Butte Valley’s Citizen of the Year

written by Christina Brakeman, RKC Journalist

A scene of about thirty people talking amongst their groups and friends emitted an affectionate, welcoming atmosphere in the rustic country cabin. The official Butte Valley Citizen of the Year award sat in front of a silk backdrop with a vase of gypsophila flowers, better known as baby’s-breath, and a sunflower accentuating the award. Laughter and jovial conversation echoed in the cabin as the fairy lights hung above members of the Butte Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Dorris Lion’s Club, Rural Klamath Connects, and the Butte Valley Museum & Historical Society.

On June 11th, 2023, the Butte Valley Chamber of Commerce named Christine Baldwin their Citizen of the Year! With an honorary dinner and presentation at the beautiful Butte Valley Community Center, Christine’s tireless service to the Butte Valley community was celebrated.

Being involved in the community for 14 years, Christine volunteered her time to make many positive changes.  She served on the board of Rural Klamath Connects and introduced the idea of a barn quilt tour. The RKC Barn Quilt Tour was started in 2020, where wooden 8-foot quilt blocks with unique designs were placed at historical and meaningful locations in the Five Friendly Towns of Klamath Country, which include Merrill, Malin, Bonanza, Tulelake, and Dorris. The tour continues to grow and will one day include literature on the meaning of each pattern, and information about the buildings they are placed on.

Chris served on the Butte Valley Museum for 12 years and was instrumental in acquiring the original 1908 Bank Building in Dorris to create a museum & visitor center for the community. It has been newly refurbished & many historical artifacts have been acquired to be put on display.  She has been involved in many revitalization projects in the area & in bringing the Art of Survival bike ride to Butte Valley.

The limited space of this article cannot contain all of Christine’s accomplishments.  Her community is so grateful to her for the countless hours she volunteered to make the Butte Valley a great place to live.

Honored and teary-eyed from the presentation and heart-warming comments from the friends she worked alongside, the lovely award ceremony was a nice farewell for Christine before she returned to Idaho, where she has recently made her home. Inspirational and wise in the journey she has embarked on, Christine Baldwin closes a chapter in her life with the Butte Valley community, but declared to those attending, “I will be back.”

Malin Christmas Bazaar Nov 18th and 19th

Malin Christmas Bazaar at the Malin Community Hall
November 18th 9am – 6pm and November 19th 9am – 4pm

Malin Christmas Bazaar NOV 18-19

Malin Christmas Bazaar November 18, 9am through 6pm and November 19, 9am through 4pm.

Connecting Borders Barn Quilt Trail

Rural Klamath Connects Regional Barn Quilt Trail Project

On May 28th the first in a series of Barn Quilt Blocks was erected in Tulelake,
California at the Tulelake Cold Storage Building owned by Reba and Dennis
VanAcker. Barn quilt blocks are specially designed, hand painted, 8×8-foot
wooden art works that adorn historical barns and buildings.

Rural Klamath Connects, a non-profit group from three Oregon towns, Merrill,
Malin, and Bonanza and two California towns, Tulelake and Dorris—with grant
funding help from The Ford Family Foundation, Travel Oregon, Siskiyou Arts
Council and the Oregon Community Foundation—have collaborated to bring
together area residents, their historic barns and buildings, and their artistic talent
to develop a barn quilt trail connecting the five towns.

The Connecting Border Barn Quilt Trail project, to be completed over three years,
will design and produce a series of 50, eight foot Quilt Blocks that will portray the
culture, history and landscape of these five rural communities in the Southern
Klamath Basin.

Phase 1 of this project will result in a total of ten Barn Quilt Blocks, two per
community. Phase 2 will see an additional 15 blocks, three per community along
with a brochure which will include a trail map. Information will also be integrated
into local, county and state tourism websites. The final goal is for 50 plus Barn
Quilt Blocks.

The commitment of this team is to contribute to the preservation of the region's
rich history and to educate residents and visitors about culture, agriculture,
landscape and natural resources along with the amazing history this region has to

If you have questions and would like to speak to someone knowledgeable about
this project drop in to Tater Patch Quilts, 109 E Front Street, Merrill, OR, 97633
during regular business hours.

Connecting Borders Barn Quilt Trail

Adorns First Historical Building with Barn Quilt

The Rural Klamath Connects is ready to install the first of ten barn quilt blocks that will be completed in 2020 for the long awaited “Connecting Borders Barn Quilt Trail” project. This project, along with others across the nation, celebrates the rich history in our communities with specially designed, hand painted, 8 x 8 foot wooden quilt blocks that adorn historical barns and buildings. The project started in 2015 and has taken a huge effort from volunteers in Tulelake and Dorris, California and Merrill, Malin and Bonanza, Oregon.  The trail unites five unique, rural communities, two states and as the amount of barn quilts increase, will become a tourist destination with vehicle pull outs and multi-media information about the building, quilt and community.  In addition to fundraising, grant writing, locating prospective historical buildings and working with the owners of the building, these volunteers have tirelessly worked to create a barn quilt trail that will attract a wide variety of tourists to our community.

Tulelake City Council woman Penny Velador is delighted that the first barn quilt will be in Tulelake and says, “What I really love about the Barn Quilt Trail is that it adds a touch of beauty for people to stop and take notice of in our towns.  I love this idea!  The Barn Quilts will be our hidden treasures. The effort of the volunteers to bring together the five communities is so appreciated.”

Rural Klamath Connects would like to thank the Siskiyou Arts Council, Travel Oregon, Oregon Community Foundation and The Ford Family Foundation for their financial assistance, along with individual donations of time and resources from the amazing Barn Quilt Trail Team.

The first barn quilt was installed on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at the Tulelake Cold Storage building in Tulelake, California at 2:00 p.m. (4299 Highway 139). The press and public are invited to share this milestone with the volunteers and community leaders.
This is an outside event, there is plenty of room for social distancing, so please join us in celebrating the unveiling of our first art piece.

Free Lunches for Rural Klamath Families

Integral Youth Services is providing free lunches at every THURSDAY. See flier for locations and times. There will be a bag for each child ages 1-18 with 7 MEALS in it. Grab and Go! Please share this post to help get the word out.

COVID 19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources for Tourism Partners

Dear Discover Siskiyou stakeholders and industry partners,

As we continue to navigate the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, our first thought is for the safety and well-being of all the individuals and businesses impacted by these difficult circumstances. We hope you are all staying safe and healthy during this time.

Due to the tourism industry being hit particularly hard by the pandemic, Discover Siskiyou staff has temporarily shifted its focus to supporting the Siskiyou Small Business Development Center (SBDC) by helping small businesses in Siskiyou connect to financial resources designed to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.

Below you will find a link to a document outlining current resources available to Siskiyou businesses. New resources are changing quickly, and we will continue to send updated information as it becomes available. We are standing by to help you navigate these opportunities, apply for aid, and get you back on your feet as soon as possible.

If you have additional questions for our local team after reviewing the resources below, please feel free to email [email protected]





Executive Order: Stay Home Except for Essential Needs

On March 23, Gov. Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-12, effective immediately until further notice. This is a statewide order. Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health.

For more information, read the latest press release. To read the summary in Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, or Somali, visit My Oregon News.

In short, here is what is allowed and what is not. If you’re not sure about an activity, skip it. Staying at home as much as possible during this time will save lives.
Allowed (must keep 6 feet from others)

Hospitals and health care
Grocery stores
Banks and Credit Unions
Take-out/delivery from restaurants and bars
Pet stores
Gas stations
Certain retail stores
Outdoor activities like walking your dog, jogging, or biking in your neighborhood
Child care facilities and babysitters (only if abiding by new rules)

Not Allowed

Social gatherings (parties, celebrations) with people from outside of your household
Dine-in restaurants and bars
Nightclubs and concerts
Shopping at outdoor or indoor malls and retail complexes
Fitness: Gyms, sports and fitness centers, health clubs, and exercise studios, dance and yoga studios
Grooming: Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, day spas and massage services, non-medical wellness spas, cosmetic stores, tattoo parlors
Entertainment: Theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys, music concerts, sporting events, museums, skating rinks
Outdoors: State parks, playgrounds, campgrounds, pools, skate parks, festivals

Am I an essential business?

Oregon has not issued an essential business list. The state, instead, has provided a list of business categories that should STOP OPERATING because the nature of these businesses makes it impossible to adhere to social distancing protocol.

Governor Brown has directed businesses to close if they are unable to maintain social distancing protocol. If a business can maintain social distancing, AND it is not in any of the categories listed in Executive Order 20-12, the business may continue operating while adhering to social distancing protocol.

Butte Valley FFA Corned Beef & Cabbage Feast

The Butte Valley FFA Chapter currently has 62 energetic members diligently preparing for leadership conferences and competition trips this year.  Although our chapter is small, we endure the same registration costs per member for these events as California’s large chapters, along with travel and hotel fees. Butte Valley FFA is one of the northern-most chapters in the state of California and at times travel up to 688 miles to a leadership conference or competition. We are also starting a new Agriscience Pathway with brand new classes including Sustainable Agricultural Biology, Agricultural Science, and plans for a Floriculture class on top of our established Agricultural Mechanics Pathway. All of which need funding for class supplies promoting hands-on education for our students.

As you can see, the students, parents, and advisers of Butte Valley FFA have committed to providing our members and students with the highest level of agricultural education possible. So, join us for the 1st Annual Butte Valley FFA “ Corned Beef and Cabbage Feast” on March 17, 2020, 5:30 pm at Butte Valley Community Center (Log Cabin) in Dorris, CA. The dinner comprises a yummy ‘luck of the Irish’ meal, corn hole tournament with custom FFA boards for the winners, a give-and-get drawing, silent auction containing some of our students’ projects, and dessert dash.  All proceeds will be benefiting our students at Butte Valley FFA.

Butte Valley Museum and Historical Society Seeks Support to Repaint One of Mills Historic Water Towers

The Butte Valley Museum and Historical Society is hoping to raise funds needed to repaint the 130 foot water tower on their museum property, a historical mill site. For many years, the water tower has been defaced with graffiti, and in a community beautification effort the organization plans to hire Handsome Hand Signs artist, Heidi Tullman (of Etna CA), to clean up and recreate the natural metallic rust and add a mural representing the Butte Valley Museum and Historical Society’s logo.

If you would like to help in the fundraising effort, please contact Rennie Cleland, board president at 530-260-1147.