Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sutter Creek Fire History: Village Hook & Ladder

The Hook & Ladder Wagon is a reproduction of a style of wagon that was used by many small towns across the US.  They were generically called a Village Hook & Ladder Wagon, most were locally made by the town wagon maker and blacksmith.  It was used to carry the fire fighting tools of the day - Ladders, axes, water buckets, pike poles, grappling hooks, lanterns, rope, etc.


We know that Sutter Creek had a wagon of this type as it shows up on the equipment list for the fire department on the Sanborn Fire Maps.  Sutter Creek would have continued to use this wagon into the early 1920s when they got their first motorized fire truck.


Our wagon was designed and build by Wayne Orvick of Wood River Carriage Works in Bellevue, Idaho.  I have worked with him before on projects to restore other pieces of old fire equipment for Sutter Creek.


We are now starting to put old style equipment on the wagon.  This morning we put on some ladders and lanterns.  We will add more pieces over time.

The Hook & Ladder Wagon is currently being housed and displayed at the Main Sutter Creek Fire Station will we work toward restoring our first fire house on Spanish Street, where it will be displayed in the future.

Ed Arata





Monday, August 22, 2016

Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation Receives a Generous Donation for Their New Museum August, 2016

Many of you may know Rick Champlin because of his local landscape business, but he is interested in more things than you know! Rick and Nancy Champlin just made an amazing donation from their private collection to the new Sutter Creek Museum that will be housed in the historic Sutter Creek Grammar School.

Rick has a hobby of collecting some very unusual pieces, which include everything from Indian artifacts to Civil War relics to Gold Rush pieces, and everything in-between. He loves historical artifacts and has always been fascinated by the history of Sutter Creek.

Two of the pieces that Rick has collected along the way were just a coincidence that they both came from the Central Eureka Mine here in Sutter Creek. He actually acquired these pieces at different times from completely different areas. They weren’t even living in Sutter Creek when he bought one of them and it wasn’t until they moved here that he made the connection.

One is a Strong Box that was probably used to transport gold from the Central Eureka Mine. He found this piece in an Amador City Antique Shop fairly recently. It wasn’t even known that it came from the Central Eureka Mine until he got it home and cleaned it up to discover the name stamped on the top.  Rick had to work very hard with a locksmith to even get the box unlocked and opened, but after they were finally successful, the locksmith made a new key for it so it could actually be used again.

The other piece he found was a shotgun that also has Central Eureka stamped on it, but he found this piece down in Los Angeles at a Gun Show about 25 years ago.  He thought it came from the town of Eureka then, not Sutter Creek. It is dated between the 1890’s and the Turn of the Century. The Central Eureka stamp is clearly printed on the stock of the shotgun and looks almost exactly like the stamp on the Strong Box.

The Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation is very excited and extremely grateful to Rick and Nancy Champlin for their generous donation of these two amazing pieces. The SCCBF has been working diligently to restore the historic Sutter Creek Grammar School and one of the rooms is being designated for a Sutter Creek Museum. The Champlin artifacts will be prominently displayed to represent the historic Central Eureka Mine, which is still a landmark in Sutter Creek.

Web site: www.sccbf.org

Nancy and Rick Champlin





Thursday, August 18, 2016

Preston Castle Wine Tasting & Tour - Sat Sept 10

IONE, CA:  Taste the fine wines of Amador County and enjoy the aura of the historic and majestic Preston Castle.  Experience the history and feel the sensation of the past.  Attendees will sample fine wines, poured by 15 different wineries, from commemorative Preston Castle wine glasses.
Sip a glass of wine, enjoy a variety of gourmet hors d'oeuvres, and listen to live music on the patio where the food will be served, and in Wine Cellar where the wineries will be pouring. The up and coming band, After Hours, will be performing on the courtyard. Their unique selection of R&B, Jazz, and Funk will delight listeners in the audience as well as the dancers in the crowd.  Local favorite Manny Sosa will be providing wonderful wine tasting music in the cellar.  Also, you will be able to take a self-guided tour of the public areas in the Castle, where docents will be on hand to answer your questions.
This is the 12th Annual Preston Castle Wine Tasting and Tour.  It continues to be one of Amador County's premier wine events, and is always a sellout, so get your tickets now!
Participating Wineries include:
Amador Cellars, Bella Grace, Bray, Drytown, Karmere, Prospect Cellars, Scott Harvey, Sera Fina, Sobon, Story, Tanis, TKC, Terra d’Oro, Vino Noceto, Wine Tree Farm.
Tickets, $40, available online at www.prestoncastle.com
WHAT:        Preston Castle Wine Tasting and Tour
PRICE:        $40  (Advance sales only)
WHO:          Sponsored by Preston Castle Foundation
                    Jerry Funderburgh, Chairperson
WHERE:      Preston Castle, 900 Palm Drive, Ione, CA, 35 miles southeast of Sacramento, CA off Hwy 104 in Ione
WHEN:           Saturday, September 10, 2015, 3 pm to 6 pm
About Preston Castle Foundation
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 Motherlode.  It is a California State Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Mission of the Preston Castle Foundation is to preserve, rehabilitate, and utilize the historic Preston Castle site.  We are proud of the fact that the State of California has deeded the title for the Castle, four other buildings, and surrounding 13 acres of land, to the Preston Castle Foundation.  This year we are working hard to obtain our own water and sewer connections.  To help raise money for this important project, the Foundation sponsors several fund raising events throughout the year.
In addition to the upcoming Wine Tasting and Tour on September 10, we will hold the exciting ParaCon on September 16 & 17, the scary and spooky Preston Castle Haunt the three weekends prior to Halloween, Oct. 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29, and a holiday fair/bazaar called Olde Tyme Christmas on December 10.

Help Save The Castle, and learn more about our history, events, and tours by visiting www.prestoncastle.com.  All contributions are tax deductible.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

"Stiffed At The Speakeasy": Murder Mystery Dinner at the Preston Castle - Aug 12 & 13

IONE, CA:  Al Scapone - the Godfather of the infamous Scapone family and master criminal lies dead - gunned down in his own club! Word of this "hit" gets out and the whole balance of power in the city could be thrown into chaos.
Al's murder needs to be resolved - and fast - to restore the credibility of the family.
The question is: can the killer be found, or some scapegoat framed, before the end of the night?
Suspects include:

Ma Scapone - The matriarch of the Scapone family
Rick Otta - Al Scapone's right hand man
Francesca Pancetta - Opera singer
Toni Calzone - Scapone's muscles
Margarita Pizza - Scapone's ditzy niece
Nicky De'Lott - Scapone's accountant
Connie Chiglie - Scapone's girlfriend
Mickey Spirelli - Scapone's cousin
Enjoy dinner in the Preston Castle Courtyard and be part of the action as events unfold around you. Observe, ask questions, and use your super sleuth skills to figure out “who done it?”
A no host bar will have a nice selection of drinks available for purchase.
Limited to 100 tickets, each night. Saturday night’s performance may already be sold out.

Murder Mystery Dinner Party at the Preston Castle
Friday & Saturday, August 12 & 13, 2016, 6 to 9 pm
Price $45
Sponsored by Preston Castle Foundation
Victor Martinez and Kathleen Gast, co-Chairs
Preston Castle, Ione, CA
35 miles southeast of Sacramento, CA off HWY 104 in Ione
Friday & Saturday, August 12 & 13, 2016, 6 to 9 pm
About Preston Castle Foundation
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 Motherlode.  It is a California State Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
                                                  
The Mission of the Preston Castle Foundation is to preserve, rehabilitate, and utilize the historic Preston Castle site.  We are proud of the fact that the State of California has deeded the title for the Castle, four other buildings, and surrounding 13 acres of land, to the Preston Castle Foundation.  This year we are working hard to obtain our own water and sewer connections.  To help raise money for this important project, the Foundation sponsors several fund raising events throughout the year.  
Other fundraising events for 2016 include the Wine Tasting and Tour on Sept. 10, a Photographer’s Day on Sept. 11, ParaCon on Sept. 16 & 17, Preston Castle Haunt October 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, and 29, and Olde Tyme Christmas Holiday Bazaar on December 10.

Help Save the Castle and learn more about our history, events, and tours by visiting: www.prestoncastle.com.  All contributions are tax deductible.