The staff at Feather Publishing Co. gathered last Thursday morning to honor and thank Mountain Messenger’s Don Russell, right, on his last day as editor and publisher of Downieville’s historic 166-year-old newspaper. Russell said he was ready to write the obituary for California’s oldest weekly paper, but at the 11th hour Carl Butz, who also lives in Downieville, stepped in and bought the paper and will continue its legacy. The Messenger has been printed at Feather Publishing Co.’s plant in Quincy every week for nearly 40 years. Butz said he doesn’t plan to make any changes to the paper’s local content other than to get more involvement from the community. Photo by Victoria Metcalf

Russell retires but newspaper lives on

Once the story about the 166-year-old Mountain Messenger’s plan to close its doors hit the Los Angeles Times’ newswire, Don Russell, the paper’s editor and publisher, said he has spent an incredible amount of time the past several weeks dealing with print and broadcast reporters assigned to the story. Recently reporters from ABC’s Channel 10 in Sacramento and CBS News in San Francisco were in Quincy interviewing and filming Russell as California’s oldest weekly newspaper was leaving the pressroom at its longtime printer, Feather Publishing Co. Photo by Debra Moore