Sisson Museum's History Night is Friday

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Sisson Museum board member Ned Boss thanks Derrel Fleener for his fine work on the new mural showing a visual timeline of the history of the city of Mount Shasta. The grand opening for this exhibit will be on Friday, April 4 from 6 to 9 p.m.

After a year of planning and work, the new permanent exhibit at Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum will have its grand opening during Friday’s History Night from 6 to 9 p.m.

Museum executive director Jean Nels said the new “Beauty and Wonder – Living in the Valley of Mt. Shasta” exhibit is the start of an ongoing project to collect photographs and record stories, both in writing and through oral histories, that will help tell the tales of Mount Shasta.

“It is these personal stories that make history come alive,” she said.

The effort to find creative ways of telling the town’s history from the 1850s to present was led by exhibit committee members Jim McChesney, Linda Siegel, Kevin Lahey, Chris Schneider, Kathy Morter, Bob Watkinson, Nancy Harmon, Judy Barnett, Donna Brooks, Ted Marconi, Leslie Marconi, Ned Boss and Nels.

The committee wanted to make a large part of the exhibit a visual timeline, said Nels, so they hired mural artist Derrel Fleener. He painted some of the main events of the town that occurred during six eras defined by the committee.

Fleener has painted murals at more than 24 different museums in California, including the Sacramento Railroad Museum and McClellan Air Museum, said Nels.

Photos in the exhibit show Main Street through the eras, as well as seven digital photo frames showing multiple images of events and people from those times.

The Museum’s Events Room will feature photos and stories submitted by community members that show their favorite memories of Mount Shasta.

History Night will include appetizers, beverages, raffles, and silent and live auctions.

Numerous local businesses contributed prizes for the raffle. Live auction items include an antique chair, antique desk set, case of assorted fine wines, quilt by Deborah Franzini, antique Seth Thomas Grandfather Clock, and Mount Shasta Resort golf membership package.

The evening will also feature a screening of a film about John Schuler climbing the mountain in the mid-1940s.

Schuler embarked on the journey because Ripley’s Believe It or Not had published a drawing of the old photo, which showed three people and Jump Up, the horse, posed on top of the mountain.

Many people wrote in to say the feat was faked, and it could not possibly have happened, explained Nels.

To prove that Mt. Shasta could be climbed with a horse, Schuler took a bronco named Ben Barr and a film crew up the mountain.

This film was recently rediscovered by Charley Williams of Shasta Historical Society, who gave permission for the museum to show it.

History Night is the museum’s main fundraiser of the year. Proceeds will be used to pay the utility and fuel bills, maintain the 100 year old building, and pay for new exhibits.

Companies sponsoring the event including Scott Valley Bank, Berryvale Market, Sierra Pacific, Palfini Financial Services, Dignity Health, Black Bear Diner, and Snow Creek Studios.

“Without these donations and the time and energy of the museum’s volunteers, this exhibit would not have been possible,” said Nels.

Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum is a tax-exempt non-profit organization located at 1 N. Old Stage Road in Mount Shasta.

History Night tickets may be purchased in Mount Shasta at the Chamber of Commerce, Village Books, or by contacting the museum.

Tickets are $15, pre-sale; $20, at the door the night of the event.

On April 5, the museum will resume its normal operating hours for April and May – Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For details visit www.mtshastamuseum.com, Facebook or call the museum at 530-926-5508.