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.

Nancy’s Bookshelf

Not my own bookshelf, but the local radio program where Nancy Wiegman interviews authors about their books. If you would like to hear these two Nancys talk about my new book on Peter Lassen, you can listen to the podcast … Continue reading

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“Placer Mining”

Just putting this here because I like the painting — “Placer Mining” by William F. Chadwick, 1854. It hangs in the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. Not much is known about the artist. He was born in Maine in 1828 … Continue reading

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In Old Sacramento

Old Town Sacramento is a fun place to visit, even if it is full of junky tourist trap shops. Jim and I went there today to take the Sacramento History Museum‘s Underground Tour. Our guide on the tour was “Eugenie … Continue reading

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Thomes and Toomes — part 2

Let’s find out about Robert Hasty Thomes. He was born in Cumberland County, Maine in 1817, a direct descendant of Mayflower pilgrims. He started his westward journey as a young man and in 1839 he joined the Bidwell-Bartleson Party in … Continue reading

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The Partnership of Thomes and Toomes

Melinda said their story would make a good buddy movie. Maybe they were too similar to give their story the contrast it needs, but pioneers Robert H. Thomes and Albert G. Toomes certainly were life-long friends. Yesterday I went to … Continue reading

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California Bound!

On May 19, 1841, the Bidwell-Bartleson Party started for California. John Bidwell, as secretary of the group, kept a journal. Later, while at Bodega Bay, he tidied up his journal entries and sent them back to a friend in Missouri, … Continue reading

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The Ballad of John Bidwell

I have been looking through a Butte County history curriculum binder developed by the Butte County Office of Education for 3rd grade teachers, and I came across a catchy little item. It’s “The Ballad of John Bidwell”, written by the … Continue reading

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