Betty Wines is the property manager at Eskaton, Hayfork’s retirement community.
Her father was a preacher and she spent most of her childhood in the Philippines doing missionary work. She came to Hayfork for the latter part of her high school years and had planned to leave when she turned 18, but her plans changed when she met her future husband.
“I didn’t know that God had me marrying a Hayfork boy,” Wines says. She has lived in Hayfork for most of her life since then.
Wines worked for Sierra Pacific Industries for 14 years doing administrative work, and she remembers the unrest that followed the timber industry collapse.
“You know, for decades you born here, raised here, go to school here and when you finish school you go work in the woods or for the mill. And that was just how it went. And then all of a sudden that’s all over.”
Those who stayed behind after the collapse came together to figure out how to address the challenges facing their community in the face of displacement, unemployment, and poverty.
“The whole community is in shock,” Wines says, “so we had some community meetings to figure out where we’re going to go. The rug had been pulled out from under us.”
Community members organized and developed strategies for mending the town. Various solutions came out of this effort, including a food bank, various nonprofits formed to aid Trinity County communities in recovery, and Eskaton, the retirement community that Wines now manages.