Category Archives: Uncategorized

Black Bart in Butte County

On this date — June 21 — in 1879 the notorious stage robber Black Bart held up a stage coach near Forbestown in Butte County. It was his first robbery in the year 1879 and his ninth robbery since he … Continue reading

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Happy Juneteenth!

Juneteenth (June 19th) is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. Although only created a national federal holiday in 2021, it has been celebrated annually on June 19 since 1865, marking the date when … Continue reading

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Lola in California

In 1848 Lola left Bavaria for Switzerland, but when King Ludwig failed to join her there, she went on to London and a second marriage. The marriage to a young army officer with a recent inheritance lasted only two years. … Continue reading

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Bavarian Adventure

I am back from a tour of Bavaria. I saw fairy-tale castles and palaces, lovely Alpine lakes and meadows, medieval towns and baroque churches. The centerpiece of the tour was the Passion Play at Oberammergau, a dramatization of Christ’s last … Continue reading

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My Book about Alvin Coffey

I have been out peddling my book around town. So far I have placed it at Made in Chico, ABC Books, Bidwell Supply Co., the Chico History Museum, and the Bidwell Mansion gift shop. Those places are all in Chico … Continue reading

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On the Nobles Emigrant Trail

Last Sunday I enjoyed a field trip on a portion of the Nobles Emigrant Trail. This trail, first developed by William Nobles in 1852, proved to be a desirable alternative to the rigors of the Lassen Trail. It brought gold-seekers … Continue reading

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More about Phoebe Colburn

When Phoebe Colburn died in 1876 she left her dresses to a niece in Mobile, Alabama, and her considerable estate, some $3000, “to her best friend of all others on earth”, Col. William Magee. Phoebe Colburn probably met William Magee … Continue reading

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Phoebe Colburn

Phoebe Colburn is buried in Shasta Pioneer Cemetery. She is known to have been a free person of color who succeeded in the rough-and-tumble world of the California Gold Rush. What can we find out about her? Her tombstone spells … Continue reading

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A Visit to Shasta State Historic Park

On Sunday I visited Shasta State Historic Park along with a group of trail enthusiasts from the Oregon-California Trail Association. We were in Anderson for a “Spring Symposium” and our field trip was to drive 40 or so miles on … Continue reading

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A Forty-Niner Daguerreotype

I am always on the lookout for illustrations of life in Gold Rush California, and what I like best are authentic photographs or drawings from the period. Whenever I do a picture book set in California history, I have to … Continue reading

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