Category Archives: Uncategorized

“Dear Charlie” — A Gold Panning Contest

Horace Snow tells of a competition he and his brother took on, just to liven things up in the summer of 1854. They decided to take turns washing out pans of gold to see which one of them could wash … Continue reading

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“Dear Charlie” — Three Cheers for Snow

Nearly every account of any man who came to California to get rich mining for gold will say that after a few months, or weeks, or days in the goldfields the fellow gave up the attempt and turned to “mining … Continue reading

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Come hombres all! A Madrigal!

As usual, I was looking for one thing in the old newspapers, and came up with another. Most businesses advertised their wares by simply listing them, but not J. L. Polhemus. He had a lively and creative mind, and put … Continue reading

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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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