Present-day upstairs office of The Mountain Messenger in Downieville
The Mountain Messenger began in 1853 as a twice-per-month publication. Its claim to fame is that Mark Twain once wrote for the paper under his real name, Sam Clemens. He was hiding from authorities in Nevada, where he had accepted a challenge to a duel after dueling had been outlawed. Since that time, not much has changed in the quaint gold rush town of Downieville; residents still rely on the now weekly newspaper for most, if not all, the local news. Threatened by its hometown's dwindling population and resources, The Mountain Messenger was poised to end its run as the longest-running weekly newspaper in California until new owner Carl Butz stepped in. Surrounded by the buzz of the media, Carl reincarnated the weekly paper, thus saving a piece of California history Downieville holds close to its heart.
Mary P. Johnsen
Proof Reader Par Excellance
Rae Bell Arbogast