Kaweah Commonwealth - Three Rivers

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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Lemon Cove and Woodlake

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The Kaweah Commonwealth
Three Rivers, California

Celebrating 17 years

MARCH 1995 ~ MARCH 2012

The Kaweah Commonwealth is the weekly newspaper of Three Rivers and all of Kaweah Country. Published every Friday, its coverage area includes Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the communities of Woodlake and Lemon Cove.

As novel as the original Kaweah Colony itself, the present-day Commonwealth merely revived the high standards of community journalism and the essential quality of what made the original Kaweah Commonwealth "a journal for those who labor and think."

John and Sarah Elliott, owners/publishers

of The Kaweah Commonwealth since 1995,

take breaks from deadlines

by playing in the backcountry of

Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks.

For 100 years, newspapers in Three Rivers have come and gone sporadically as many have attempted the difficult task of meeting an ongoing weekly deadline while earning a viable living in a small community. John and Sarah Elliott recognized the potential and necessity of a weekly newspaper in Three Rivers and purchased the Sequoia Sentinel. Prior to the first issue on March 1, 1995, John and Sarah changed the name of the newspaper to The Kaweah Commonwealth in honor of the first newspaper published in area and as a salute to the rich history of the region.

"In early 1995, we were searching through an index of hundreds of 19th-century newspapers trying to come across something that might make a historical connection with Three Rivers," recalled John Elliott, TKC co-owner/publisher with his wife, Sarah. "Then, just a few weeks before we were scheduled to officially take the reins of the Sequoia Sentinel, there it was among copies of the original Commonwealth that had been compiled by our friend, Jay O'Connell, for research of what would eventually become a local history book."

Since then, the couple has combined their talents of writing, photography, editing, sales and marketing, and graphic layout and design to develop an original, provocative, and graphically-pleasing newspaper for the community. Their teamwork has led to a successful venture in independent publishing. They enjoy having the opportunity to be creative with their stories, photos, page design, features, and issues.

The newspaper's masthead and its straightforward black-and-white style still have appeal for a discriminating reader looking for something stimulating in a weekly newspaper of today. The masthead, based on the original Commonwealth's, communicates on the front page of every issue the Sherman Tree or what the colonists called the "Karl Marx Tree," and a stunning view of Alta Peak from Lake Kaweah. The latter scene reflects the heart of the modern newspaper's coverage area: Kaweah Country. The first panel is carried over from the original Kaweah Commonwealth and is a sketch of Burnette G. Haskell, the Kaweah Colony's founder, in front of his North Fork cabin.

JOHN ELLIOTT was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended college in Miami, Fla. After graduating from Florida International University in 1978 with a B.A. in history, he moved west to Southern California. He discovered Kaweah Country in 1986 while working for the Mineral King Preservation Society, preparing a National Register of Historic Places application for the cabins, road, and mines in that area of Sequoia National Park.

Following more than two decades in public history projects working primarily in cultural resource management, Elliott now devotes his career to documenting the people, places, and events of Kaweah Country.

SARAH BARTON ELLIOTT is a fifth-generation Three Rivers resident. She has had a love affair with writing and the English language her entire life. Her ancestors, who settled in Three Rivers in the 1870s, include several writers and a newspaper publisher, as well as cattlemen, citrus ranchers, miners, and lumbermen. Place names in the area recognize the contributions of the Barton family (Barton Mountain, Stephen Barton Point, Barton Peak, Barton Creek). It is with pride that she carries on the legacy of her family in Three Rivers while raising the sixth generation of Bartons in that community.



THE KAWEAH COMMONWEALTH is published every Friday in Three Rivers, California.
EDITORS/PUBLISHERS: John Elliott and Sarah Barton Elliott
41841 Sierra Drive (Highway 198), Three Rivers, CA 93271
MAIL: P.O. Box 806, Three Rivers, CA 93271
(559) 561-3627 FAX: (559) 561-0118
© Copyright 2003-2014 The Kaweah Commonwealth