What happened to Annie’s ring, with its California diamond? Was it buried with her? Did she leave it to a relative in her will? Where did it go?
I’ve been wondering about that, and thought I would check the Bidwell diaries to see if there was any clue. Nothing in Annie’s diary–she didn’t keep a regular diary, like her husband. But in John’s diary on June 20, 1876 there is this:
Windy, cool, pleasant day a light sprinkle. = R. F. Parks was here to inspect the wool – dined with us. = Made agreement with Yee Kee to dig all trees on Eighth street = Wife gave Mr Parks a drive = Wife lost her California diamond.
Mr. Parks was from Marysville and was in Chico for a few days. Evidently Annie entertained him by taking his for a carriage ride, perhaps through Vallombrosa, and on the way the diamond fell out of the ring. Was it ever found?
The next year, on May 21, 1877, Bidwell records: Callers: Mr. Shand – about Diamond. Was this the diamond? I don’t know. He doesn’t say anything else about it.
So there we are. Annie had her California diamond set in a ring, she lost it in 1876, and possibly it was recovered in 1877. Or maybe it is still lying out there somewhere, under the dirt in Bidwell Park. Keep an eye out for it if you are in Bidwell Park!