Enjoy a newspaper that traces its origins to the California Gold Rush and visit the historic building where it has been published since the 1850s. With roots dating to 1853, the Mountain Messenger continues that tradition by covering today’s news in this gold rush town. Whether covering Sierra County government, local events, or even the local sheriff’s blotter, Editor/Curmudgeon Don Russell and his staff provide a uniquely local slant on the community.
Purported to be California’s oldest weekly publication, the Mountain Messenger is published weekly in Downieville and is Sierra County’s only legal publication. The Mountain Messenger dates to 1853 and began publication as the Gibsonville Trumpet in the former mining camp of Gibsonville, Sierra County. The paper was sold in 1855 and moved to La Porte, then in Sierra County and renamed The Mountain Messenger. In 1864 the paper moved to Downieville where it has been continuously published since.
The Messenger offices are open to the public. Office hours are generally 9 am to 4 pm, but with a limited staff, it's good to call first. And with a Thursday publishing date, Wednesday is not a good day to visit. Historic issues of the Messenger are available on microfilm at the California State Library in Sacramento.
Available countywide at newsstands at 50 cents an issue, the Mountain Messenger is also available by subscription. For addresses outside Sierra County, a yearly subscription is $30 or $55 for two years. Inside Sierra County, rates are $25 for a year or $46 for two.