By Shareen Strauss
On Monday, November 14th, 2022, the McCloud community members that have been volunteering their time to run the McCloud Heritage Junction Museum were honored at a luncheon hosted by Julie Ponzini at the McCloud River Inn.
McCloud Heritage Junction Museum's recognized volunteers (top row) Gerald Hoertling, Sheri Burris, Margo Grissom, Linda Hickland, Dan and Lindy Fay, Lisa and Steve Richardson, and Tony Kydd. (sitting) Shareen Strauss, Mary Paidakovich, Kelly Clero, Leanne and Doug Gray.
The now-unincorporated town of McCloud was originally incorporated in 1896 as the McCloud River Lumber Company. The town was company-owned by the lumber company and only families of employed personnel were allowed to live in the community during those times until 1963 when it was sold.
Since the early 1980's the McCloud Heritage Junction Museum is located at 320 Main Street in McCloud is open from Memorial Day weekend to the end of September, weather permitting.
Like the museum itself that started in the early 1980's, the volunteers personally share the town's historic stories, as many were born in McCloud and lived under the rules when it was a company-owned town.
Through the years, people have come from afar to the McCloud Heritage Junction Museum looking to find information of their family heritage that once resided and worked in McCloud. News clippings, maps of the town's houses, lists of names of employees and knowledgeable docents, have helped many find their roots.
A docent is a volunteer at the museum that will show people
stuff and tell him about the history
The visitor's book shows that people from all around the world have visited the McCloud Heritage Junction Museum which is open from Memorial Day weekend to the end of September, weather permitting.
Founded by Marty Markham who was with the McCloud Chamber at the time, the museum itself was originally going to be housed in used box cars from the McCloud River Railroad until the Union donated the building at 320 Main Street. The upstairs of the museum at one time was used as a theater hosting yearly melodramas about the town's history as a fundraiser that was written and directed by museum member, Annette Spitsen. Now it is used as storage.
The current president of the museum's board, McCloud native Sheri Burris, offered the volunteers first pick of the last of the limited edition book called, The McCloud River Railroads. This book of McCloud's railroad history along with many other books locally written about the town of McCloud, are for sale to the public at the museum.
Museum board member Gerald Hoertling has been on the board since it first opened. He, along with the museum's president, and board members Kelly Claro, and Edie Adams grew up in McCloud and watched it evolve from a segregated town divided by cultures and nationalities to what it is today. The other board members; Jim Wolf, Shareen Strauss, and Steve Richardson have all had a long history associated with the beloved little town of McCloud.
Other recognized volunteers, including docents and those digitalizing the photo collections and categorizing records for easier searches include, Doug and Leanne Grey, Tony Kydd, Mary Paidakovich, Dan and Lindy Fay, Linda Hcikland, Lisa Richardson, and Margo Grissom who has been with the museum for 30 years.