Author Archives: nancyleek

About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.

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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More from The Center for Sacramento History

It’s been over two weeks since I have posted anything about California history, but I have a good excuse. My three cute granddaughters were visiting for two weeks, and when you have grandchildren around, nothing else gets done. But now … Continue reading

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A Visit to the Center for Sacramento History

Yesterday I went with John Rudderow to the Center for Sacramento History. I have done a fair amount of research at the California State Library and the Bancroft Library, but I never knew (until now) about the Center for Sacramento … Continue reading

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A Chico Fourth of July

How did 19th century Chicoans celebrate Independence Day? Here’s an entry from John Bidwell’s diary for 1876 that will give you a glimpse: Tues. July 4 Warm, very – no wind. = Bells rang & cannon & anvils roared all … Continue reading

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