Category Archives: Edward McIlhany

McIlhany, Mules, Major Bidwell, and Murder

Business was good for Edward McIlhany in 1851, with a store in Onion Valley and a ranch near Marysville where he could rest and feed his mules, and assemble pack-trains to carry goods to the miners in Onion Valley. But … Continue reading

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More Mule-Packing Marvels

In another story in Recollections of a ’49er ( 2006, edited by Scott Lawson), Ed McIlhany (who was not the modest or retiring type) tells another tale of derring-do on the trail: The winter was nearly over and I got … Continue reading

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Getting a Billiard Table to Rich Bar

Ed McIlhany packed plenty of flour, bacon, beans, and whisky in his day, but he also occasionally carried some very unusual items, as in the following story: A man came to me in Marysville and wanted a large billiard table … Continue reading

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Ed McIlhany Gets a Bear

When Edward Washington McIlhany went home to his family in the East in December 1856, he took with him a pack of stories to tell. From his Recollections it’s not hard to tell that he enjoyed recounting his adventures. Here … Continue reading

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Mule-Packing with Ed McIlhany

In the spring of 1850, after he had recovered from scurvy, Ed McIlhany relocated with his friends further up the Feather River at American Bar. They found a promising claim and decided to build a “race” to channel the water … 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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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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