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“These fragments of the past have been a joy to write. If they are the same to read, then author and reader are well met.” ~ Old Hutch, 1954

Hutch once wrote that “words are just sounds in the air or tracks on paper and . . . seldom do the job the heart envisions.” Yet his words make his stories resonate with a timeless enthusiasm.


Hutch loved history, and he felt the stories of those who came before us should to be remembered so their legacy would not be forgotten. His conversational voice sweeps you into a bygone era of history and legend and breathes new life into our little corner of Northern California.


Enjoy the West-That-Was with these and other stories:


  • Ishi and the Yahi Indians
  • The (mis)adventures of Peter Lassen
  • Professional gambler Madame Dumont of Nevada City
  • Isaac Roop, Susanville, and the free state of Never Sweat
  • Gold Lake and broken dreams
  • Legendary mountain man Jim Beckwourth and the Marysville Road
  • Leininger’s Lost Mine in Deer Creek Canyon
  • William B. Ide: Bear Flagger, judge, defense attorney, and prosecuting attorney all in one

Tales From "Old Hutch" by W.H. Hutchinson

SKU: 0015
  • William Henry (“Old Hutch”) Hutchinson was born on August 13, 1911, in Denver, Colorado. He worked as a horse wrangler, a cowboy, railroad fireman, and a miner “to keep body and soul together while evading formal education.”


    When his hopes of becoming a pilot didn’t work out, Hutch went to sea in 1933. He served as lieutenant commander in the U.S. Maritime Service in WWII and saw duty in the South Pacific, North Atlantic, and Mediterranean.


    In 1946, Hutch, his wife, and two sons moved to 160 acres of red dirt foothill land in Cohasset, California, where he began his career as a writer. The family relocated to Chico in 1958-59.


    Hutch sold more than 150 fact and fiction articles to several popular magazines. He had his own weekly radio and television programs. Hutch authored 15 books, one of which, Oil, Land and Politics: The California Career of Thomas R. Bard, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.


    He worked as a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and contributed to the Chico Enterprise-Record. He taught at California State University at Chico until his retirement in 1978. Hutch passed away on March 11, 1990.

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