
Birds that we tried our hardest to kill,
Woodpecker, blue jay and butcher bill,
The goldfinch of little boys very shy,
Always built their nests on high.
Doves that I shot with my twenty-two.
How good they tasted in a Mulligan stew!
Red Robin, grey squirrel, even Bobolink
Stewed - good as anything I can think.
My first jack-rabbit I shot with a gun
How surprised! I did it on the run.
Of course, I'll admit that made me glad,
But poor rabbit had lumps; then I was sad.
Hunting snipe with candle and sack makes me snicker,
For that's how they grave-yarded poor city slicker.
At deer hunting he surely was a crack
They now call him "hound-dog Jack".
Cotton-tail and jack-rabbit ne'er had much chance
When Johnny Zaro hunted on the Truscott ranch.
The game warden sure though he was gay,
How we made him follow - we only shot blue jays.
One gathering pitch from a dry pine tree,
We found the hive of the honey-bee.
Of barley sacks we quickly made a trap
And got them home without a mishap.
Free cherries at Downs', if we didn't break the twigs,
We climbed like clowns and ate like pigs.
Memories like these can't escape one's mind,
For kids always remember those who are kind.
Father Maloney, a kindly priest,
Took us to Sanderson's for a picnic feast;
For purses of a dime, races we'd run;
By the collar he'd start us, - like shot from a gun.
Baldo and his horse I remember well,
Who never missed a funeral to toll the bell.
The peddler we called "Bunker Hill Sam",
His song "Ham and e-bacon, ax-andle and e-ham".
The time the butcher swore he saw a ghost
Dangling from the old Lincoln hoist,
Telling ghost stories around the stove at night;
Going to bed - we would cower with fright.
The big town fire we thought never would stop;
Frightened folks scurried to the hill top.
How our house trembled in the still of the night;
Miners were blasting with dynamite.
Fourth of July, the day of the year,
Anxiously waiting the "horribles" to appear.
The crackling of giant powder - July eve -
Houses would rattle and dishes would heave.
General Andro, who stole the Keystone gold,
Scaled fences, swam rivers, and got away cold.
Bandit Mitchel - now don't make a holler -
Forgive him; he gave us kids many a dollar.
"Joe Capello" of tug-a-war fame,
Went to the slaughter-house - on ox-blood would train;
Yet Slav Tony pulled him in jig-time,
And - they say Tony trained on foot-juice wine.
Big Nick, the clown of the town,
Would make you laugh - just by making a frown.
The old bachelor, we called Antone,
Ate tripe dinners at his cabin-home.
Old Lady Harval, always so tidy and clean,
When called for milk, gave us cheeny-poueen.
Poor He-Kee a harmless Chinese
Would give us punks so we would not tease.
Good old fashioned dinners - castradina, bacalara and wine
Sure made you hungry to sit down and dine.
How we cooled watermelons - that I must tell
In the old oaken bucket we dropped in the well.
At baby christenings, folks put it on fine,
With barbequed "cozlich - goat" stuffed with garlic and thyme;
Neighbors and strangers were welcome just the same,
To join the feast and drink to the baby's name.
The boys were surely in for their wine and beer free,
With cow-bells and tin cans they's shivaree.
If the groom was slow in delivering the "booze".
They bombarded him with old boots and shoes.
The dance music played by the two colored men,
Deed and Baker, with guitar and violin.
Shangarena was the popular dance
Yet alaman-left held you in a trance.
Strutting along, with his cane to guide him
We all knew kind-hearted blind Jim.
Right back of Soracco's where they foot-raced in
former year,
Remember Alex Dallas could run like a deer.
The dignified rooster, with reddish crown,
Followed Charley Booker all over the town.
Facing Main Street, sitting on the veranda.
Picture old lady Booker with a red bandana.
With stove-pipe hat and frock coat - no his name
wasn't Bob -
Maybe I have to mention I mean "Sam Cob" -
Two characters, both harmless, that I'll quote,
Yet we called one "Lamb" and the other "Coyote".
Hurdling hurdles down Lover's Lane,
"Rence" on his chestnut brown surely was game.
Up by Campbells, rings he would spear,
Just as easy as corralling a steer.
You know "Sutter" had its cave men in my days.
At night we locked windows so they wouldn't take
sister away.
Two, I remember and maybe you'll recall
Chinchilla-coat Johnny, and handsome Bart was tall.
Free shows at Howards, given my Paunee,
But oh; how he collected selling "too-ree".
Magician Revallo, most clever by far'
Yet we all liked handsome acrobatic Dunbar.                                           
Dear folks, unless you were a mate,
You'll find it hard what I'm trying to relate.
The day they raised the flog on the schoolhouse dome.
My pants were torn and had to stay at home.
School-marm Herman, noble and true,
Without dear "Ida", what would the kiddies do?
"Black-bird", without feathers or wing,
Oh my! With rawhide, how he would sting!
The dear maidens, comely and small, pretty and tall;
God is kind, so there is some good in all.
Sophie, Kate, Flora, Lillie, Rose and Maybell -
Pretty names, too numerous to tell.
 Smearing garlic, I'll admit was an awful shame,
Poor teachers kept us after school - who was to blame?
The tall lanky principal, with side-chops on his head,
When vexed, how he trembled - you wished you were
Pegging marbles with a spinning top,
To listen to her hum on the ground - we'd flop,
Kinky Petos - the minister's son,
Would grab our marbles and away he'd run.
The "B" Boys surely had it on us then,
We never would fight for they were ten.
Toby, Sox, Buck, Tragedy, Dusty, Big-Foot and Pie;
Funny how nick-names will cling till you die.
On Saturday, when there was no school,
Bare-footed, we'd go to Posts' swimming pool.
But when Posts' bull snorted and pawed dirt,
We did no swimming; no one got hurt.
Up to McKinleys for young mocking-birds, -
Such mocking whistling you never heard.
For gum we chewed pitch from the old bull-pine,
And we smoked the leaves of the sticky tar-vine. 
When the girls wore frizzes on their forehead,
Sisters kept me busy mooching tea-lead.
How times change when you look back!
Recall the old wooden boot-jack.
I'll never forget my first trip from home,
When I drove "roly-poly-general" to Ione.
Winters, frosty mornings, for me had no joy
How could I forget - I was altar boy.
I can see every street, corner and landmark,
And I can hear the song of the meadowlark,
The crackling of wild geese flying in another clime,
Just like marching soldiers, each one in line.
Ten mules driven by a single line,
Hauling logs to the old Wildman mine,
And when they drove wild cattle through the town,
No one could be seen with a reddish gown.
Balmy summer evenings when the air got punk,
Some one hollered "I smell skunk".
The burning of sulpherates would almost make you
When the wind carried that putrid sulphide smoke.
Animosity amongst nationalities - there was nothing
like that
Just one happy family, including cousin Jack.
Italians and Slavonians, Irish and Jew
Of most every nation we had a few.
Waiting for the stage and "Post Office" never fail.
What excitement! Though there never was any mail.
The "letter-drum" we'd turn from A to Z
Hoping to find a misplaced "C".
Every evening when the sun went down, Alas!
We could hear the hee-hawing of Allen's "jack-ass",
The clanging of mule bells, now muchly out of date,
Still I can hear Trudgen coming late.
That familiar noise going "ca-plunk, ca-plunk",
When pumping water from the old town pump.
That "rat-a-atat-tat" of the old town band,
What music! We thought it was grand.
"Gum-a-gum" on his Jews harp was his game,
Whistling his tin whistle, I'll mention no name,
He could rattle "beef-bones" just like a coon,
While the town cobbles fiddled his Arkansas tune.
I feel related to every hill, tree and valley,
Even our neighbor "String-Bean-Alley";
While the pounding of the forty-stamp mill
Goes pounding through my memory still.
Such pounding, I simply can't unload,
It's because I was born on the "Mother Lode" -
Dear "folks". my poem or rhyme I hope you'll enjoy,
For they're fond memories of "A-Sutter-Creek-Boy".
SCCBF, PO Box 997, Sutter Creek, CA 95685