Tuesday, December 5, 2023

MendoThrowback: The Boonville High-Roller Reports— Klondike Fever, Panther Skin, Ax Stuck in Head


Combing newspaper archives, MendoFever will work hard to provide a MendoThrowback every day of the calendar year to remind residents of days long gone. 

[A compilation of clippings from the Friday, February 4th, 1898 edition of the Mendocino Dispatch Democrat]

The “Boonville High-Roller” was the pen name for The Mendocino Dispatch Democrat’s correspondent in Anderson Valley. On Friday, February 4, 1898, the High-Roller’s letter gave an overview of the notable events throughout the previous week.

The smell of men curing squirrel bacon was in the air, the High-Roller reported, as multiple Boonville residents prepared for their sojourn into the Klondike with visions of gold. High-Roller said, “if all the people go that are now thinking of it we will not have many towns, not enough to hold an election next fall.” 

John L. Carlin had already departed for the “gold fields of Alaska”, and Geo Lambert and Don McGimsey were planning to leave by mid-February, and the High Roller wished the “the very best luck, hoping they may make a speedy return with cords of their precious metal.”

J.R. Wallach made his wife particularly happy after killing a panther on Hiatt’s Ranch. He skinned it, presented it to her as a gift, and the word around town High-Roller said was “she seems very proud of it and intends to have it dressed and made into a buggy robe.”

Boonville beauties Miss Minnie Burger and Miss May Hutsell, represented the town at a San Francisco jubilee last week. 

- Advertisement -

William Lambert has returned to town after taking his drove of pigs to Yolo to feed on acorns. High Roller said Lambert “returned home looking fine after his outing.”

Reggie Burger got an ax stuck in his head by Mede Windom when the pair were out chopping brush. The ax ended up “cutting a gash about 1 ½ inches in length above the ear.” Dr. Thompson used a needle to close the cut and as of publication, “the boy is doing nicely at present,” High-Roller assured.

The “Owl Club” elected officers for the next six months and rounded off the night with an oyster dinner. 

High-Roller wished a bundle of Boonville Boys luck as they are heading out to the coast to hustle and make some money in the split lumber business. 

Reverend Page is holding his quarterly meetings and J.O. McSpadden’s wife is still ill despite being relocated back to Virginia. 

William St. John went to Ukiah again for legal business, but High Roller suspects “there must be some other attraction.”

Boonville’s football team is improving, High-Roller opined. “They will soon be trim to exhibit their manly strenght with any team in the county.” The team is determined and High-Roller reports “it will take a pretty good team to walk over them.”

- Advertisement -


  1. There are strange things done in the midnight sun
    By the men who Mobil for gold
    Robert Service
    Mendo Fever is my only social link during Covid lockdown
    Bruce Anderson blocks most of my comments at AVA

  2. Yes, and speaking of Boonville, this Low-Roller opines: progressive AVA editor, sans any new thought since 1968, HAS turned into a censor. I am also banned from his paper after writing hundreds of articles for the AVA over the ensuing years. My sin: taking exception to his anti-semitism, which he attempts to disguise as anti-Zionism. In my opinion, when one states “50% of Israelis are facists,” detesting Jews is most certainly on one’s mind. Nevertheless, otherwise semi-sane individuals often post with Anderson, notably George Hollister, the head of the county’s farm bureau, and DA David Eyster, Anderson’s ever-enduring, intellectual cuddle-buddy. Of course, they’re free to write and do as they please, but they do so where others are banned.

  3. I’ve been blocked after posting Ez 23:20 explaining this vulgar scripture as the even more vulgar reproductive organ of tyrants. Censorship and propaganda

  4. Don’t challenge little Musolini and his precious newspaper
    How to create a communist? Starve a worker
    How to create a fascist? Give a communist his own newspaper

Join the Conversation

Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

Today's News


News from the Week