Rededication events Saturday in Markleeville | RecordCourier.com

Rededication events Saturday in Markleeville

by Jim Holdridge
Heritage Tourism Committee

A day of historic site recognition and rededication is planned for noon Saturday in Markleeville at the fountain across from the courthouse, thanks to coordinated efforts by the Alpine County Heritage Tourism Committee, the Alpine County Historical Society and Museum, chamber of commerce, Alpine Watershed Group, county staff and volunteer workers from the community. Food and other refreshments will be available from local merchants. Three historic sites to be recognized on Saturday in the immediate Markleeville town area are: The Charles W. Barrett Memorial Fountain, the new Markleeville Heritage Park and Nature Area and the Historic Markleeville Cemetery.

The Charles W. Barrett Memorial Fountain was erected in 1941 to honor the memory of the Virginia City orphan who was elected sheriff of Alpine County in 1914 and served until his untimely death in 1935. He was known during his time as a "one-man chamber of commerce for Alpine County," hosting barbecues with thousands of guests including governors from the states of California and Nevada. The memorial fountain had fallen into despair and had not actually had water flowing since 2011. Through the efforts of community members and donations of money from the chamber of commerce, 50+ Club, Friends of Markleeville, relatives of Barrett, and with the support of the county, a new waterline was constructed. Volunteer workers including, the Snowshoe Thompson Chapter of E Clampus Vitus, spent over 300 hours to restore the plumbing, wood benches, stone and flat-work and plaque for the memorial with materials supplied by Alpine County. Relatives and descendants of the Barrett family have also helped with the work and will be present for the rededication.

The Markleeville Heritage Park and Nature Area is located at Markleeville Creek adjacent to the historic Alpine County Courthouse. It is the site of the former U.S. Forest Service Guard Station, which relocated to its new facilities at Turtle Rock Park in 2010. The site has been cleared of the former structures and is now owned by Alpine County, and is waiting funding for the major restoration of the creek floodplain and a new interpretive nature site. In coordination with the Alpine Watershed Group and community volunteers, tremendous efforts have been made to establish the site as a quiet creekside location for picnicking and appreciating nature. Interim plans include the installation of interpretive signs describing the natural history, watershed and restoration plans, Washoe Tribal history and other aspects of early Alpine County history. A new sign for the site will be dedicated for the event at 12:30 p.m.

Following the Heritage Park dedication, the Snowshoe Thompson Chapter of E Clampus Vitus "Clampers" will be dedicating a plaque at the park site at 1 p.m. honoring Jacob Markley, the namesake for the town of Markleeville. The Clampers, in coordination with local historians, have created a plaque to be set on local stone that denotes the home site and history of Jacob Markley killed in a land dispute in Markleeville in 1863.

The old trail leading to the Historic Markleeville Cemetery has been re-cut and is now marked with a new "Cemetery Trail" sign. This historic cemetery was likely in use as early as the 1860s, and in recent years much restoration work has been done thanks to the efforts of the Alpine County Historical Society and Museum. Cadaver dogs were used in 2013 to help identify grave sites where no gravestones and wood markers existed anymore. An effort is underway to identify specific burial sites through historic records of the early families, and to mark them.

More information about the event can be obtained from the Alpine Chamber of Commerce at 530-694-2475, info@alpinecounty.com, or the website, https://alpinecounty.com.