Juno, Plumas

From Constructed Worlds
Jump to navigation Jump to search
 This article is an A-class article. It is written to a very high standard. This article is part of Altverse II.
Juno, Plumas
Census-designated place and civil township
Township of Juno
Juno transcription(s)
 • Sierran Hanzi Ju No
Juno during Christmas 2009
Juno during Christmas 2009
Flag of Juno, Plumas
Flag
Shield
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): "The Most Haunted Town in Sierra", "Knights Camp", "Knightston"
Motto(s): "A Town for Simple, Pleasant Living"
Location of Juno in relation to Sierra
Location of Juno in relation to Sierra
Coordinates: Coordinates: 39°34′03″N 120°48′44″W
Sovereign state Flag of Sierra.svg Kingdom of Sierra
Country Flag of Sierra (civil).svg Sierra
Province Flag of Plumas.svg Plumas
County Sutter
Foundation September 14, 1849
Town Hall Old Sycamore Courthouse
Government
 • Town Board Dan Bradshaw (R) (Bailiff)
Area
 • Total 13 km2 (5.2 sq mi)
 • Land 13 km2 (5.1 sq mi)
 • Water 0 km2 (0.1 sq mi)  1.92%
Elevation 917 m (3,007 ft)
Population (2016)
 • Total 819
ZIP codes 45620
Call codes 812
National Register of Historic Sites
Reference no.         1817
Juno (Sierran Hanzi: 朱不; formerly known as Knights Camp and Knightston) is a civil township located in Sutter County, Plumas, Sierra. It is located along the North Fork of the Yuba River, just west of the gateway to Tahoe National Forest and Sierra Buttes. In 2010, the Sierra Royal Bureau of Census officially counted a population of 920, but a town census in March 2016 indicated that the population has dropped to 812. Juno was founded in 1849 as "Knights Camp" during the California Gold Rush and thrived as a mining town, but was widely known as a lawless community prone to various crimes including murder.

After the Sierran Civil War, the Juno Provincial Penitentiary was founded, housing over 1,100 inmates, which later became a health sanatorium during the early 20th century, and then an asylum from 1936 to its permanent closure in 1989 due to concerns of widespread reports of patient abuse. Juno's population peaked at 5,303 in 1914 before a fire burned much of the town. Only a small part of Juno today, including the Penitentiary, features buildings from the original settlement, and most buildings were built immediately after the fire in the 1920s and 1930s. Since 1995, Juno has been the hosting location of the annual Clear Moon Music Festival, a 3-day event held during the first weekend of August, featuring alternative and folk music.

Juno has often long been referred to as the "Most Haunted Town in Sierra" and has a reputation for being a paranormally active hotspot due to its history. It is home to several reportedly haunted locations including the Juno Provincial Penitentiary, the Old Sycamore Courthouse, and the Douglass Mansion within town limits, and is located near other sites within the vicinity including the Cessnock Forest. The famous Pig Man's murders that claimed the lives of 12 victims over the course of 6 years all occurred in or around Juno, with most of the bodies found in the nearby Exeter Cave. Alleged sightings of the Snrith and UFOs are also commonly reported and localized around the vicinity of Juno. The Randaug Tunnel, which is near Exeter Cave, is infamous for the deaths of over 34 people in the span of 120 years, most being attributed to mining accidents, and other circumstances. In August 2016, while incumbent Prime Minister Steven Hong was campaigning in Juno, he was fatally shot and wounded by Dylan Coulter at the Old Sycamore Courthouse, and died in an ambulance just outside Juno.

Although Juno is not an officially incorporated town according to the Sierra Royal Bureau of Census, it is a civil township under Plumas law. The government of Juno is run by the 5-member Town Board, which is chaired by the Bailiff. While the nearby town of Dappe is the official county seat of Sutter County, the Sutter County Sheriff's Office and the county's only post office is located in Juno. The Fort Sumter Band of Kaioyu Indians, a federally recognized tribe of the local Kaioyu people, are based just outside the township limits.

History[edit | edit source]

Early history[edit | edit source]

The hanging of Marcela Santos

Juno was founded in 1849 as "Knights Camp" by a group of prospectors who were mining in the vicinity in search of gold and other precious metals in the wake of the Gold Rush. The settlement was given its original name as its founders intended the town to be a community of honor and friendship. Knights Camp had a bar, a general store, a post office, and a hotel, and also had a stable for travelers who came by horse. Rather quickly however, Knights Camp earned its reputation as a dangerous, violent town, with rampant crime and shootouts. Brothels, gambling halls, saloons, and opium dens were created, and the lack of law enforcement allowed bandits and band of rogues to wreak havoc on residents and travelers alike.

In 1851, Juno became the site of Sierra's first hanging of a woman. A pregnant Californio woman, Marcela Santos was accused of murdering an Anglo-speaking prospector, Evan Fields, who she claimed was sexually assaulting her. A mob led to her arrest and public beating, before she was hanged without a proper jury. Historians point to her race having played a role in her death, and Santos remains the only known pregnant woman in Sierran history to have ever been hanged. There was little sympathy towards Santos throughout the Styxie region, with Anglo-American accounts calling her "Juanita", and playing on the popular stereotype at the time of Mexican women being morally deviant, lustful nymphs. A small plaque in the center of Juno today was erected, honoring Santos' death. Santos' spirit is one of the many alleged ghosts to haunt the streets of Juno, with the widespread reports of the wailing of a woman accompanied by an infant at night commonly associated back to Santos.

After the California Republic became the Kingdom of Sierra through the 1858 Constitution, Knights Camp was renamed Knightston, and was selected as the county seat of the newly formed Sutter County. However, Juno continued to suffer from social unrest, especially since travelers no longer came to visit as the "gold rush" had since died down, and many settled in other parts of the country. The Sierran government began cracking down on Juno's illegal brothels and bars, and shut down over 11 businesses. John Cameron was elected as Knightston's first bailiff, but he was shot dead by a rival in 1861 following a dispute. His death prompted the Plumas government to remove Juno's status as Sutter County's seat, and transferred that distinction to the neighboring town of Dappe.

Like much of the Styxie, Juno was heavily Democratic-Republican, deeply opposing the monarchy and the Royalist Party. The United Farmers' Front established one of its first chapters in Juno, a chapter which exists to this day with 21 members. During the Sierran Civil War, Juno and the rest of Plumas joined the Second California Republic under Isaiah Landon, and Juno citizens enlisted in the Bear Flaggers Army. Juno constructed a barracks, a weapons depot, and the Randaug Tunnel to support the Republican military. With the war preventing the Sierran government from maintaining order in Juno, and the Republic indifferent to its situation, Juno once again descended into a violent, chaotic environment. Suspected monarchists and pro-Kingdom sympathizers were commonly rounded up and beaten, or even killed by the people of Juno. John Edas, the bailiff of Juno during the Civil War, killed over 56 men and 7 women during the course of the conflict, claiming that they were traitors. In the midst of the chaos, Juno became one of the first towns in Sierra to recognize individuals' right of asylum in places of worship. Criminals and fugitives frequently hid in one of Juno's 4 churches: an Adventist, a Baptist, a Catholic, and a Methodist church, and were protected from local law enforcement from coming in. Crime itself was still not allowed within the churches, and anyone who committed a serious crime within them could face more severe sentences had they been committed outside. In one such case, a petty thief from Dappe hid in the Juno Catholic Church and bludgeoned another man during the Mass service, and was dragged out by local Juno citizens, where the thief was gang banged and tossed into the Juno well where he drowned and died.

Juno Provincial Penitentiary and Sanatorium[edit | edit source]

Prisoners from the Juno Provincial Penitentiary during a break from yard duty in 1910.

After the Civil War ended, disorder and violence lessened significantly as veterans returned to Juno with families, and the Sierran government returned once more to lay order on the reckless town. Juno was selected by the Sierran and Plumasonian government to house a new prison for criminals and ex-soldiers who were found guilty of treason or war crimes for their involvement in the Civil War. The town was selected due to its seclusion and isolation in the forested mountains, and as it was a convenient place for the government to round up local criminals, and lock them up. Construction began in 1878, and the Juno Provincial Penitentiary was completed on October 29, 1883. The 53,000 square feet complex included four wards, five towers, three floors, and over 1,000 cells.

The prison photographed in 2015.

Much of Juno's residents became employed by the Penitentiary and the complex received its first inmates in December 1883, a month after the building's completion and commencement. The Penitentiary became known for its poor treatment of inmates and guard brutality, and the provincial government repeatedly failed to honor any investigations on the nature of the prison's abusive system as public opinion at the time believed convicted criminals had nullified their rights to be treated humanely. Prisoners were regularly subjected to humiliation and physical assault, and some were intentionally starved or crammed in quarters over minor infractions. In addition, guards occasionally provoked prison yard fights, especially when new prisoners came in, when guards worked with experienced inmates in "pruning" the newcomers. Eventually, progressive lawmakers instituted regulations on Juno Provincial Penitentiary, and ordered it become a health sanatorium in 1901.

As the province's largest penitentiary, Plumasonian taxpayers refused to raise funding for a new prison or releasing the criminals, and instead, a compromise was reached, allowing the Penitentiary to function as both a prison and a sanatorium. The East Wing was renovated to become a ward for tuberculosis and Spanish flu patients, and East Wing prisoners were relocated to a newly created underground level below the West Wing. Due to staffing problems, guards were often trained to maintain order in the prison, while rendering medical assistance and support for patients in the health ward. Cross-wing infections were fairly common, and the Penitentiary had one of the highest mortality rates in the country among health institutions.

Juno Fire of 1914[edit | edit source]

On the evening of March 12, 1914, a traveling patron by the name of Arthur Wilkes lit a cigarette inside the Juniper Ice Cream Parlour, and discarded the still burning butt out of frustration during an argument with another guest. The cigarette lit the wooden board floor on fire and rather than stomping out the initially tiny flame, Wilkes and the other guest fled the scene, causing panic within the parlour as the fire quickly engulfed the building. Due to the lack of building regulations and poor city planning, many nearby buildings in the town caught on fire as well, spreading rapidly as residents tried to escape the flames. The fire destroyed over 40 businesses and 100 homes, and continued burning in other parts of the forest outside the town. The amount of damages totaled to be roughly $11 million, and over 33 were killed in the fire. Wilkes was not immediately identified as the man responsible for the fire, and displaced citizens sought refuge in Dappe for the time being. The Old Sycamore Courthouse, Juno Provincial Penitentiary, a few banks, and a hotel were all that were left unscathed, with the town government moving all salvaged records and paperwork into the courthouse, which became Juno's new town hall. Reconstruction took about 2 years, but many of Juno's citizens never came back. Wilkes was put on trial, while the other man he had fought with was not identified, or caught. Wilkes was charged with arson and sentenced to 25 years in prison, and was sent to the Juno Provincial Penitentiary, where he remained there until his death in 1933.

Post-fire reconstruction[edit | edit source]

Juno in 1915, with a large part of the town being rebuilt following an intensive reconstruction project.

Taking over two years to rebuild, Juno never recovered its pre-fire population, and many of the original buildings were completely destroyed with the exception of the Penitentiary, the Old Sycamore Courthouse, a few banks, and a hotel on the far eastern side of town. After the rubble was cleaned up, new businesses and homes were built again, now built out of brick, mortar, and cement instead of the old wooden buildings that were set ablaze so easily. In order to reflect the town's fresh new beginning, the Town Board passed a motion to rename "Knightston" to "Juno" in hopes of removing the stigma attached to the town's old name with its troubled history.

Investors and entrepreneurs began returning to the town, hoping to restore Juno to its former glory, with new amenities including a bathhouse, ski resort, and new restaurants. The four churches from the original Juno were also rebuilt, all centered around the Juno Town Square. Three new fire stations were constructed, and a canal was built connecting the nearby Yuba River to the town in order to prevent another fire as the 1914 from spreading as chaotically as it had. Public architects and officials from the Royal Surveyors' Corps were also invited to lay out a new city plan in order for the town to conform with federal and provincial building and fire safety regulations.

Juno recovering from the fire in 1925.

Juno's physical size was now twice as large as it was prior to the fire, and its economy was revitalized as residents took up jobs in mining, logging, and tourism. The Juno Provincial Penitentiary and Sanatorium attracted health tourists who appreciated Juno's local environment and air quality, and drew in visitors who heard about the purported "impurity cleansing" springs near Juno (the Clear Moon Hot Springs). In 1922, Canaanites moved into Juno and founded a sanctuary in the town, causing sectarian tensions between the Christian townspeople and Canaanite newcomers.

Sectarian conflict[edit | edit source]

Several high-profile incidents occurred during the 1920s and 1930s as the residents of Juno clashed. The Christian-majority population were deeply disturbed by the presence of the "pagan" Canaanites, especially over the latter's practices of bloodletting (pushar). When members of the Town Board refused to let Canaanite citizens into a town meeting on December 11, 1926, a verbal confrontation began between Bailiff Archie Ferguson and Canaanite priest Kenneth Thompson. Thompson insisted that he and his congregation had the constitutional right to enter the building and participate in the civic process. Ferguson flatly dismissed Thompson's protests and denied him entry. The following moments remained unclear but one of the board members shoved Thompson back, prompting Matthew Boaz, a Canaanite, to retaliate, and punched the Bailiff, spitting on his face in the process. Deeply infuriated, Bailiff Ferguson took out his baton and began clubbing Boaz and Thompson, leading to a bloody clash between the townspeople and the Canaanites.

What lasted for only a mere minute, the wives of the Bailiff and his men came to break up the fight, and when a Canaanite woman was struck, the Bailiff called for order. The fight left Thompson and Boaz, and several other men gravely injured, and were beaten to the point where they could not stand up. Rather than offering them aid however, the Bailiff and town board returned to the meeting. Father Jacob Abrams from the Juno Catholic Church, and other religious leaders came to aid the Canaanite men who were attacked, calling for justice. Angered townspeople who saw the mistreatment of the Canaanites and feared that the incident would cast further negative light against the town stormed the town hall and rounded up the men including the Bailiff, and held them under citizen's arrest until a county judge arrived to deliberate on their trial. After a two-day trial, Ferguson and his men were found guilty of several crimes including attempted murder, and were sentenced to community service and ban from holding office in the province. Thompson was not charged but had to be committed to the Juno Sanatorium where he fully recovered, and returned to ministering in 1929, although Boaz was for initiating the fight, and was sentenced to 3 months in prison.

The incident was widely circulated across Sierra, easing public acceptance and sympathy towards Canaanites who were persecuted across the nation, especially in the Deseret. The Canaanites were finally allowed to join in town meetings, and a new town board and bailiff was elected, with one of the board members, Baron Major, a Canaanite himself. Despite the widely condemned attack, unprovoked attacks and hate crimes against Canaanites would continue for years in Juno. A museum on Canaanite history and victims of persecution, the Kenneth Thompson Memorial Museum, is located in the neighboring town of Dappe.

Pig Man murders[edit | edit source]

An official police sketch of the Pig Man.
The most famous EVP captured from the purported demonic spirit of the Pig Man asserts, "I have the body of a pig."

On August 11, 1936, Julia Albright, a 21-year old Juno resident, was reported missing by her family. She was purportedly visiting her boyfriend, Rodney Garlock, who lived in Dappe, and was seen traveling into a thick part of the woods by two witnesses at around 6:45 pm. However, she never arrived to Garlock's home, and when Garlock called the Albright family at around 10, inquiring her whereabouts. When it is was apparent she was in neither houses, the Albrights called the police to file a missing person report. A search party was dispatched immediately while the police investigated. Garlock was interrogated as a potential suspect but was released when he produced the alibi that he was bedridden that entire evening due to a flu, a reason why Albright was visiting him in the first place. By the end of August, the Sutter County Sheriff declared that Albright ran away, and the investigation inconclusive.

Two months later, in October 30, both Jim Reynolds, 18, and Sarah McRaleigh, 17, were reported missing. The two were both Juno residents and were dating each other, and were also reported missing in the late evening by both families. McRaleigh's parents had not known that their daughter was dating Reynolds and initially believed that Reynolds had kidnapped her. Investigators once again tried to locate the young couple, and found McRaleigh's bow by Persimmon Creek. There were a few droplets of blood on some rocks near the creek, which forensic investigators later confirmed were of Reynold's, suggesting that he was running from something, and scraped his knee or leg. Following down a possible path the couple took that led to an impassable part of the woods, the police decided to set up a perimeter of 5-miles each around the area.

While the investigation on Reynolds and McRaleigh's disappearances were ongoing, a double murder case was reported on November 2, in a home 3 miles north of Juno. 41-year old Angus Birch and his 19-year old son, Conner, were killed in their living room. Angus' wife, Shirley, and her daughter Abagail, arrived home discovering both of victims' dead from shotgun wounds in the abdomen. Their bodies were decapitated and their heads were nowhere to be found. Police later discovered the corpse of a pig in the master bedroom, and a message written on the wall in the pig's blood stating, "NOT THE LAST ONE".

In light of these murders, the Sutter County Sheriff deemed it was plausible that the Garlock and Reynolds-McRaleigh cases were connected to the same killer, who was called the "Pig Man", and were to be treated as murder investigations. News quickly got out, and national media declared that the disappearances were also indeed murders. The San Francisco Herald-Examiner declared "MURDERS ROCK SMALL TOWN; PIG MAN KILLER STILL ON THE LOOSE". Gun sales increased immediately in eastern Plumas, after the murder, and news of suspected murders, and the Juno Town Board declared a curfew starting at 10 pm, and advised businesses to close earlier in the evenings, during the duration of the investigations.

A week after the Birch men's murders, the police made a startling discovery in the Exeter Cave, which had been largely forgotten to exist by Juno residents for decades. The cave had been obstructed by excessive forest growth, making visibility of the cave, and consequently, its entrance, quite difficult. Blood hounds who were released months earlier for the search of Garlock, Reynolds, and McRaleigh, kept leading to the area before the cave, but were initially ignored as the carcasses of pigs were found, which police believed was responsible for the hounds' discovery. However, when the hounds were once again pointed to the area, and an investigator discovered that old maps confirmed the existence of the cave, local Juno loggers cut down a third of a mile of the cave, revealing the cave. Police observed that the cave was covered in thick moss, and the only passageway into the cave's small cavern system was steep and only about 8-feet tall, and a little more than two feet wide. The cave descended to the main room which had an underground river and led to four smaller rooms. One of the rooms contained the bodies of Garlock, Reynolds, and McRaleigh, whose bodies were rotting and brutally bludgeoned, along with the heads of the Birch men.

The police came to the conclusion that all of the victims were killed by the same perpetrator, or perpetrators, and began adopting the media-given name, "Pig Man" for the killer. Over the months, reports of suspicious activity and false leads produced no progress on finding Pig Man. After a year passed without incident, the cases were still left open, but dropped from active investigation.

In January 1938, the Juno Gazette published a letter sent by an anonymous source who claimed that they were the Pig Man responsible for the murders two years back. The Pig Man expressed their pleasure in killing people, believing it was a "thrilling sport", and warned that they were planning to claim more victims. The publication placed the Sutter County Sheriff's Department on high alert, and advised, but did not enforce a curfew. On January 18, 17-year old Kevin Paul, a noted juvenile delinquent and orphan, was found carrying a dead piglet for a prank at around 3:43 pm in a secluded hike trail west of Juno near Exeter Cave by an off-duty officer. Paul was interrogated, and but police later deemed that Paul was not guilty of any active crimes, nor was he the Pig Man, but was assigned a juvenile supervisor to monitor the young man's activity. The police feared the possibility of copycats who wanted to imitate the Pig Man. Paul's incident caused a stir in local news, but on February 4, Paul and his supervisor, James Frazier, 48, were found dead near a campground by local hikers. Dead pigs were laid around the two's bodies and a letter was found nailed to Paul's heart. Signed by the Pig Man, they chastised anyone who dared imitate them in their acts, and swore to murder anyone who directed a challenge against them, and labeled the police as potential victims.

The Pig Man struck again, killing two 15-year old girls, Rachel Gibson and Jenny Monroe, on the evening of February 12, with witnesses claiming to have seen a masked man of medium build stalking the girls who were playing hopscotch by a wooded park. One of the witnesses stated that he lurked about in the thick vegetation, and that when the witness warned the girls to leave the area, and stalker fired two rounds, instantly killing the girls as they ran. The man also fired shots at the witnesses, although deliberately missed them, and then fled from the scene.

Once again, police failed to find or capture the Pig Man, and another year passed without incident before they struck again on March 4, 1939, killing a family of 3 in Dappe, the town over. After another inconclusive investigation, police believed that murders since then which were executed in the same fashion as the killer were copycats, with all such individuals caught by the local authorities. Various theories have arisen as to who the killer was, and even the gender of the Pig Man has never accurately been ascertained, despite multiple claims that the killer was indeed a male. There has also been theories suggesting that there was more than one individual responsible for the murders, theories which have been taken into consideration, but unconfirmed by the police. The official investigation on finding the Pig Man remains open as of September 2016.

Contemporary history[edit | edit source]

Although Juno's population has continued to slowly decline, it has transitioned into a full-fledged mountain resort town, and continues to be financially dependent on the town's 80,000 annual visitors. Initially, hoping to distance itself from the Pig Man murders and its dark history, Juno promoted itself as a town of arts and music, hosting the Clear Moon Festival for the first time in 1995. Since then, it has hosted the event every year during the first weekend of August, which attracts over 10,000 patrons.

Juno became widely visited by ghost hunters, paranormal enthusiasts, and other individuals over the year due to its earned reputation as the "Most Haunted Town in Sierra", a phrase which the town slowly came to embrace and actively advertise itself as. Starting in 2003, the town commissioned official ghost tours and "lockdowns" at certain locations including the Old Sycamore Courthouse. The closed down Juno Provincial Penitentiary, which shut down in the 1989, was reopened in 2004 as a museum and tourist attraction, and received co-recognition with the Township of Juno by the federal government as a National Historic Site.

Assassination of Steven Hong[edit | edit source]

The Juno welcome sign has been accompanied with the Prime Minister Steven Hong Memorial Highway plaque since early 2017.

Steven Hong, the 22nd Prime Minister of Sierra, was shot and fatally wounded by Dylan Coulter at 4:38 pm Pacific Standard Time (11:38 UTC), on Friday, August 12, 2016, in the Old Sycamore Courthouse, Juno, Plumas. The Prime Minister died en route to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 4:54 pm by emergency care workers. Coulter has been apprehended by police, and captured on the scene, and is currently undergoing interrogation and criminal processing

The town of Juno was immediately put on security lockdown to ensure that federal and provincial authorities could properly investigate the scene, and assess the situation. In addition, townspeople and tourists came out in droves to hold informal vigils and mournings for the slain prime minister.

In the months that followed, the Old Sycamore Courthouse remained close, and visitors from across the country have continued to lay down floral arrangements, wreaths, and other conciliatory items along the perimeter of the enclosed structure. The town government and the province of Plumas are currently considering the installation of a proper monument to commemorate Hong's life and premiership. Citizens have proposed that one of the main streets, Bluegrass Drive, be renamed in honor of the late prime minister.

Geography[edit | edit source]

Juno is located in the center of Sutter County, a county in Eastern Plumas, within the Sierra Nevada. It is situated along the North Fork of the Yuba River and is passed by K.S. Route 49 (the Golden Chain Highway). Several rivulets, canyons, and ravines straddle around the area, and the closest towns to Juno are Dappe, about 3.25 miles east-northeast of Juno, and 10 miles southwest of Loganville. The Juno River runs in a north-south orientation within Juno.

A significant portion of the town is located on riverwash soil from the Yuba and its rivulets, while higher-ground parts of the town are on Hurlbut gravelly loam or deadwood gravelly sandy loam.

Climate[edit | edit source]

Juno and the surrounding region has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen; "Csb"). During the summer, Juno experiences warm daily temperatures, with the average generally never rising above 90⁰F. During summer nights, it cools to average lows of about 45°F. The summers are the driest of the year. Located in higher altitudes in the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges (about 3,001 feet), the town commonly experiences highs of 40s and 50s during the day, and lows of 30s during the night. On average, there is snowfall as early as October, with the heaviest snowfall in January, the coldest month of the year. Snowfall can continue alongside rainfall until as late as early May.

Climate data for Juno (1908-2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 70
(21)
78
(26)
85
(29)
96
(36)
99
(37)
107
(42)
106
(41)
109
(43)
105
(41)
97
(36)
86
(30)
74
(23)
109
(43)
Average high °F (°C) 47.5
(8.6)
52.4
(11.3)
58.1
(14.5)
64.7
(18.2)
72.7
(22.6)
81
(27)
89.3
(31.8)
88.4
(31.3)
82.5
(28.1)
71.7
(22.1)
57
(14)
47.8
(8.8)
67.7
(19.8)
Average low °F (°C) 27.3
(−2.6)
29.4
(−1.4)
31.7
(−0.2)
34.8
(1.6)
40.2
(4.6)
45
(7)
48.8
(9.3)
47.2
(8.4)
43
(6)
37.2
(2.9)
31.6
(−0.2)
28.3
(−2.1)
37.1
(2.8)
Record low °F (°C) 1
(−17)
2
(−17)
10
(−12)
14
(−10)
26
(−3)
28
(−2)
35
(2)
34
(1)
25
(−4)
19
(−7)
0
(−18)
1
(−17)
0
(−18)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 10.94
(277.9)
62.36
(1,583.9)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 14.4
(36.6)
10
(25)
7.6
(19.3)
2.3
(5.8)
0.1
(0.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.2
(0.5)
1.9
(4.8)
8.3
(21.1)
44.7
(113.5)
Average precipitation days 12 11 10 9 7 3 1 1 3 6 9 11 83
Source: Royal Climate Administration

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Although the Sierra Royal Bureau of Census counted an official population of 920 in 2010, a town-conducted census in March 2016 indicated that the population has dropped to 819. The town has attributed the sharp drop in population to a residential neighborhood of Juno seceding from the township, which transferred control to a homeowner's association authorized by Sutter County. There are plans to re-annex the community in the near future, especially more so as there are plans to create new planned communities in the area.

The population density in 2010 was 176.9 per square mile (68.4 km2). The racial makeup of the town was 800 (87.0%) White, 33 (3.6%) Asian or Pacific Islander, 29 (3.2%) Black, 45 (4.9%) Native Sierran, and 13 (1.4%) from other races or from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 22 persons (2.4%).

The Census reported that 920 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

Government[edit | edit source]

Local[edit | edit source]

Juno is a civil township, which under Plumas provincial law, means it is an unincorporated town (under federal definition and law) that has limited official functions, including a popularly elected board of trustees, civil officers, and certain services, namely road maintenance, law enforcement, and fire services. Under federal law however, Juno is recognized as a municipality or a city, and this is reflected on Juno's welcome signs, which are city limits, despite its legal classification in Plumas. Juno is headed by a five-member Town Board, which is administered by the Bailiff who also simultaneously serves as the town's justice of the peace and town sheriff.

Although Juno is no longer the county seat of Sutter County, having lost that status to Dappe since the late 19th century, several county buildings including the county's only post office, and the Superior Court of Sutter County are located in Juno. Within Sutter County, it is located in the 2nd Supervisory District, and currently represented by Royalist Henrietta Martinet.

Provincial, federal, and CAS[edit | edit source]

In the Plumas Provincial Legislature, Juno is located within the 12th Senate District, represented by Royalist Quintard Downie, and the 19th Assembly District, represented by Royalist Shawn Snow. In the House of Commons, Plumas is located in the 4th parliamentary district, represented by Royalist Olivia Bomba. It is represented by Supervisor Luke Dalton of the 1st Supervisory District, which covers Juno, Dappe, Goodyears Bar, and Sierra City.

In the CAS' American Parliament, Juno is represented by MAP James McClellan from the Northern Central Styxie constituency.

Arts, culture, and tourism[edit | edit source]

Tourism[edit | edit source]

Tourism is responsible for the bulk of Juno's economy today. Two mountain resorts: the White Eagle Hotel and the Sierra Buttes Juno Lodge, located less than 5 miles outside the town are the primary lodging facilities for tourists visiting the area and Juno. A dedicated Visitor Center for Eastern Plumas is located next to the Old Sycamore Courthouse and provides information to travelers in the region. Every weekdays, bus tours are offered in the day for tourists wishing to travel around the area including on a closed-off road, while on weekends, evening bus tours offer insight on Juno's paranormal history.

Points of interest[edit | edit source]

Douglass Mansion[edit | edit source]

The Douglass Mansion is the former residence of the Douglass Family, one of the most powerful and richest families in the Styxie as owners of the Douglass & Buchart Co.. A 12,000 sq. feet Sierran Renaissance building, it is owned by the Paxton Douglass Estates Trust, and is open as a bed and breakfast and a museum containing artifacts and products of the D&B Company dating from the 18th and 19th century. There is a botanical garden, plant conservatory, and recreational park in the rear end of the property as well.

The mansion is a popular lodging facility as with most historical buildings in Juno, it is purportedly haunted by the spirits of the Douglass Family. The suicide of a Douglass Family maid has been documented, and Jane Douglass, the 3-year old daughter of the family drowned within the premises in 1947. The Master Bedroom is the most popular and expensive room in the mansion, and nightly fares range from $150 upwards. Mansion management have asserted that guests frequently reported of poltergeist activity such as lights turning on and off, water faucets turned on, as well as hearing children's voices, and seeing shadowy apparitions appearing during the night. Guests vacating from the room during the night is fairly common according to the management.

Exeter Cave and Randaug Tunnel[edit | edit source]

Exeter Cave
Randaug Tunnel
Exeter Cave (left) and Randaug Tunnel (right)
Exeter Cave is a natural cavern located beneath the foothills to the northwest of Juno. The cave is famously known as the site where some of the bodies of the Pig Man's victims were found. Exeter Cave is accessible through only two points, one via the public entrance, which leads into a 80-feet long passageway that gradually descends to the main cavern chamber (known as the Grand Room), and the other a now partially sealed-off cavity that bores into the Randaug Tunnel. Exeter Cave contains at least four smaller rooms in addition to the Grand Room, although local geologists believe that there may be many more unexplored and undiscovered rooms in the cavern system. Exeter Cave is owned and administered by the Plumas Provincial Park Service, and is accessible to the public, free of charge, between the months of early April to late October, depending on weather conditions. During heavy rainfall, the cave may flood, although an underground river within eventually drains excess water out.

Randaug Tunnel is a 5-mile long man-made structure that was completed in 1849 that bores through the northwestern foothills to connect Juno and Dappe with Maredith Mill and Saddleback Mountain. The tunnel begins approximately 200 feet east of Exeter Cave's main entrance, and terminates just before the Fir Cap trail at the base of Saddleback Mountain. The tunnel was created to quickly link up miners from both communities together, and transport them by rail to the area's various mine shafts. The tunnel routinely saw accidents occur, mainly due to collisions between two uncoordinated carts, or passengers without protected headgear hitting their heads against low-rising beams. The tunnel was finally decommissioned in 1874 during the start of the Sierran Civil War, and a safer, surface road and hiking trail was established between Juno and Maredith Mill.

Jackrabbit Theater[edit | edit source]

Jackrabbit Theater (originally stylized as the Jackrabbit Theatre) is a building located in the western section of Juno and was built in 1916 to revive a committed entertainment hall and theater in the town following the 1914 fire. The Theater, which included a diner and bar, frequently held showings of various plays including traditional Shakespearean works, as well as contemporary plays, and were frequented by traveling theater troupes and aspiring playwrights who treated the local theater as proving grounds in the world of theater. Beginning in the 1940s, the Jackrabbit Theater began airing talkies, in response to changing tastes and demands, and added a silver screen on the stage. Eventually, the Theater branched out and added variety, including dancing nights, singing, and family game nights, and was the town's single most popular attraction by 1975. As Juno's population declined however, so did the Theater's customer base, and eventually, unable to procure enough sales, filed for bankruptcy in 1995. The Plumas Provincial Government purchased the Theater from the owners and converted it into a Provincial Museum, preserving theater artifacts, family heirlooms, and other items collected from the area, showcasing Juno's history. The Jackrabbit Theater is open to the public free of charge everyday from 9 am to 6 pm on Mondays to Fridays, and 10 am to 5 pm on weekends.

Juno Provincial Penitentiary[edit | edit source]

Built in 1878 and completed in 1883, the Penitentiary was originally built to house local criminals and minor crime offenders, as well as convicts of treason and crimes connected to the Sierran Civil War. Later, due to mounting pressure by provincial lawmakers and political activists, the Penitentiary became both a prison, and a health sanatorium, splitting the building complex into two, separate facilities, with the East Wing becoming the sanatorium, and the West Wing becoming the prison. Eventually, after years of long-running controversy on the Penitentiary's policies and treatment of both its prisoners and patients, the Penitentiary was closed permanently in 1989. The building was sold to the Royal Park Service in 1992, and continues to be operated and maintained the building by the agency ever since.

Due to its long, morbid history with countless of deaths on-site, as well as innumerable documented cases of prisoner and patient abuse, the Penitentiary has been claimed by paranormalists to be Juno's most active, haunted location, if not in the country. The Penitentiary has usually been closed to the public due to health concerns on the building's high levels of toxic asbestos, but has occasionally opened its doors to paranormal investigation groups, historians, film crews, university students, and visitors during the months of October (around Halloween). There has been ongoing discussions to open the Penitentiary to the general public, although in doing so, millions of dollars would be required to not only remove the asbestos in the interior, but ensure the building is renovated to meet federal and provincial building safety laws.

Old Sycamore Courthouse[edit | edit source]

The Old Sycamore Courthouse, originally constructed in 1880, is one of the few pre-fire Juno buildings to remain existing today. Until recently, it was open to the general public, and the Old Sycamore Courthouse continuously operated as the administrative center of Juno government from 1914 to 2016. It housed the office of the Bailiff and the Town Board Room, as well as offices for each of the town's five departments. A small section serves as office space for county government services, namely the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Animal Services agency. A red tiled limestone building with two main stories, and a central tower, the Old Sycamore Courthouse is one of the most recognizable buildings in Juno and faces the town westward from the eastern side of town.

On August 12, 2016, Prime Minister Steven Hong was assassinated in the Courthouse by Dylan Coulter during a public event hosted by the Democratic-Republican Party leadership. Following the assassination, the Courthouse was evacuated and closed from the public for investigation. As of date, it remains under restricted access, and the government relocated to the adjacent Visitor's Center area. In addition, a 10-feet concrete wall with barbed wire has been temporarily installed surrounding the premises to discourage unauthorized intrusions.

The Courthouse was traditionally the site of public executions of prisoners from the Juno Provincial Penitentiary. The condemned were routinely hanged on the courthouse gallows where civilians could watch, and the dead were buried in unmarked graves behind the courthouse premises. The number of those executed have totaled up to 212, one of the highest in the country.

Locals and paranormal experts have insisted that the Courthouse is haunted, and town employees including numerous bailiffs have also claimed that the Courthouse is "very active". The Courthouse has been visited several times by different paranormal research teams, including popular television crew Spirit Searchers, who caught various EVPs and orbs caught on film. Footage also suggested the presence of moving shadows and unexplained sounds. One famous spirit who is alleged to haunt the Courthouse is "Momo", an 8-year old girl who is believed to have died in the nearby well (which has since been boarded up). Tours both day and night tailored towards paranormal experiences are available on select days, even during regular hours of operations.

Sister towns[edit | edit source]

In popular culture[edit | edit source]

Juno's longtime association with the early days of Sierran history, as well as paranormal hauntings and encounters have made the township a popular subject to depict in media.

Books[edit | edit source]

Film[edit | edit source]

  • The Coven, an 1997 horror film which is loosely based on the actual witchcraft circles that practiced in Juno, had several scenes shot at Juno and the surrounding area.

Music[edit | edit source]

  • Juno and the Pig Man murders are referenced extensively in the 2014 rap song, "Juno Slash" by Q-Lo, featuring Fren-Z, KitKat, and Yeeda. The song's official music video features shots and scenes from Juno itself.
  • The Juno Montage, a Sierran progressive rock band, is named after the town.

Television[edit | edit source]

  • Juno was featured in the comedy series, The Styx 100 episode, "Camping Without Wifi". In the episode, the main characters drive by Juno but Theresa Vales insist that they leave as quickly as possible, citing the town's "cursed" history.
  • Tokki Network's popular paranormal investigation series, Spirit Seekers, investigated several locations around Juno in three separate episodes, including the Juno Provincial Penitentiary and the Old Sycamore Courthouse. Television series host Zeke Watkins described his times in the town as "chilling and unnerving", and the production crew, including the main cast, claimed to have had hauntings in their homes after recording in Juno. The show found numerous footage purportedly showing paranormal activity, and the 2015 Halloween special episode remains one of the most popular episodes in the series.
  • A July 2017 segment on Good Morning Sierra included footage and interviews with citizens in Juno following the suicide of local resident Tyler Johnson Weaver.

See also[edit | edit source]