Monthly Archives: April 2016

For California History Lovers

What do the following have in common? The tsar orders the closure of Fort Ross. (Thus lining up John Bidwell’s first job.) San Francisco incorporates. Modoc War ignites. Jolly Trixie is arrested. The Poodle Dog Restaurant closes. Alioto’s Restaurant opens. … Continue reading

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Happy 100th, Beverly Cleary

Are you a Beverly Cleary fan? I am, and in honor of the author’s 100th birthday, I wrote a guest post on my daughter’s blog, Howling Frog Books. Does Beverly Cleary qualify as northern California history? Of course! In the … Continue reading

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More from Bidwell’s Garden Journal

1853     Garden Journal           Rio Chico April 13:  Transplanted Beets Rained hard all the forenoon Made Beds Rain in the nite Thurs 14:  Made Beds, weed Parsnips Weed Onions Friday 15:  Planted Cewcumber seed Weed Onions and Carrots Weed Parsnips Saturday … Continue reading

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Scurvy at Bidwell’s Bar

After Edward McIlhany got back to camp at Bidwell’s Bar at the end of that rainy November in 1849, he came down with a case of scurvy.   The doctor said it was caused from eating so much salt bacon … Continue reading

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Butte County’s Rock Walls

A post on the Facebook page “You Know You’re from Chico When . . .” alerted me to a news story on KRCR Channel 7 about the old rock walls you see along Humboldt and Cohasset Roads. Dennis Van Dyke … Continue reading

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Further Adventures of Edward McIlhany

Continuing the story of Edward McIlhany in the goldfields of Northern California: We left the Major’s and in a few days reached Shasta, not too far from what was called the great Shasta Peak. The place was quite small and … Continue reading

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Meeting Major Bidwell

In the spring of 1849 a company of young men, eager to reach the goldfields, set out from Virginia. Almost 80 years later, one of those men, Edward Washington McIlhany, set down his Recollections of a ’49er. His book was … Continue reading

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“Miners Would Go Miles to See It”

In 1853, John Bidwell couldn’t buy packets of seeds off a rack in store and he couldn’t order them from a seed catalog. So how did he get the seeds for his vegetable garden? In 1851 and ’52 Bidwell had … Continue reading

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Bidwell’s Garden Journal 1853

It’s April 1st, time to start planting your vegetable garden, just like Bidwell did back in the day.  In 1853 Bidwell recorded a Garden Journal in the back of his store ledger. Here’s what was happening day by day in … Continue reading

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