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Sentimental Sunday: Me and the Sugar Creek Gang

Posted by on June 5, 2011

My grandparents had a lot of the Sugar Creek Gang books and the bookshelf was always the first thing I went to when we visited for the weekend.  There seemed to be a never-ending supply of the books.  But in all actuality there were only 36 of these wonderful adventure books.  Much time was spent finding treasures, solving mysteries, and just hanging out with the Sugar Creek Gang.

The books were written by Paul Hutchens.  The Gang consisted of Bill who narrates, Poetry who recites poems no matter what, Dragonfly as the nerdy kid who is allergic to everything, Little Jim as the youngest member, Big Jim who is the leader, Circus, and GeekyTexan.  OK, not really.  But I could’ve been!  Should’ve been!

Here’s the list of books.  Some were re-printed with new titles.  Amazon has them individually or in sets (affiliate link).  Let me know if you need to know which ones I already have so you know which ones to send me as a gift!  Mr. Hutchens also wrote books for adults and I have been borrowing one for something like two years from my grandmother and haven’t read it yet (sorry Grandma!).

# Original Title Reprint Title Published
1 The Sugar Creek Gang The Swamp Robber 1940
2 We Killed A Bear The Killer Bear 1940
3 Further Adventures of the Sugar Creek Gang The Winter Rescue 1940
4 The Sugar Creek Gang Goes Camping The Lost Campers 1941
5 The Sugar Creek Gang in Chicago The Chicago Adventure 1941
6 The Sugar Creek Gang in School The Secret Hideout 1942
7 Mystery at Sugar Creek The Mystery Cave 1943
8 The Sugar Creek Gang Flies to Cuba, On Palm Tree Island The Palm Tree Manhunt 1944
9 One Stormy Day at Sugar Creek One Stormy Day 1946
10 The New Sugar Creek Mystery The Mystery Thief 1946
11 Shenanigans at Sugar Creek Teacher Trouble 1947
12 The Sugar Creek Gang Goes North Screams in the Night 1947
13 Adventure in an Indian Cemetery The Indian Cemetery 1947
14 The Sugar Creek Gang Digs for Treasure The Treasure Hunt 1948
15 North Woods Manhunt The Thousand Dollar Fish 1948
16 The Haunted House at Sugar Creek The Haunted House 1949
17 Lost in a Sugar Creek Blizzard Lost in the Blizzard 1950
18 The Sugar Creek Gang on the Mexican Border On the Mexican Border 1950
19 The Green Tent Mystery at Sugar Creek The Green Tent Mystery 1950
20 10,000 Minutes at Sugar Creek The Bull Fighter 1952
21 Trap Line Thief at Sugar Creek The Trapline Thief 1953
22 Blue Cow at Sugar Creek The Blue Cow 1953
23 Watermelon Mystery at Sugar Creek The Watermelon Mystery 1955
24 Old Stranger’s Secret at Sugar Creek The Tree House Mystery 1957
25 The Sugar Creek Gang at Snow Goose Lodge The Timber Wolf 1957
26 Sugar Creek Gang Goes Western Western Adventure 1957
27 We Killed a Wildcat at Sugar Creek The Killer Cat 1958
28 Down a Sugar Creek Chimney Locked in the Attic 1959
29 Wild Horse Canyon Mystery The Colorado Kidnapping 1959
30 Runaway Rescue at Sugar Creek The Runaway Rescue 1960
31 The Worm Turns at Sugar Creek The Cemetery Vandals 1961
32 Sleeping Beauty at Sugar Creek The Battle of the Bees 1962
33 The Case of the Missing Calf 1964
34 Howling Dog in the Sugar Creek Swamp The Ghost Dog 1968
35 White Boat Rescue at Sugar Creek The White Boat Rescue 1969
36 The Brown Box Mystery 1970

So you’ll know what you’re missing, here’s how The Swamp Robber (affiliate link) described some of the gang members (remember, Bill is narrator):

“Say, Big Jim was strong, almost as strong as my Dad, I reckon.  He used almost perfect English.  He knew exactly what to do in case anybody fainted.”

“Well, Poetry was always acting mysterious and was going to be a detective someday he said.”

“And then there was Circus Browne whose real name was Daniel August Browne.  Whyever his parents wanted to give him such a long-legged name for, I don’t know.  We called him Circus because he was so acrobatic.”

“There was Little Jimmy Foote, who was the littlest one of us and who always obeyed his parents.  He was sort of mascot for us ’cause he was so good.”

 

In 2001, we saw the revitalization of the Sugar Creek Gang with an additional six books (affiliate link) written by Mr. Hutchens’ daughter, Pauline Hutchens Wilson.  I don’t know if they didn’t take off with today’s audience or what.  The Sugar Creek Gang represented a simpler time, where games and adventures were imaginary and the only requirement would be the willingness to hang outside with your friends until you were called in because it was getting dark.  Now, if they made a Sugar Creek Gang video game…..

And what I did not know (yes, the list of what I don’t know is huge and unwieldy) until I was starting to write this post about the warm fuzzy happiness that is Sugar Creek, is that there are five adventures on DVD (affiliate link).  I kid you not.  So check out the links and I’ll share with your kids, or that kid you still are at heart, the greatness of the Sugar Creek Gang.

 

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