Raffle and Fundraiser for Yvonne and Kelly McGuire – Restaurant Business Owners at the Felton Trout Farm




Purchase a raffle ticket to support the McGuires as they rebuild their restaurant business after the fire that destroyed the Trout Farm and the McGuire’s livelihood. Win one of the following grand prizes:

View the fundraiser flyer: http://mountainbulletin.com/event/2016-07-27_the-trout-farm-family-raffle-fundraiser-event/

Beloved Felton Trout Farm Inn Burns

Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin

June 10, 2016

by Julie Horner

While many of us were reveling in the music and magic at the annual Redwood Mountain Faire on Sunday, June 5, the much loved Felton Trout Farm Inn suffered a devastating fire just two miles away. The fire started in the vent above the kitchen’s grill around 2:20 in the afternoon. Cooks, wait staff, and owner, Kelly McGuire helped safely evacuate patrons enjoying lunch and using the pool as responders from Zayante, Ben Lomond, Felton and Scotts Valley fire departments arrived to battle the blaze. This tight-knit mountain community and all of San
Lorenzo Valley has lost another precious local landmark and social hub.

Within a few minutes of initial news, friends and neighbors were sharing posts on Facebook: “What a terrible, terrible day. Our favorite place has burned down. We are told everyone is okay, which is the most important thing. But now knowing that everyone is safe, we can grieve for our loss, The Trout Farm. We love the Trout Farm and all of the people there. Kelly McGuire and Yvonne McGuire we love you, and will do whatever we can to help you rebuild.”

“We just went there yesterday to play in the pool. I really hope that it can be rebuilt. What a horrible loss to the community. Please keep the group posted about fund raisers.”

“I’m in tears, the McGuire family have worked hard to make The Trout Farm a special place to enjoy the history and the great food and dance bands. We had our wedding reception there and it was a ball! Kelly, Yvonne, Mandy, Luis and the rest of the crew…we will be praying for all of you and the future of The Trout Farm…that this all comes out in the best way.”

“Utterly devastating…so sad. Yvonne, Kelly and the whole team family were so warm and really built a community destination. I’ll miss it terribly but have faith that Trout will rise like a Phoenix. I’ll follow along and be there when the cause calls for lending a hand.”

“I was there with my wife and two kids at the pool on Saturday. We would’ve been there on Sunday too but for the Redwood Mountain Faire. We are all shocked and deeply saddened by this tragedy.”

According to reports, McGuire had been standing at the bar just feet from the kitchen when the fire broke out and the interior quickly filled with smoke. Firefighters responded within five minutes but the dry old bones of the structure
rapidly became engulfed.

“The firefighters did everything they could,” McGuire said in a statement to Santa Cruz Sentinel reporter, Ryan Masters. “They could have been parked out front and it wouldn’t have made a difference. That’s how fast it went up.”

The original bar and gaming room was built across Zayante Creek on land that once housed a trout hatchery. In Ed Jasmin’s Web archive, The History of the Trout Farm Inn, he writes, “In 1942 the bar was moved to its current location and Bill Fischer and his mother purchased it in 1946 from Austin and Jackie Berry. In 1955 he began a small dining room where one could get a steak, trout or chicken dinner for $1.95 while ‘Ma’ Fischer managed the trout ponds. The lounge was later extended in 1956 and 1958. The Trout Farm in the 40’s and 50’s served as an Inn providing overnight accommodations located where the swimming pool now lies.”

The cabins were moved to locations along the creek as permanent residences so that the pool could be modernized to accommodate growing numbers of tourists. “Several owners followed Bill and his partner Bob. In early 2005, the stewardship of this landmark passed to Penny Siler and John Heibel.” The McGuires took ownership of the Trout Farm Inn in 2012 offering a full bar and restaurant, live music performance space and of course, the inviting family pool.

The building was declared a total loss by Troy Adams, Zayante Fire District
Battalion Chief.

Facebook posts continue to accumulate in support:

“My first job was washing dishes at the TF in 1975 … working for Bill and Bob was a wild introduction to the food industry. I’m sorry for your loss … we’ll stay tuned as we vacation every Summer in Ben Lomond. Thoughts and prayers!!!” “I’m so sad to hear this but glad everyone us safe. I grew up at the Trout Farm Inn, knew Ma Fisher, Bill Fisher, Bob. Had my first job there at the pool and worked as a waitress for several years back in the early 70’s. My mom was a hostess. Lots of great memories. I’m heartbroken. We just watched old videos of swimming in the pool when my brother and I were young.”

“My grandmother, Bernice Fischer, started the Trout Farm in the mid 1930’s. My dad, Bill Fischer, owned it for 50 years, selling it in the mid 80’s. We moved the cabins to the creekside (from the current location of the pool), built the pool, expanded the bar and dining room, had luaus, floated Christmas trees in the pool and never missed the Friday night fights on TV in the bar during the 50’s. So much history – another chapter in life, closed. I pray for the owners to get through this tragedy, and extend my condolences to you!!! Thank you ALL for caring about the property, the business, and the historical landmark that it became. God give you strength, hope, and new vision. Sincerely, Cheryl and Francis Busa – Montana”

From all of us at the Santa Cruz Mountain Bulletin, huge condolences and much support. We will post updates about fundraisers and rebuilding efforts as we get them.

More about the Trout Farm: http://edjasmin.com/assets/Pages/8-Web/websites/thetroutfarminn/assets/pages/history.htm

On Facebook:



To read Kelly and Yvonne McGuire’s first communication to the public and other comments from the public regarding this huge loss to our community, read this month’s From the Mail Bag.



Boulder Creek Village Farm – Epic Organic

by Julie Horner

Late May, late afternoon, and I found myself standing somewhat naked feeling but cautiously celebratory beside a big wooden box filled with several cubic feet of dirt. The afternoon sun had slipped below the tree line and I was under dressed but optimistic in shorts and a tank top.

Shivering slightly, rental agreement in hand, I drove my stake down into the brown to mark my territory. I had just nabbed one of the last three remaining 6 ft. x 4 ft. raised redwood planting beds milled and handcrafted on-premises at the newly established Boulder Creek Village Farm. Brimming with beautiful organic soil, each bed represented an open slate promising months of fragrant greenery garnishing the south end of downtown Boulder Creek.

I’d missed the grand opening by a couple of weeks when most of the other raised beds had been snatched up by a throng of eager gardeners thirsting for a patch of sun in the forest. Beds were rented first come first served. Proprietor and pilot-turned-farmer, Brandon Parker, said that one person even attempted to camp out. “It was like an iPhone release,” he said. The camper lasted until about 3:00; other people were lined up before 6:00 in the morning. Brandon said, “It was fun, with donuts and coffee, everyone out meeting each other.” By the end of the event all but three beds were taken and 14 out of 18 beds were planted up that day.

Boulder Creek Village Farm occupies the vacant lot next to Boulder Creek Village Wash, which has been in Brandon’s family since 1974. Brandon tells me he’s got new machines coming in – giant front-loaders – “so you can wash your king sized bedspread.” He’s busy refurbishing for a 1950s retro feel, putting in a coffee machine and stepping up the popular drop-off wash service. But he wondered how to make use of that adjacent lot.

He eventually decided it would be best to “open the space up and give it to the community.” While somewhat disconnected from the main thrust of Boulder Creek downtown, “I want people to walk down,” enticed by the curb appeal.

The raised beds of Village Farm occupy about 1/3 of the available space. He pictures having outdoor movie nights, “big long tables for farmers’ dinners,” and live music with small acoustic bands. “I’ve already had a car show with everything from a brand new 2016 souped-up Mustang to 1950s rat-rods. And there’s always the farmers market idea, which proved problematic for some behind the Odd Fellows Hall – maybe at Village Farm the instance would be more inviting from the street with room to unfurl and plenty of parking.

First he’ll get a feel for running the farm operation smoothly by growing it in stages. “In the years to come, it can be as big as the people want it to be. I’m really open.” Some will want to return next year to grow vegetables in the beds, and he’ll be adding gardening classes and workshops. “I like the idea of having cool things for the community to come together.”

The lot gets a full 12-hours of sun in the summer and gets its water from the laundromat. He’s already looking into creating greywater and rainwater catchment systems for the farm and tapping into solar power for the laundromat. Those who joined the farm received the raised bed, soil, amendments, access to water, and tools, “all they have to bring are plants and themselves.” Gardeners and the curious can access the farm from sunrise to sunset seven days a week or walk or drive by any time to peer inside.

“I love Boulder Creek, love the community, and I want to do something positive for the area. The farm has turned out to be nicer than expected…people come out with their kids with watering cans; I can hardly wait to see them pick their vegetables.”

Brandon sees the big picture. “A lot of things need to be changed, and we’re starting at a small level to bring that change.” He’s hoping to set an example by motivating people to eat healthy by growing their own vegetables. “Healthy living is becoming cool. We went so far one direction toward pre-processed foods, now we’re pulling back the other way toward epic organic.”

“We can speak with our dollars. Patronize places that support healthier living.”
A lifelong resident of Boulder Creek, Brandon is thankful to the community for helping out. “The beds were built by Steve Maurer, and Tyrone ‘Ty the Tractor’ Clark brings his rig down from Bear Creek to help move dirt – he’s awesome, stops by to help out. Redwood Edible Gardens donated heirloom tomato starts at the grand opening, Linda Skeff helped line up the cardboard and wood-chips for weed abatement, and Lisa Harwell has been a big driving force behind getting things going.”

Boulder Creek Village Farm started as “just a short grass weed field, an open dead lot,” Brandon says. Now all kinds of herbs, leafy vegetables, berries, watermelon, squash, and pumpkins grow. “I want it to be a community space. I wanted to do something pretty.”

Brandon welcomes ideas for future projects that will improve the space and he’s looking for experts who will host classes throughout the growing season. Message Brandon on Facebook:


Visit Boulder Creek Village Farm: 12890 Highway 9 Boulder Creek, CA. 95006


Julie Horner is a writer and Irish style musician living in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.

Heathen Hill – American Roots Music

By Julie Horner

The Memorial Day weekend weather was perfect. Burgers and bacon on the grill, Richard Thompson on the iPod, a cold brew in hand, and the happy din of laughter and live music drifting through the forest and among the tents and tapestries as another day of magic at Strawberry Music Festival transcended the twilight between sunny lounging on the green and the communal energy of all-night acoustic jams. I was sharing the vibe (and a mean plate of tasty BBQ) with San Lorenzo Valley’s Americana/Bluegrass “house band,” Heathen Hill.

“We originated as people who jammed together at Strawberry,” my host and Heathen Hill singer/songwriter, Mark Becker, told me. “We’ve been an evolving band over the years,” with an impressive roster of musicians. The core of the band, Mark (guitar, vocals), Rick Ednie (guitar, vocals), and Jeff Hayes (standup bass, vocals), all Santa Cruz Mountain dwellers, have been playing together for years, starting out at the Strawberry Music Festival at Camp Mather setting up camp year after year on a knoll they named, “Heathen Hill.”

Known around the valley for hosting Sunday Bluegrass jams at the Boulder Creek Brewery, and lately playing 4th Fridays at the Felton Trout Farm, their first big performance together was at The ShobeFest acoustic music festival in Santa Barbara. Familiar faces at the Brookdale Bluegrass Festival, the original foursome kicked off with Mark, Rick, Jeff, and Dave Kaufman on mandolin. “Dave contributed his originals to our covers before he moved to San Francisco…he could jump in on the guitar, banjo, and piano in addition to mandolin,” Mark said. “Since the Brewery burned down, we ended up ultimately going into our current configuration.” Randy “Rando Mando” Hudson recently joined the group with his lightning fast fingers.

Mark and crew travel in a wider family of esteemed musical company, so much so that several of the Heathen Hill Americana/Bluegrass bandies also have a hand in Homebrew Jam, a new local Americana/Folk outfit. “We play with so many talented folks, it was better to put different styles into two different bands.” Homebrew Jam was one of the last bands to play at the Trout Farm, on a sweltering first Friday in June, filling the room to the rafters with lively toe-tapping down-home music. A fine sendoff, indeed, as the Trout Farm succumbed to fire two days later.

Heathen Hill plays with a warm, welcoming upbeat energy. “It’s part of what we like to do – we started at the Strawberry Festival with the idea of having fun, lending that festival feel to create a good atmosphere.”

Heathen Hill is gaining momentum in the mountains. “Most folks like our sound. We have a good following and we get people out to come see us. We’re happy to be local.” This year they were invited to play at the Redwood Mountain Faire, sharing a stage with legendary performers such as Harpin’ Johnny and Larry Hosford.

Mark said, “After the ShobeFest there was talk about getting us into shows in LA and into the studio in Santa Barbara to record a CD…no way we could do that with our day jobs and family. Sounds exciting but it doesn’t offset the money you’d make at your regular job.” While a locally produced CD is certainly being considered, he says it’s rewarding to play just for the success of improving, working on new material, and being with good people. “The real payback is the camaraderie and having people really enjoying themselves when you’re playing for them.”

Heathen Hill plays a mix of original and cover songs in the Americana style with a progressive Bluegrass edge. Powerhouse singer/songwriter, Rick Ednie, contributes much of the original material. “Rick has his solo album [White Turtle Dove] and we do a lot of his material.” With his roots in Rock, Mark wrote “Work” and “We’re Flying on the Wind,” “Keep on Dancing,” and “The Hot Tub Song,” among others, in the Americana vein with catchy choruses, almost a Country feel. “I try to run the gamut, mix it up quite a bit.”

An evening with Heathen Hill promises good times and good sounds. “We like to throw in a Dead song or two.”

Heathen Hill plays at LuLu Carpenter’s in Santa Cruz about once a month, and Mark says they’re hoping to become regulars at the Summit House up on Highway 17. “We had the great treat and good fortune to be invited to play at Redwood Mountain Faire…maybe in the future we’ll be asked to play at Roaring Camp.”

“All I can say is my heart just aches for the folks at the Trout Farm, the staff, the whole family working there. It is an oddity that a couple of places that we’ve played at have burned down. I’m hoping they’ll be able to get back on their feet quickly.”

“We live and play in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Performing is our way of generating and sharing festival energy all year long.”

On the Web: heathenhillmusic.com

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/HeathenHillMusic


Julie Horner is a writer and Irish style musician living in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.