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Newspapers are an important source of news, events and gossip concerning your ancestors. The smaller the community it serves, the more likely you are to find ancestor information in it. Listed below are Sierra County newspapers along with their histories and where copies can be found.

Unfortunately, the digitalization of newspapers is just beginning. So far as I have been able to determine (Jan.'13), none of the Sierra County newspapers have undergone that treatment. Following are some links to databases of scanned or digitized newspaper collections.

Please contact the Sierra County Coordinator if you have any questions, problems, corrections or new information regarding this website or its posted material. CAGenWeb Disclaimer.

COPYRIGHT © 1996-2015 by Richard L Hanson (Sierra County Coordinator) on behalf of the California chapter of The USGenWeb Project. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Site Updated: 26 June 2016

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California Digital Newspaper Collection

Online Historical Newspapers Website (California list)

Small Town Newspapers

The Bugle

History: A number of weekly issues were printed during the Fall of 1852 on the presses of The Mountain Echo. It was a Whig political party campaign paper.

Where to find it now: ?

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The Downieville Democrat

History: First issue appeared 10 May 1870, being published each Tuesday. In June the day was changed to Thursday. The last issue was dated 4 May 1971. It replaced by the Sierra Age newspaper.

Where to find it now: Available on microfilm at the California State Library in Sacramento.

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The Expositor

History: The first issue appeared 23 Aug 1882 in Downieville, being published on each Wednesday and Saturday. The last known issue was dated 18 Nov 1882.

Where to find it now: ?

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The Gibsonville Trumpet

(Also called the Gibsonville Herald because it was printed at the Marysville Heald print shop in Marysville.)

History: Started publication on 19 Nov 1853 at Gibsonville. A fire destroyed the earliest issues. After a new owner acquired the paper in 1854, he issued a supplementary edition under the title Gibsonville Herald and St. Louis News. It was delivered to St. Louis by special messenger. In the Fall of 1855, the newspaper was sold and the new owner moved it to La Porte and changed its name to The Mountain Messenger.

According to a letter from B. W. Barnes, 20 May 1893: Published in Gibsonville and distributed to nearby towns including La Porte (1854). Purchased in 1855 by two men (surnames Head and Myers) who moved it to La Porte and renamed it The Mountain Messenger.

Where to find it now: ?

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The La Porte Union

(formerly named The Quincy Union)

History: The first issue published in La Porte was dated 12 Dec 1868. Thirty-five issues were printed with the last published on 21 Aug 1869.

Where to find it now: On microfilm at the Plumas County Library in Quincy. As of 1972, some papers were also in the possession of the Cayot family in Quincy.

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The Mountain Echo

History: Started publication in June 19 of 1852 at Downieville. In the summer of 1854, it was purchased by the owners of the Sierra Citizen newspaper, who combined both publications.

Where to find it now: ?

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The Mountain Messenger

History: See the Gibsonville Trumpet (above) for its history prior to publishing in La Porte in the Fall of 1855. Accounts of its early history vary. One version says it changed to The Mountain Messenger in May 1854. But most versions say the name change occurred only after the move to La Porte. Another accout says the move took place in 1856 instead of 1855.

Ownership changed many times (being published by W. Y. Head on 15 Oct 1858). The La Porte fire of 1861 completely destroyed the newspaper office. But the equipment survived allowing it to quickly resume publication. In February 1864 the newspaper moved to Downieville, where it has resided to the present time. Another account says the move to Downieville occurred in March 1864.

Where to find it now: Still publishing in Downieville (313 Main, Downieville, CA 95936, phone 530-289-3262). Available on microfilm at the California State Library in Sacramento.

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The Old Oaken Bucket

History: A temperance sheet that was published weekly in Downieville from 4 July 1855 until the Fall of the same year. Publication ended due to lack of subscribers.

Where to find it now: ?

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The Sierra Advocate

History: Published from Jan. 1866 until sometime in 1867.

Where to find it now: Available on microfilm at the California State Library in Sacramento.

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The Sierra Age

History: Started as a semi-weekly in Downieville on 10 May 1871. In the Fall of that same year, the paper went bankrupt and was sold by the court to the owners of the Mountain Messenger.

Where to find it now: Available on microfilm at the California State Library in Sacramento.

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The Sierra Booster

History: Publication started October 1949 (every other Friday).

Where to find it now: ?

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The Sierra Citizen

History: Started publication February 1854 in Downieville. In the summer of 1854, the owner purchased the The Mountain Echo (see above). After that purchase, The Sierra Citizen became a profitable venture and changed owners many times. As of 15 Oct 1858, it was still in Downieville and being published by King, Harris and Wright. The paper went out of business shortly after March 1862.

Where to find it now: Available on microfilm at the California State Library in Sacramento.

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The Sierra County Enterprise

History: First weekly issue published December of 1895 in Downieville. Last known issues published November 1897.

Where to find it now: ?

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The Sierra County News

History: Published from Mar. 29, 1862 until Sept. 20, 1862.

Where to find it now: Available on microfilm at the California State Library in Sacramento.

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The Sierra County Tribune

History: Started publication on 8 Dec 1881 (or 1879?) in Forest City. Moved to Downieville two years later and was published there for ten years before being sold.

Where to find it now: ?

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The Sierra Democrat

History: Started publication 21 Jun 1856 at Forest City. Moved to Downieville in 1856. Became a semi-weekly in January 1864. The newspaper officer burned in the fire of 21 Feb 1864. The surviving material and equipment was sold in April to Dewey & Vaughn (who owned the Mountain Messenger newspaper) and the paper ceased publication.

Where to find it now: Available on microfilm at the California State Library in Sacramento.

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The Sierra Free Press

History: Started publication on 6 Aug 1880 in Forest City. Ended publication in December 1880.

Where to find it now: ?

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The Weekly Standard

(also known as The Semi-weekly Standard)

History: First published in Quincy. Moved to Downieville (first issue there dated 6 Apr 1864). Published each Wednesday. Became a semi-weekly on 27 Apr 1864. Became a weekly again on 17 Aug 1864. Publication ended in November.

Where to find it now: ?

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