Category Archives: Uncategorized

An Old-Fashioned Chico Fourth of July

From the Chico Enterprise Weekly, here is what you could expect on July 4, 1877: The patriotic citizens of Chico, always ready to do homage to the birthday of a great and glorious Republic, made this the one hundred and … Continue reading

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Lola Montez in Grass Valley

From San Francisco and Sacramento, Lola took her performances to Marysville and then up into the foothills to Grass Valley and Nevada City. She drew appreciative crowds wherever she went, always to see her famed Spider Dance and sometimes in … Continue reading

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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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