Chamber Memories


Past Grand Marshalls

Click here for a list of our past Grand Marshall's.

Fandango Days Beginning

4th of July parade's have always been a yearly tradition in Alturas as far back as the early 1900's, but the name "Fandango Days" actually started in 1963 by the Modoc County Chamber of Commerce. This turned out to be one of the largest parade's ever to come to Alturas with over 50 exhibits taking to the parade route down Main Street.  The remainder of the afternoon celebration was held at the Veteran's Memorial Park where it is still being held today.  One event that was popular at the time was the "Frog Jumping" competition.  The contest was the first big event to be held at the park, and it received official recognition and sanction from the Frog Jumping Capital of the World in Angel's Camp located in Calavaras County.  A total prize purse of $250 was up for grabs with a $100 top prize going to the first place winner. The official Chairmen who helped spearhead this event were Bliss Paul and Bob Schorch.  Privately owned frogs were not eligible for competition, and the contestant had to select a frog from the "frog stable" that were chosen by the frog jumping chair committee. The Fandango Days Royalty were also selected and rode in the parade route.  Lettie Genung was crowned "Goddess of Liberty" and 6 year old Rhonda Hartley who was crowned "Little Miss Sparkler".

Reflections of the Past


  • Mary Mapes was crowned Modoc District Fair Queen and will represent the Modoc District Fair in Cedarville in August.  The Queens courts are Princess Diana Stevenson and Kelle Sigler.  The competition was sponsored by the Alturas Rotary Club.

  • The 18th annual Likely Rodeo is set for June 15 - 16 in Likely.  This event was considered by the locals to be the "Wildest Amateur Rodeo in the West".


  • Bayle Dorris was chosen as the first official "Fandango Day's Parade Grand Marshall".  The 1970 Fandango Days celebration was named the "Centennial Parade" as it celebrated 100 years when the town of "Dorris Bridge" (now Alturas) was initially founded by Presley Dorris in 1870.  It was at that time when Presley enticed his brother Carlos and Nephew Jim to "return to the valley and create a settlement".  A year later, Presley's other brother, Columbus, came to help the rest of the family establish the town.  Columbus was the only one of the Dorris Brothers to marry.  From this marriage, Bayle was born.  It was Columbus's children that carried on the cattle business created by the three pioneer brothers.     


  • January 10 - 11 showing at the Niles Theatre is "Fourteen Hours" starring Richard Basehart, Agnes Moorehead, Debra Paget and Robert Keith.

  • Modoc Public School Districts in Modoc County this year are getting $275,143.00 in State apportionments.  The average daily attendance basis in the School Districts in the County was 1,708 for 1951 - 1952.

  • Modoc Meat Company was having a sale on quality cut meat.  You can get Loin Pork Roast for only 59 cents a pound and Ring Bologna also at 59 cents a pound.

  • Phelps Chevrolet Company at 1st and Howard Street is having a used car and truck sale.  You can get a 1946 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup with four speed transmission for $495, or a 1949 Studebaker 2 ton truck for only $895.

  • Farmers Exchange was offering the local farmers a great deal on 2 new McCormick 4-16" Moldboard Plows for $350 or a new 4-7 foot Wheatland plow for $250.


  • One of the largest crowds ever to witness a football game in Alturas turned out Saturday afternoon to see the Modoc Warriors defeat Lassen Union High School 16 - 0.

  • Alturas Grocery at 908 Main Street was offering 4lbs of cabbage for 10 cents and two heads of lettuce also for 10 cents.

  • Jarman's Garage (Ford Sales and Service) had a used 1930 Model "A" Coupe on their lot for $200 and a clean 1932 Ford V-8 Coupe for only $275.

  • On October 31st and November 1st the Niles Theatre was showing "They Gave Him a Gun" starring Spencer Tracy, Gladys George and Franchot Tone.

  • The Polly Ann Bakery was open and making the entire city block smell good with their fresh baked bread and other goodies.