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Snowshoe Thompson monument is new project in historic town

by Laurie Hickey

The Greater Genoa Business Association has taken on the long overdue project of starting a fund-raising effort to provide a monument to be located in Genoa to honor the legendary mailman of the Sierra’s, John A. “Snowshoe Thompson.”

This native of Norway is thought to be the first person to ski in the far West and possibly the whole country. He once skied some 300 miles non-stop through a terrible snowstorm to save a man’s life.

This is still among one of the greatest athletic accomplishments ever recorded and just one of his many heroic exploits. “Snowshoe” Thompson was a true American hero and a monument to honor him is a fitting project.

Thompson carried the mail and small goods alone over the Sierra for 20 years when heavy winter snows made this region virtually isolated from the rest of the country. He made the trip twice a month from Placerville to Genoa. He was never paid by the federal government for this much-needed service.

The Greater Genoa Business Association is hoping that other groups, organizations, businesses and individuals will support this project. This is your opportunity to join the “Friends of Snowshoe Thompson” to recognize his many contributions to the early pioneers of the region.

The association will have a snowball toss booth at the Genoa Renaissance Faire, today and tomorrow. Please stop by the booth and make your donation.

Walt Juchtzer, a Genoa native, has also taken on a project that goes hand in hand with this one. Juchtzer, comes back to Genoa each spring and works in the historic Genoa cemetery, cleaning and restoring old grave sites. He has contributed his own money and time.

He recently installed a lock box for donations at Snowshoe Thompson grave site. So while in Genoa, visit the grave of the famous Snowshoe Thompson and make a small donation to the restoration of the old graves in the historic Genoa cemetery.