Monthly Archives: August 2017

Tomorrow I shall land in the “diggings”

Here is John Bidwell, about to go searching for gold on the Feather River, in this letter to George McKinstry. Lots of interesting tidbits here — see notes further down. Hock June 19th 1848 Dear Sir, I have been up … Continue reading

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“I foresee great struggles in the mining regions”

In 1848 things were happening in California. John Bidwell had been quietly and steadily developing a ranch on Butte Creek. He was also still doing occasional jobs for John Sutter — drawing up contracts, surveying, laying out lots in Sutterville. … Continue reading

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The Great Solar Eclipse of 1889

Are you heading up to Oregon to see the total eclipse of the sun? Are you already there, waiting for the event tomorrow? Here in Chico we will see a partial eclipse, about 83% coverage, I am told. To see … Continue reading

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Two More Letters from Nancy

Kelsey, that is. Two more letters to her friend, Helen Weber, are in the Weber Family Papers. They are written from Gilroy, where the Kelseys moved after they left Lone Pine, Inyo County. The earthquake occurred in March 1872. By … Continue reading

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The Lone Pine Earthquake

The 1872 Lone Pine Earthquake experienced by Nancy Kelsey was felt throughout California. John Bidwell, almost 400 miles north in Chico, recorded in his diary for March 26: Very heavy earthquake at about 2.24 a.m So the earthquake was noticeable … Continue reading

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Letters from Nancy Kelsey

I am working on a picture book biography of Nancy Kelsey, who came to California in 1841 as the only female member of the Bidwell-Bartleson Party. I’ve done lots of research, but I am always looking for that last elusive … Continue reading

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