Join your friends and neighbors in reading Helen Hunt Jackson's novel, Ramona. Then join us for some very special events celebrating this classic American book.
Ramona Trivia Contest
To kick off our community reading of Ramona, the Library is hosting a Ramona Trivia Contest. Check the Bud Werner Memorial Library Facebook page, the Steamboat Today, or the Library Front Desk daily for new trivia questions about Ramona, Helen Hunt Jackson and the true history behind the stories in this classic American novel. Each time you enter correctly, your name goes in our drawing to win a copy of Ramona.
Answers can be submitted in person to the Library Front Desk, via Facebook message or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you include your name and contact info.
Monday, Oct. 6: Day 1
Ramona, a romantic novel set against the background of the old Spanish patriarchal life in California, was meant to highlight:
a) The plight of women at that time
b) The plight of Native Americans
c) The plight of the orchards
d) The plight of romance in Southern California
Answer: B. Ramona, a romantic novel set against the background of the old Spanish patriarchal life in California, was meant to highlight the plight of the Native Americans. Ramona is the story of a mixed-race Indian/Spanish woman and her Indian husband. It was intended to be an ethical novel that exposed the plight of the Mission Indians, but readers responded enthusiastically to the romantic plot and Southern California landscape.
Tuesday, Oct. 7: Day 2
Helen Hunt Jackson moved to what Colorado town in 1876?
a) Steamboat Springs
b) Colorado Springs
d) Fort Collins
Answer: B. In 1876, Helen Hunt Jackson moved from her native Massachusetts to Colorado Springs. Jackson was in her mid-40s and frontier life didn’t appeal to her, but her doctor recommended a short relocation to Colorado Springs due to its high altitude and low humidity. It worked.
Wednesday, Oct. 8: Day 3
The popularity of the novel Ramona inspired what institutions to be named after the novel’s heroine? (Choose all that apply.)
a) A high school
b) A freeway
e) All of the above
Answer: A, B & D. The runaway popularity of Ramona inspired authorities to name schools (Ramona High School in Riverside), streets, freeways (the San Bernardino Freeway was originally named the Ramona Expressway) and towns (Ramona) after the novel’s heroine.
Thursday, Oct. 9: Day 4
Which famous poet did Helen Hunt Jackson call her friend?
Answer: Poet Emily Dickinson was Helen Hunt Jackson’s contemporary and friend. She also associated with other contemporary authors, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Friday, Oct. 10: Day 5
Helen Hunt Jackson’s first book on Indian rights, A Century of Dishonor, is a condemnation of the federal government’s Native American policies and its record of broken treaties. Ironically, it was received with some adverse criticism and was dismissed as “sentimental,” which spurred Jackson to write a novel that intentionally uses emotional appeal to convey her message. What is the title of that book?
Answer: Ramona was Helen Hunt Jackson’s novel that purposely used emotion in an attempt to further the cause of Indian reform. It is the topic she previously wrote about in A Century of Dishonor and Jackson was disappointed with the lack of support for her nonfiction book that directly called for reform. According to Indian reform scholar Valerie Sherer Mathes, in a letter to fellow Indian reform activist Amelia Stone Quinton, Jackson wrote, “her fellow Coloradoans wanted the indigenous Utes to yield up their land and remove from the state.” Jackson’s frustration was moving her closer to writing the book Ramona that would make her part of history.
Saturday, Oct. 11: Day 6
True or False: The murder in Ramona is modeled after a real-life murder.
Answer: True. According to an article in “The Journal of San Diego History,” the murder in Ramona was modeled after the killing of Juan Diego, who was presumed to be a Cahuilla Indian by Sam Temple, a San Jacinto teamster.
Sunday, Oct. 12: Day 7
Where did Jackson actually put pen to paper and write Ramona?
a) Colorado Springs
b) San Diego
c) New York
d) San Francisco
Answer: B. Helen Hunt Jackson wrote Ramona in the Berkeley Hotel in New York City. She chose to avoid her friends and distractions in Colorado Springs.
Monday, Oct. 13: Day 8
True or False: The book Ramona became so popular that people started traveling west just to visit "Ramonaland."
Answer:True. In order to cater to Ramona fans, tourist attractions sprang up throughout Southern California. At different times, one could visit “Ramona's Birthplace” at San Gabriel, two different “Homes of Ramona” (Ranchos Camulos and Guajome) and “Ramona's Marriage Place” in Old Town San Diego. Postcards and souvenirs were sold, and books and articles were written about the "real" Ramona and the "true" story.
Tuesday, Oct. 14: Day 9
The Ramona myth turned out to be good business for Southern California. Hollywood got in on the popularity as well. How many Ramona films were produced between 1910 and 1936?
Answer: D. Four movie versions of “Ramona” were produced between 1910 and 1936. See the classic 1928 silent film starring Dolores Del Rio and Warner Baxter with live accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4 in Library Hall.
Wednesday, Oct. 15: Day 10
True or False: “Ramona” has been adapted for the stage and once starred Raquel Welch as the heroine.
A winner will be drawn each day from correct entries, so play often! The more questions you answer during the ten days of Ramona Trivia, the better chance you have of winning.