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Community Organizations

Fish Camp

Visitors to Yosemite National Park often opt to stay in Fish Camp, a quaint little town at the park’s southern entrance on Highway 41. Lodging options include bed-and-breakfast inns, cabins and a world-class hotel.

Fish Camp provides easy access to activities such as horseback riding, fishing and Jeep tours in the summer, and sleigh rides and snow play areas in the winter.

A popular attraction is the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad and Thornberry Museum, offering rides on a historic steam train. This one-hour narrated excursion through the beautiful Sierra National Forest travels over four miles on the historic Madera Sugar Pine Railroad where locomotives hauled log trains through the mountains.

Enjoy a brief stopover in the Lewis Creek Canyon to see the locomotive up close, or explore the outdoors before your return trip to the station. The railroad operates from March through October.

The Thornberry Museum, housed in the more than 140-year-old Thornberry log cabin, offers a glance of turn-of-the-century logging camp life. The exhibit features tools used by lumberjacks, and photos of turn-of-the century logging operations.

Sugar Pine Railroad hosts several special events, such as its Moonlight Train Ride & BBQ featuring an al fresco dinner and live music, Moonlight Special featuring live music and Moonlight Melodrama featuring an outdoor play.

For more information on the railroad or to reserve tickets, visit

Soroptimist International of Mariposa

Soroptimist International of Mariposa is part of an international volunteer organization for business and professional women working on projects that improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world. Our name “Soroptimist” is a coined Latin word which means “best for women.”

Mariposa Soroptimist was chartered in December 1965. Members participate in fundraising and service activities in support of local programs targeting youth at risk, domestic violence and women’s health as well as organization-wide programs.

Local events include the Christmas Craft Show, Elegant Dress Closet Tea and Fashion Show, Christmas Home Tour and Spring Fiesta.

For more information, visit

Catheys Valley and Sierra Foothill Charter School

Catheys Valley in Mariposa County is located 22 miles northeast of Merced and eight miles southwest of Mariposa on Highway 140. It is a crossroads community with cattle and agriculture as the primary industries, and also serves as a serene home for people who commute outside of the area.

Rural living is a way of life here. Epic Alpacas, an agricultural operation, offers tours where visitors learn about alpacas and the fiber they produce.

On Highway 140, just east of the commercial sector, is Catheys Valley Park featuring picnic spots, a jungle gym, baseball diamond, historic blacksmith shop and the original one-room Catheys Valley schoolhouse where many locals attended as children. To schedule a tour, call (209) 966-6753.

Catheys Valley is also home to Sierra Foothill Charter School, a public school that operates as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

The school was founded in 2012 by a group of motivated parents and residents who reopened the local elementary school that was closed in 2010 by the school district. Catheys Valley youngsters now get a quality public education close to home.

An important contributor to community life in Catheys Valley, the school annually hosts a Sweetheart Dinner the first weekend in February to raise funds for school programming. It also hosts various open houses, student exhibit events and holiday programs.

The school’s Fall Festival is a popular event. Held annually in October, the festival is a time for families and all community members to enjoy the season with old-fashioned games, costume contests, a cake walk, food for purchase and a carnival of games for the children.

For more information, visit

–Submitted by Heather Bernikoff

Hornitos Patrons Club

The Hornitos Patrons Club is a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving the Hornitos community and history. Hornitos is a Gold Rush-era town located in the foothills of central California.

The club also sponsors many community events, and all funds raised support Stag Hall, the community and its children.

Don’t miss these events:

Famous enchilada dinner, first Saturday in March, 3:30 to 8 p.m., Stag Hall. Dine in or take out.

Hornitos Patron Club Flea Market, first Sunday in October. Vendors needed. Saturday evening features a Tri-Tip Dinner before the event.

All Souls Day Candle Lighting at Saint Catherine’s Catholic Church, Nov. 2, 2016. The public is welcome.

For more information on Hornitos Patrons Club events, visit

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