The Mountain Houghtons

Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival

August 12-14, 2011

Our early anniversary celebration takes us back to the mother load, this time to Sutter Creek, CA to attend our first of a long series of ragtime fun.

Friday morning, before the festivities, we had time to visit hangtown. Placerville, CA is known to hang all the criminals, thus it earned the nickname hangtown. We did not see any of them on rope, but two men were in handcuffs behind the courthouse escorted by a deputy. I am not sure if they were taken to hang from the tree. Most likely, they were given some free time out to lift weights and watch TV.

The Placerville Court House 

Main Street Sutter Creek

We were looking for the Chatter Box Cafe on the Main Street, because last time we walked through here on December 31, 2007, it was closed. Now it was nowhere to be found. It is replaced by a Mexican restaurant.

 Buck and Spitz had a long day and they are more than happy to stay in the cool room at the Days Inn while we are beginning our musical weekend.

Lots and lots of performers came to set the pianos on fire on five different locations: the Ice Cream Emporium, the American Exchange, the Theater, the Foxes bed and breakfast, and the Ragtime Gardens which is the big yard of an antique shop.

Each day from 10:00 am till midnight the musicians bounced from place to place and never got tired. We bounced around with them.

Some of the Performers


Stevens Price at the Ice Cream Emporium. He is the former owner here.



Virginia Tichenor at the American Exchange



Keith Taylor at the Ice Cream Emporium



Crown Syncopators

(Frederick Hodges on piano, Marty Eggers on tuba and Virginia Tichenor on drums)

 at the American Exchange 



Ragtime Skedaddlers at the Foxes


click link to see a video of the Ragtime Skedaddlers playing

"That Poker Rag"

The poker here does not refer to the card game but to the iron poker we use to poke the fire with. 


Vincent Johnson at the Ragtime Gardens



3 Pianos on Fire

Tom Brier, Sonny Leyland, Pat Aranda and Frederick Hodges at the American Exchange



See our video page for a clip of Pat Aranda and Tim Rotolo on piano and Squeek Steele with Washboard Kitty. 

 A song played by our favorit player, Tim Rotolo:


Marty Eggers on piano and Patrick Aranda on trombone

 at the Theater


For more information and videos please see the

Sutter Creek Ragtime Society website:

On the way to Tatum's Birthday

I wouldn't say we were ragtimed out by the end of Sunday evening, but we were ready to get on hwy 50 through Nevada to attend Tatum's second birthday. 


Outside of South Lake Tahoe


Buck needs to strech 


Enough running, let's go to Utah!



Looking down to Austin, Nevada


The Eureka Opera House



Scenes on the drive towards the Great Basin National Park