Happy 135th, Sierra Sun
September marks the date 135 years ago that the first Truckee newspaper was published. Then known as the Truckee Tribune, later the Truckee Republican and now Sierra Sun, the paper has been in continuous publication for well over a century. The old girl still looks pretty good if you ask me. First started by J. W. Ferguson, the paper began publishing during the height of railroad development and the formation of this burg as a viable town. The salutation from Ferguson in the first issue included the following insight: “It shall be our endeavor to gather and compile all matters of local interest, and give them publicity through our journal, and with the thrifty and enterprising population that is around us, the field promises to be interesting, varied and fruitful. In after years, when the railroad will have been completed, this mountain home will be the resort of thousands of wealthy people from all parts of our noble country, to bask in our pure mountain air. Our lacustrine region, now little known, will become renowned, and the clear bosoms of Old Sierra’s Lakes, will be dotted with the snowy sails of hundreds, and thousands of pleasure boats, and the drives upon our lake shoars will be crowded with the noblest roadsters of the land. This may be regarded by some as day-dream, but we predict that the day is not far distant when our ideas will be realized, and it will be the object of the Tribune to place the facts necessary for the advance of ideas, before the public … the newspaper projects, and enlightens.”Ferguson’s vision was prophetic in many ways and the newspaper’s mission not much different than that of today. The Sierra Sun today endeavors to compile matters of local interest, provide facts and enlighten. Often we hit the mark. Sometimes we miss, but commit to keep shooting. (Perhaps shooting is an unfortunate choice of words after reading Gordon Richards’ historical look at two of the paper’s former editors in today’s edition [see page A7].)In an attempt to celebrate our rich history during the past year, we’ve pulled front-page news from our archived papers dating back to 1869 and re-set them in our Friday editions. It has been interesting to see the parallels of the news stories between then and now. Growth, development, new business, fire, drought, snow, transportation, recreation, tourism, the river and war have all been topics of front-page news over the years. History does truly repeat itself and has in every issue in every decade since the paper’s inception. Throughout time, one thing has remained the same though – this newspaper is local. Written by locals for locals about locals. It has and continues to serve as a venue for public discourse specifically aimed at the Truckee community and the connected region. It’s my belief that community newspapers serve a very important role in today’s society. They connect citizens with what’s happening in their community and deliver news that readers cannot find anywhere else. Local, local, local – it is our mantra. Community newspapers like the Sierra Sun exist to serve the local community and encourage discussion, participation and action. We also exist to tell the stories of the people who make up the fabric of our town. These stories cover refrigerators, fill up scrapbooks and make their way to friends and family in other towns. Stories about people are the essence of what makes a community newspaper unique. Local people have been at the center of this newspaper’s stories for more than a century and will continue to be as time marches on. We wouldn’t have it any other way.And next month we’ll celebrate a few local people in our special section called “Locals.” It’s one of my favorites and one of the reasons why running a paper in the 21st century or 135 years ago is appealing – it’s the people. So while I realize I am but a small moment in time in the long history of this newspaper, I am proud to be a part of such an epic local business. Happy 135th anniversary, Sierra Sun, and many more.Jody Poe is the publisher of the Sierra Sun.
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