Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Like some miracle that Mother Nature arranges just for my birthday, we are in the midst of a vernal explosion. The Johnnie Jump-ups (shooting stars) are blooming. When I was little, I thought that those flowers were a part of my birthday, and they only came and went for a short time just for me. The hills are covered with fresh green grasses. The Manzanita blossoms are on the wane, and they are deep into producing the little berries that all of the kids think look like miniature apples.

The Rufous-sided Towhee returns on my birthday every year, give or take a day or two. His return is hard to miss he sits outside my open bedroom window and sings to the world that he has made it through the winter, he is back, he is in great shape, and ready to make a few chicks. The Turkey buzzard usually shows up sporadically, beginning around the first of March, but in great abundance by the end of March. As you already know, some spend the winter here. The Swallows that nest in the eaves of building and under bridges are back.

Later in the spring, I will take my wife on our annual trip over the Bell Spring road down to my birth place, Laytonville. We stop in several places just to hear the Meadow Lark cry out to the world that the rock that he is perched on is his and his alone. I always thought that his plaintive lonely cry sounded like “Catch me if you can”. The Bell Springs road in the spring is a trip that all of humanity should travel at least once in their lives. That and the Wilder Ridge road into Ferndale. Wild flowers are everywhere. I especially like to find the little Fawn Lillies hiding under the Manzanita brush.

I like the start of the long warm days, when a person has a chance to move outside. I always get a great urge to build something. Well this has gone on long enough, I think that I will go build something.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bullshistory Vindicated!

Well, I’m a happy man this morning. Nothing can bring you happiness like vindication. When I started the last two posts on the Ghost Dance, and Fox Burns, I was hesitant to mention all that I knew about the two stories, or should I say “I thought that I knew”.

The first thing that I never do is take a newspaper or a book as “Fact”. Reporters often get things wrong, or inadvertently lead you in the wrong direction. Thank-God (Yeah, I know, I’m an agnostic.) for people like Ben, Kym, Spyrock, Olmanriver, and Anonymous, for keeping things in prospective and leading the story in the right direction. And, oh yeah, thank God for Suzy Blah Blah, who can add new depth to almost any conversation.

Also thank god for people like Kate Mayo, who didn’t get all things right, but at least she got them onto paper and provided us with “Pioneering in the Shadow of the Cahto Mountain”. Her book has become a family treasure to many of us Layton-villains (spelling correct). On the Bowman story that I got wrong, I was going from memory of the things that I have heard. My Kate Mayo book has become a stack of loose leaves, that I hold together with a rubber band when I’m not referring to it, but on page 22 it states about Elisa Bowman, that “They settled on 160 acres of rich bottomland and timberland near Hydesville on the main Eel River.” Now that I read it, the description is of Camp Grant, Hydesville is not even on the main Eel. Thanks to Ben for making that right for me.

The Bowman and Fox Burns story was finally brought together for me out of tid-bits of Bullshistory and actual fact. Thanks to “Joan” who recently wrote to me about the Bowmans, and provided me with a shocking discovery that Fox Burns was not a local Indian. My mother said that he looked different than the local Indians. But thanks to Kym, Spyrock, (My new lifetime friend) and my cousin from Laytonville, Penny Branscomb Comer for pulling it all together for me.

I now know that Camp Grant was the homestead of Elisa Bowman. She was attacked by Indians, her home was burned, On March 25 1869. The date of my birthday some years later. Though gravely wounded, she was able to get herself and her kids to a neighbors house where they were able to defeat the Indians. Her son, Andy Bowman, ten years old was able to run for help. Elisa, and her family, moved to Laytonville. Andy became quite famous in the Laytonville area, he cut a wide swath in his lifetime, his life was that of legends. My cousin Penny has the complete story of the Elisa Bowman Indian attack.

The story of Fox Burns now make some sense to me. He was a survivor of the Bloody Run Massacre! The massacre probably happened in the late ‘60s to early 70s?? I’m still amazed at how little info can be found about that event. Fox was a baby traveling with a band of Marauding Modoc Indians. The Modocs killed Jackson Farleys breeding stallion. The local people chased them down and killed all but a few children that were adopted by the local people. Fox was the last of them to die. He was probably in his seventies or eighties when he died. He was a great and gentle man, and a friend Andy Bowman, and of my Grandmother Ruby Branscomb.

A special thanks to Kym and Olmanriver for all the leads and links!

I hesitated to say what I thought that I knew, but if everybody tells their stories, the truth rises to the top like sweet fresh cream, and I do love cream! Thankyou everybody.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fox Burns, Laytonville Legend.

Well, I just received some news that takes me totally by surprise. Others may have known this, but I obviously didn't! Talk about Bullshistory run amok. This Fox Burns obit goes against everything that I thought that I knew. This is proof to me that we should tell our stories, whether we are sure of them or not, but look for the correct information. This Obituary is a totally different version of anything that I've ever heard. The date of death fits. The name fits, and his lifestyle fits. He was older than I thought that he was, and he was from a totally different place. I always thought that he was a survivor of "Bloody Run".

The following is from Joan (Bowman Family):
Newspaper article copied. The name of paper is unknown.

Fox Burns' Life Story Reveals Dead-
Past Humane Deed


Parents Killed During Indian Wars In This County...... 11/04/1942(date of obit)

Fox Burns, one of the oldest Indians in this district and the last of the old time Indians who survived the uprising in Modoc County, passed away in Talmage where he was taken several weeks ago. Deceased was known to be 90 years old but it was thought that he was nearing the century mark.
Adopted After Battle
His parents were both killed during an uprising and battle between white men and Indians. One of the white men in the party by the name of Burns found the little Indian boy after the battle and brought him to this district where he was raised by the Burns family, living with them until their death. In later years he made his home on the Rancheria west of Laytonville.He was highly esteemed by both his own race and the white population. It was not generally known in Laytonville he had passed away until after he had been interred with Indian ritual, in keeping with his work among the younger generation whom he taught the old tradition of their ancestors.(End Quote)

Talmage was the Mendocino State Hospital. Reagan closed it when he was Governor. Did anyone else out ther know this bit of history? Or were they victims of "Bullshistory" like me?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ghost Dance (Revised)

Ghost Dance at Pine Ridge.

The circle dance has been danced by Native Americans since prehistory. Some form of circle dance was performed all over the world. A Paiute Indian by the name of Jack Wilson, otherwise known as “Wovoka” or “Grandfather” taught his people “The Ghost Dance”. It is a form of circle dance.

The Ghost Dance was originated at a time of great troubles for the Indian people. Their buffalo had been hunted to almost complete extinction, they had a Typhoid epidemic in 1867, and the Whiteman appeared to be here to stay. A man by the name of Hawthorne Wodziwob from the Northern Paiute or Tovusi-dokado (Cyprus-bulb eaters) gathered groups of people to tell of his vision and organize Ghost Dances. He organized a series of community dances to announce his vision. He told them about his vision to the land of the dead and of stories told to him by the souls of the recently deceased.

One of Wodziwob’s early disciples was a man by the name of “Tavibo” who was Jack Wilson’s father. Tavibo was a “Weather Doctor”. Jack Wilson grew up and became a Weather Doctor, and he was a talented spiritual leader among his people. On January 1st 1889, during the solar eclipse, Jack Wilson had a great vision. He said that he had seen the vision before, but hadn’t understood it until the vision during the eclipse.

During an interview held by James Mooney, Jack Wilson also known as “Wovoka” said: “…he had stood before God in Heaven, and had seen many of his ancestors engaged in their favorite pastimes. God showed Jack a beautiful land filled with wild game, and instructed him to return home to tell his people that they must love each other, not fight, and live in peace with the whites. God also stated that Jack’s people must work, not steal or lie, and that they must not engage in the old practices of war or the traditional self-mutilation practices connected with mourning the dead. God said that if his people abided by these rules they would be united with their friends and family in the other world.
In God’s presence, Jack proclaimed, there would be no sickness, disease, or old age. According to Jack, he was then given the Ghost Dance and commanded to take it back to his people. Jack preached that if this five-day dance was performed in the proper intervals, the performers would secure their happiness and hasten the reunion of the living and deceased. God purportedly gave Jack powers over weather and told him that he would be the deputy in charge of affairs in the Western United States, leaving current President Harrison deputy in the East. Jack claims that he was then told to return home and preach God’s message.
Jack Wilson claimed to have left the presence of God convinced that if every Indian in the West danced the new dance to “hasten the event,” all evil in the world would be swept away leaving a renewed Earth filled with food, love, and faith. Quickly accepted by his Paiute brethren, the new religion was termed “Dance In A Circle”. Because the first European contact with the practice came by way of the Sioux, their expression “Spirit Dance” was adopted as a descriptive title for all such practices. This was subsequently translated as “Ghost Dance”.

Photo of Wovoka's Gravesite by "Bubba T. Briarhopper" (probably not his real name) Bubba tells about his visit to the gravesite. I provided a link here, but Briarhopper has subsequently given up on the blog world.

As you might have guessed, there is more to this story. What started out as a peace and acceptance move, the ghost dance turned into a prayer to rid the world of white men. While most participants in the ghost dance accepted it as a peace movement, others most certainly didn’t. The Northern Paiutes were subject to the teachings of the Mormons. The Mormons wear “garments” as a symbol of their purity. The Native Americans somehow got the idea that if they wore a “garment” that they would be unable to be killed. They called their protective garments “Ghost Shirts”. They thought that the shirts would ward of bullets and protect them from death.

As the Ghost dance moved throughout the west it was introduced to the Lakota Sioux by chief Kicking Bear. Most all of the Native Americans have renewal ceremonies, where they pray for the Earth to become new again. Only instead of praying for peace and acceptance, the Lakotas prayed for the end of the Evil Whiteman. The fact that they did the ghost dance as a prayer to get rid of the Whiteman, got them the attention of the U.S. Army. The army saw the dances as war dances and thought that Native Americans were preparing for war.

The following is from wikipedia:
In February 1890, the United States government broke a Lakota treaty by adjusting the Great Sioux Reservation of South Dakota (an area that formerly encompassed the majority of the state) into five smaller reservations. This was done to accommodate white homesteaders from the Eastern United States and was in accordance with the government’s clearly stated “policy of breaking up tribal relationships” and “conforming Indians to the white man’s ways, peaceably if they will, or forcibly if they must.” Once on the reduced reservations, tribes were separated into family units on 320-acre (1.3 km2) plots, forced to farm, raise livestock, and send their children to boarding schools that forbade any inclusion of Native American traditional culture and language.

To help support the Sioux during the period of transition, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), was delegated the responsibility of supplementing the Sioux with food and hiring white farmers as teachers for the people. The farming plan failed to take into account the difficulty Sioux farmers would have in trying to cultivate crops in the semi-arid region of South Dakota. By the end of the 1890 growing season, a time of intense heat and low rainfall, it was clear that the land was unable to produce substantial agricultural yields. Unfortunately, this was also the time when the government’s patience with supporting the so-called “lazy Indians” ran out, resulting in rations to the Sioux being cut in half. With the bison virtually eradicated from the plains a few years earlier, the Sioux had no options available to escape starvation.

Increased performances of the Ghost Dance ritual ensued, frightening the supervising agents of the BIA. Kicking Bear was forced to leave Standing Rock, but when the dances continued unabated, Agent McLaughlin asked for more troops, claiming that Hunkpapa spiritual leader Sitting Bull was the real leader of the movement. A former agent, Valentine McGillycuddy, saw nothing extraordinary in the dances and ridiculed the panic that seemed to have overcome the agencies, saying: “The coming of the troops has frightened the Indians. If the Seventh-Day Adventists prepare the ascension robes for the Second Coming of the Savior, the United States Army is not put in motion to prevent them. Why should not the Indians have the same privilege? If the troops remain, trouble is sure to come.”

Nonetheless, thousands of additional U.S. Army troops were deployed to the reservation. On December 15, 1890, Sitting Bull was arrested on the reservation for failing to stop his people from practicing the Ghost Dance. During the incident, a Sioux witnessing the arrest fired at one of the soldiers prompting an immediate retaliation; this conflict resulted in deaths on both sides, including the loss of Sitting Bull himself.

Big Foot, a Miniconjou leader on the U.S. Army’s list of trouble-making Indians, was stopped while en route to convene with the remaining Sioux chiefs. U.S. Army officers forced him and his people to relocate to a small camp close to the Pine Ridge Agency so that the soldiers could more closely watch the old chief. That evening, December 28, the small band of Sioux erected their tipis on the banks of Wounded Knee Creek. The following day, during an attempt by the officers to collect any remaining weapons from the band, one young and deaf Sioux warrior refused to relinquish his arms. A struggle followed in which somebody's weapon discharged into the air. One U.S. officer gave the command to open fire and the Sioux responded by taking up previously confiscated weapons; the U.S. forces responded with carbine firearms and several rapid fire light artillery (Hotchkiss) guns mounted on the overlooking hill. When the fighting had concluded, 25 U.S. soldiers lay dead, many killed by friendly fire, amongst the 153 dead Sioux, most of whom were women and children.

Following the massacre, chief Kicking Bear officially surrendered his weapon to General Nelson A. Miles. Outrage in the Eastern United States emerged as the general population learned about the events that had transpired. The U.S. government had insisted on numerous occasions that the Native American had already been successfully pacified, and many Americans felt the U.S. Army actions were harsh; some related the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek to the “ungentlemanly act of kicking a man when he is already down.” Public uproar played a role in the reinstatement of the previous treaty’s terms including full rations and more monetary compensation for lands taken away.

However, twenty of the soldiers involved received Medals of Honor for their part in the slaughter; these awards have never been revoked.

What started out as a peaceful movement, turned out to be part of the worse Indian massacre in history.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What sign?

It must be nice to go through life thinking that everything is preordained or pre-fated. That if everything goes wrong it was just fate, or Gods will. I’ve never been that fortunate, I don’t believe in luck. I don’t believe that one person can be luckier that another. I don’t believe that if you believe in something strongly enough, that I will happen. I don’t believe that when it’s “your time, it’s your time”, and you might as well resign yourself to it.

We all open our fortune cookies after Chinese dinner and chuckle at the, sometimes, benevolent predictions that are found inside. We read our horoscopes in the morning with hopeful anticipation that this will be our lucky day. I don’t believe the predictions about how your day is going to happen, but what sign of the Zodiac that a person is born under does seem to influence people to the point that their character and nature can be uncannily predicted. I don’t believe that it is magic, but there must be some sort of external force that determines who you will become. The incubation temperature egg of the snapping turtle and the alligator determine whether they become male or female, which effects the outcome of their whole life. The male snapping turtle becomes much larger than the female. All of these differences are formed for their whole lives by a few degrees difference in the temperature of the hatching egg.

Although I believe that you can influence the things that you do, much as the snapping turtle determines which pond that it is going to live in, you have much conscious control over your own life.

It seems that many things are decided at birth which you have no control over, like whether you are male or female. It has been proven that whether you become a male or a female has much to do with what time of the ovulation cycle that your mother was in when you where conceived. Genetics determine most of who you become, but how many other factors determine who you are. Can the cool of the night that you were conceived influence your personal make up? Can the amount of daylight at the time of conception change you? Can the cycle of the sun or the moon when you are conceived change who you later become.

I’m certain that external influences change us mentally and physically. Have you ever read your horoscope and said “how did they know that about me”. I don’t think that man can precisely predict our nature, and I think that the strength of our will has the most influence on the direction of our lives. But there just seems to be some influence by those stars that we were born under. Have you ever noticed that?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Canada in the catbird seat.

Excerpts taken from an article written by Fareed Zakaria. With a tip of the hat to Brian Elie, Garberville’s very own Canadian American, who sent me the article. I assume that he is not gloating…

(Start quote) ...Guess which country, alone in the industrialized world, has not faced a single bank failure, calls for bailouts or government intervention in the financial or mortgage sectors. Yup, it's Canada. In 2008, the World Economic Forum ranked Canada's banking system the healthiest in the world. America's ranked 40th, Britain's 44th.

Canada has done more than survive this financial crisis. The country is positively thriving in it. Canadian banks are well capitalized and poised to take advantage of opportunities that American and European banks cannot seize. The Toronto Dominion Bank, for example, was the 15th-largest bank in North America one year ago. Now it is the fifth-largest. It hasn't grown in size; the others have all shrunk.

So what accounts for the genius of the Canadians? Common sense. Over the past 15 years, as the United States and Europe loosened regulations on their financial industries, the Canadians refused to follow suit, seeing the old rules as useful shock absorbers. Canadian banks are typically leveraged at 18 to 1—compared with U.S. banks at 26 to 1 and European banks at a frightening 61 to 1. Partly this reflects Canada's more risk-averse business culture, but it is also a product of old-fashioned rules on banking.

Canada has also been shielded from the worst aspects of this crisis because its housing prices have not fluctuated as wildly as those in the United States. Home prices are down 25 percent in the United States, but only half as much in Canada. Why? Well, the Canadian tax code does not provide the massive incentive for overconsumption that the U.S. code does: interest on your mortgage isn't deductible up north. In addition, home loans in the United States are "non-recourse," which basically means that if you go belly up on a bad mortgage, it's mostly the bank's problem. In Canada, it's yours. Ah, but you've heard American politicians wax eloquent on the need for these expensive programs—interest deductibility alone costs the federal government $100 billion a year—because they allow the average Joe to fulfill the American Dream of owning a home. Sixty-eight percent of Americans own their own homes. And the rate of Canadian homeownership? It's 68.4 percent.

Canada has been remarkably responsible over the past decade or so. It has had 12 years of budget surpluses, and can now spend money to fuel a recovery from a strong position. The government has restructured the national pension system, placing it on a firm fiscal footing, unlike our own insolvent Social Security. Its health-care system is cheaper than America's by far (accounting for 9.7 percent of GDP, versus 15.2 percent here), and yet does better on all major indexes. Life expectancy in Canada is 81 years, versus 78 in the United States; "healthy life expectancy" is 72 years, versus 69. American car companies have moved so many jobs to Canada to take advantage of lower health-care costs that since 2004, Ontario and not Michigan has been North America's largest car-producing region.

I could go on. The U.S. currently has a brain-dead immigration system. We issue a small number of work visas and green cards, turning away from our shores thousands of talented students who want to stay and work here. Canada, by contrast, has no limit on the number of skilled migrants who can move to the country. They can apply on their own for a Canadian Skilled Worker Visa, which allows them to become perfectly legal "permanent residents" in Canada—no need for a sponsoring employer, or even a job. Visas are awarded based on education level, work experience, age and language abilities. If a prospective immigrant earns 67 points out of 100 total (holding a Ph.D. is worth 25 points, for instance), he or she can become a full-time, legal resident of Canada.

Companies are noticing. In 2007 Microsoft, frustrated by its inability to hire foreign graduate students in the United States, decided to open a research center in Vancouver. The company's announcement noted that it would staff the center with "highly skilled people affected by immigration issues in the U.S." So the brightest Chinese and Indian software engineers are attracted to the United States, trained by American universities, then thrown out of the country and picked up by Canada—where most of them will work, innovate and pay taxes for the rest of their lives.

If President Obama is looking for smart government, there is much he, and all of us, could learn from our quiet—OK, sometimes boring—neighbor to the north. Meanwhile, in the councils of the financial world, Canada is pushing for new rules for financial institutions that would reflect its approach. (End Quote)

If you are considering moving to Canada to get a job, you should probably make sure you have a job first, because they give Canadians first preference, what a novel idea. If you buy a house, apparently you will have to pay for it... Whaaaat???

Here are some more interesting links about jobs in Canada.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not Politics

This is a photo of a coping saw. It kinda' ties in if you read the rest of the story

One of the reasons that I never talk about politics on this blog is not because I'm not interested, it's just that it seems so darn divisive, and nothing is solved on a blogsite. I said just this morning that if I were President I could solve this countries problems in a heartbeat, and there would be no Democrat or Republican split, because I would run as an "American All Inclusive", where the number one priority would be America and Americans first. If that sounds selfish or racist it's not. It's just that I have too many years of training in saving other people as a medical and a fire department first responder. It is drilled into us repeatedly that the first priority is keep ourselves safe, because if we don't, we only add to the problem.

If someone is drowning in the surf, we as first responders are trained to not jump in the surf to save that person unless we have the proper training and equipment to save that person, with small risk to ourselves. The reasoning is, if there is only one person in the surf, we have one person to save, if somebody else jumps in to save that person without a reasonable chance that it can be accomplished, the situation then becomes, TWO people that need saving. I use that example because it is often the situation, that when a person is washed of a beach there is multiple drowning of people trying to rescue the stricken victim.

The same thing could be said of America, years ago when Reagan said that we should be “part of the world economy”. It sent a chill up my spine. What he did is, he threw America in the stormy economic ocean with the Idea that America could sink or swim with the rest of the world economy, and the whole world would become strong. Conversely, what happened is he brought the American economy down to the level of the rest of the world. The other thing, there were money sharks in the water that didn’t necessarily play fair. America didn’t have the training or experience to be in the water with communist countries.

What some people see as selfishness, by wanting the American economy to stay within it’s borders, I see as the only chance to save the world from drowning. We could have saved the world from this economic mess if we had kept ourselves safe. Now we will do very well if we can keep ourselves from being sucked under by the every deepening whirlpool of economic destruction.

So, I know that some folks approach problems with very simple solutions, like Flying Pigs that can haul freight, or the Hippopotamus that brought rain the dessert by hatching into a Butterfly, and flying through the rain clouds to cause a rainstorm.

I don’t expect anybody commenting on the blog will have any real solutions, but they are fun to talk about. Like, how much fun would it be to see Nancy Pelosi fall into and unheated swimming pool? Or see George bush trip and fall into a cowpie with his smirk?

Like most of my family, my Cousin “Oregon” just happens to work in the lumber industry. They tell me that he is a Damn fine saw-filer, and that is the only reason that he is still working while so many other lumber workers are laid off. Most mill workers will tell you the saw-filer makes the mill run. If the saws don’t run right, nothing goes good.

My cousin “Oregon” offered a solution. I kind of like the “Feel Good” aspect of it, but it’s right up there with “When Pigs Fly”. Those are the kind of comments that I’m looking for. Hang great expectations, I want to see some real gut felt opinions. Ones that won’t happen. or solve a darn thing, but wouldn’t it be fun if they happened?

Here's "oregons" opinion:
"Well is isn't Greenday anymore and I see lots of hits with no comments here so I'll throw something this way.

I think they should leave AIG alone and all that signed the Omnibus bill should chip in to pay for the bonus' that the CEO's received.

I wish we could have a new election and have it be a write in vote only, for all the seats in Washington. I might add, I would like to see this election this November.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patricks day!

Bran the Blessed
In the collection of Welsh mythical tales called The Mabinogion, Bran the Blessed is a giant Welsh king.
Hearing of the disgrace of his sister, Branwen, Bran walks across the Irish Sea to rescue her.
His animal totem is the Raven.

I hope ye be wearin' the Green taday! Just so ya be knowin, My ancestor "Bran the Blessed" was well steeped in Irish hist'ry. I hope ye be readin the tale, and it be the Lard's own truth I tell ye. Fact o' the matter is, all o' the stories of Bran the Blessed are the truth! But when the truth be told in the wee Emerald Isle, it be stretched a wee bit, until it become a "tale" or a legend. "Bran the blessed" is what is known as a "tall tale". By the Lards own truth, he be tall enough ta wade the Irish sea ta be savin' his poor misused sister "Aunt Branwen". By some tellin' of the tales he took a fleet of ships to save her. M'self? I like the tale where he wades the Irish Sea.

Ta go back a wee tad, Bran was the King of Wales and ruled all of England, when Matholwch, the King of Ireland fell in love with Brans sister, Branwen, He asked Bran fer her hand in marriage, The Old Kings back then liked to keep everything in the family and Bran saw this as a grand opportunity to have ALL of the British Isle in the family, so he gladly gave his sisters hand in marriage to Matholwch. His half brother became enraged that Bran had given Branwen away, and killed all of the Irish Kings horses by slashing them apart with his sword. As ya might be thinkin' this greatly angered the Irish king. Bran, bein' greatly embarassed gave the Irish King a great gift ta make up fer it. Brân gave him "The magic cauldron", which restores the dead to life. All ye have ta do is poke a dead man in it, and he be poppin' right back alive! As the Lard be me witness!(We, with direct ancestry, truly know that the magic Cauldron was actually THE HOLY GRAIL! I can hear the angles singin' with the mere mention.)

Now, as ye already know, Matholwch mistreated Branwen, this greatly angered Bran and he waded the Irish sea, while his soldiers took ships. They had a great battle and all but seven soldiers were killed, and Bran was mortally wounded. He was too big to take back to England, so he told them to cut off his head, and he would talk to them while they took it back home. They buried the head on the "White Hill" which us ancestors know is where The Tower of London now stands. His head was buried facing France to scare off any French invaders.

Bran's Great body was turned into Ravens, which are called Brans in Wales, but called Ravens, or Crows, in the rest of the world. They are all my ancestors. If ye be visitin' the Tower of London, ye will be noticin' that the "Brans" or Ravens are well protected, and that if any harm be comin' of the Brans, great misfortune will be befallin' Angland.

If ye be steppin' out side today and see a Raven, say a blessin' ta keep it safe. The Raven be my "Grandfather Bird".


As with all tales, or legends, from the British Isles that have some age to them, there is some truth, and some fiction. The early people had no written language, and they passed on stories as they saw fit. They added "morals" or aggrandised their ancestors, or put a in few extra ideas that might win over a lover, or win a bet. If the memory of the story was vague, they would just verbally gloss over the rough parts, much as we change photographs with our computers today. The end story has little to do with the truth, but what grand stories they end up being. As you might have guessed, my ancestors Kissed the Blarney Stone while they were there. I also have direct Irish ancestry... Another tale for another day.

For the Legend of Bran, check these links, or Goggle "Bran the Blessed"

Monday, March 16, 2009


"The trimmers were already at work with KMUD on the camp radio as I put a pot of water to boil on the blue jet of the turkey fryer. All the trimmers were strong women with independent streaks that render them unemployable in the real world. They are the Grower’s new girlfriend (of course), a Lesbian Couple, and some badass café au lait chick from L.A. with Jimi Hendrix hair. The Lesbian Couple were pros, never missing a minute of trimming at the standard rate of $250 per pound. Years of scissorwork had wizened their eyes back in their heads, so they looked like two little possums futzing with the weed. The L.A. Trimmer and the new girlfriend were new to the trade, so they took time to eat breakfast.

The only accepted topics of conversations in Humboldt are what’s your sign, what you can’t eat or what dream you had. I told them about the white owl because I’m obviously an omnivorous Scorpio. The femme of the Lesbian Couple allowed that white owls were “harbingers of good fortune,” while her girl stole my coffee water to make oatmeal for her dog."

A friend of mine emailed this to me, so I thought that I would share. Some more for the Humboldt County Pot story addicts: Click here


Sunday, March 15, 2009

What happened to Garberville?

As often happens with me, I started to do a post about one thing and got off on a tangent about all of the changes that I've seen. I think that nowadays I would be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Syndrome. To change the subject again, just a little bit, because this post is mostly about changes. We used to spell and pronounce “nowadays” as “nowdays”, just one other bit of change the newcomers brought us.

I started to do a post about education in California, and I got to thinking about all of the people that have given greatly to the local school districts. As my gentle readers already know my 3G Grandfather Benjamin Franklin Branscomb was instrumental in starting the school district in the Laytonville/ Branscomb area. My family has participated in education in some form or another ever since then. My mother was what would be known as a “teachers-aide” back in the fifties at the Laytonville grammar school. When we would have a PTA fair, or a party at the school, she would be there cutting the cake or passing out the ice cream. Most of the children’s mothers could be seen at the school from time to time. Quite often the teacher would call on some of the class mothers to help out at the school. When the state started hiring teacher’s aides it confused me as to why they thought that teacher’s aides would be better than having your own mother in the classroom. As more women were forced to enter the job market to improve their financial standing, their ability to volunteer was diminished, and the schools were forced to hire teacher’s aides.

My family is still involved in Education My cousin Penny(Branscomb)Comer still works in the Laytonville School. I’m going to add a sentence here because the newcomers say that you can’t use one sentence as a paragraph. Shows what they know! The fact that Penny is still in education seems like it ought to be its own paragraph to me.

Last week, the President of the Garberville Rotary Club had his bell stolen by one of the members. It’s a game that we play, the bell always gets taken care of, and it always returns. We have had the bell since 1938. The program that day happened to be given by the Save Our Schools foundation. (S.O.S.) They pointed out the desperate situation our local schools are in. One Rotary member, who will go unnamed, (not me) said that he would donate one hundred dollars to the school if the bell was returned to the president by the end of the day, and encouraged other Rotarians to do the same (and me). Over eighteen-hundred dollars was raised for the school. The money was raised from mostly people of modest means. We no longer have the generous wealthy lumber barons of the past that donated to the schools in a very big way.

Another change in Garberville is that the Rotary club members are not making the kind of easy money that they made it the past. Most of the people that make easy money live in what has become known as “The Counter-Culture”. Some of the counter-culture are very generous people and contribute to the local schools with anonymous donations. They also participate in the efforts of the local service clubs to raise funding for the schools, so they are not to be discounted out of hand. They don’t as a rule belong to the service clubs out of their need to not draw attention to themselves. Most of the big money in Garberville circulates underground now.

The Rotary Club used to be made up out of main street businesses. If you started down the street, every business would have a member in the Rotary Club. It would be rare that there was a business that didn’t have a member in Rotary. Rotary by it’s own definition is a “Club made up of Business and Professional People”. The local club’s membership has been around fifty-two people since 1938, up until around 1998. Membership has been declining, not because it’s not a viable club, but because the town businesses are owned by major corporations. Most of the people that work for these corporations are too overworked to give any time to the club. Some people have tried to maintain membership, but their careers gobble up all of their time and energy, and they end up dropping out. Attendance is a big requirement in Rotary because the club is supposed to represent the community, and if you are not in attendance you become a poor representative.

Some of the older local businesses still believe in community participation. In fact they encourage their employees to participate. I shouldn’t name names, but I will because of their outstanding service to the community. Blue Star Gas has served this community well. Blue Star’s local manager, Dennis O’Sullivan, has been a member of the Southern Humboldt School board, and a member of the Rotary club since shortly after his arrival in Garberville. He was also a Garberville fireman, and served as their fire chief for a few years. He was elected as “Citizen of the year” a few years ago. He was instrumental in saving the town of Redway from a major fire when he was involved in stopping a major leak in the large propane storage tank in Redway. Bill Stewart, One of the owners of Blue Star Gas, is a Rotary club member and true to his philosophy to “give back to the community that you live in” he has served on almost all of the boards of directors of the local districts and non-profits. Some of Blue Stars employees are prominent members of our local fire departments and rescue squads. Will Johnson was the incident commander at one of our major drills at the con-camp recently. Todd Barton has been the truck engineer on more fires than most people have been firefighters.

This great service to our community is all made possible by the farsighted wisdom of local people like Bill Stewart and Blue star Gas. (It's own pargraph)

My own philosophy is to give back to the community that I live in, but I can, in no way, give back to the extent that Blue Star Gas does. I actually allowed any member of my crew to be paid their regular salary while on fire calls. They were always responsible about it, and made a conscientious effort to not exceed the boundaries of their responsibly to my business.

The crew that I had also helped me build the local markets. Up until a few years ago my company built and maintained most all of the refrigeration in the Garberville area. Branscomb Refrigeration installed all of the refrigeration in the Ray’s Sentry in Garberville. They are now owned by a major corporation, they have their own refrigeration people, and I’m now “Ernie who?” at Ray’s. I’m not looking for sympathy, I enjoy not having to be responsible, night and day for their problems. But, because of the downturn in service calls from the local businesses that are being scooped up by big corporations, I’ve gone from four employees down to just myself. I’m still a firefighter, but no one else from my business is. The fire department is also hurting for staffing. (Remember when we used to call it “Manpower”) Most of our firefighters would come from the ranks of the local businesses.

When someone’s house or business was on fire, it was considered to be important enough to close your own business and jump on a fire truck. I remember Ray Hartig, who owned a small grocery store, who had a sign made for his door that said, "Closed, On a fire call”. He would place the sign on the door as he locked it on his way out. That business is now called “Chautauqua”. Great folks by the way, but no firefighters amongst them. As a side note of great importance, Ray was a community minded person that gave back way more than expected, he died at a fire at the Benbow Mill. In respect for this man, the Rotary Club gives a scholarship each year to a worthy student in his name.

So what has happen to this town, that used to be so giving, and many ways still is. Why is it that the fire department can’t get people to join their ranks? Why is it that managers don’t see the Rotary Club as being worth their time? Why is it that we don’t have one single firefighter from the corporate world in Garberville. The corporations themselves do contribute money to our schools, and all of the people that work there are good people, but they are held on a very tight leash.

Well, our schools, service clubs, and fire departments are all in trouble, and education in Southern Humboldt is in the midst of an economic fire storm. I’ve looked for solutions, but I don’t have any suggestions. I sure do long for the day’s that when our neighbors were in trouble it was even important enough to close our businesses long enough to help them, or at least made sure that our employees were available to help.

Friday, March 13, 2009

And the survey says...

On a national scale.

Polls show growing support for ending marijuana prohibition.
by Ben Morris
Published February 23, 2009 @ 10:49AM PST
Three recent polls have shown that Americans are more sympathetic to ending marijuana prohibition than ever before.
The polls, conducted by Rassmussen Reports, CBS News, and Zogby, show 40, 41, and 44 percent support respectively. In conjunction with Gallop poll data going back to the 1960s, we see that support for ending marijuana prohibition has consistently trended upwards, while opposition has trended down.

New Poll Finds Growing Support for Legalization

February 19, 2009 -

A growing number of Americans, and a majority in the West, support legalizing marijuana, according to a January 29-31 poll of 1,053 likely voters by Zogby International, sponsored by California NORML and Oaksterdam University.

When asked: "Should marijuana be taxed and legally regulated like alcohol and cigarettes to help raise money for public services and to reduce law enforcement costs?", voters responded: 44% Yes, 52% No, and 4% Undecided.

Surprisingly high support was reported in the West, where voters favored legalization 58% - 36%. However, the significance of this margin is questionable due to the relatively small number of respondents (232). Easterners were nearly divided - 48% Yes, 49% No - while other regions were strongly opposed.

A similar Zogby/NORML poll in 2006 found only 36% of Americans in support of legalization, with 55% opposed.

Nationally, voters under 30 were particularly supportive, by a margin of 55%-45%, suggesting that a majority could emerge in coming years. Among older groups, baby boomers aged 50-64 showed the strongest support, 48%-48%.

In another Zogby poll question sponsored by NORML, voters were asked whether Obama should fulfill his election pledge to end DEA raids on medical marijuana providers in states where medical marijuana is legal.

Voters overwhelmingly said yes by 72% - 21%, with voters in all demographic groups agreeing.

The day after the poll results were released, White House spokesman Nick Shapiro announced the administration's intent to end the DEA raids.

Chart source: fivethirtyeight.com

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Modern-day man's inhumanity to man,

If you're not interested in Drugs Politics or Rants, you should skip this and just say "hello" in the comments. That way, you won't have to figure it all out .

I'm Going to be talking in blue today so you can tell my comments from the other quotes.

Why is it that the common person like you or I can see things so clearly, but our government officials can't? Who didn't know that America was headed into a recession? I had a friend, who has passed away now that said when someone tells you that "we live in a world economy now", what they are really telling you is "I don't give a damn about your job, I'm making a killing in the stock market". What was really happening is that the stock market investors were making a killing on cashing in on a percentage of the money leaving the country. When the moneys all gone we will be in trouble. Well, here we are surprise, surprise!

Now we are bailing out banks and trying to save investors, when we should be concentrating on real jobs, and real productivity, like growing food and building the things we need to keep America growing and strong. But no, we are printing phony money and selling it to our grandchildren to save the sorry assholes that put us into this mess. Who can we thank? Our crooked politicians, who sold-out our economy, and are still selling out our economy unless Obama gets a clue.

The politicians in State of Illinois are so crooked that a person can't even get elected unless they are a crook. So, why are we surprised when the Governor is trying to sell Obama's senate seat?

The second thing of major importance, is we little people can clearly see that our uncontrolled borders are a problem. Why is it that our politicians can't get a clue on what is happening at our borders? Our borders are so open that the Mexican crooks and thugs are coming into the United States to hide, just like the crooks and thugs used to hide in Mexico in the good old days of the wild, wild west. Our borders ore so open that the average person could easily come into the U.S. illegally with a minor amount of persistence. Why is this allowed to happen? They always say, "Follow the money, and you will find the problem". So who is buying-off our politicians this time? Or is it that nobody is trying to pay our politicians, and they just don't deem it to be a problem that they should deal with, until there is some money in it for them?

When the Enron scandal surfaced, and they went broke, it cost the state of California five billion dollars in energy costs. Enron's reason for existing was to take California energy dollars to Texas. Why didn't the U.S. government try to save California from the devastating costs that put our economy in a downward spiral? What did we do about it? We got Gray Davis recalled and Got Arnold elected, which might be fair, because Davis was stupid enough to not know that Pete Wilson got us into the Enron scandal, and Davis was not able to get us out. I've got news for you, the rest of the U.S. doesn't give a rats-ass about what happens to "California". They figure that we can solve our own problems.

Now we have a Marijuana problem in Humboldt County. To legalize, or not to legalize, that is the question. More news: the rest of the state of California doesn't give a rats-ass about us. It's going to be our problem.

So, what does the rest of the Marijuana industry look like and where are we headed? We need look no futher than Mexico. How deeply are the Mexican cartels hidden in California? Do they affect us yet? Are our cops out numbered yet? Like they are in Mexico?

I have to tell you, this Mexican Cartel thing still has me confused, but I know that there are some really smart people out there that DO have it all figured out. What happens to Mexico if we legalize Marijuana? And, if we don't legalize, will the Cartels start telling our cops what to do?

Quotes from Various sources:

Some 7,000 people have been killed in an upsurge in violence between Mexican cartels since January 2008. U.S. officials fear the violence is spreading into the southwestern United States, where there have been abductions and execution-style murders tied to the drug trade.

About 90 percent of all cocaine consumed in the United States comes through Mexico. It also is a major source of heroin, methamphetamines and marijuana in the United States, according to Homeland Security officials.
Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/joeBiden/idUSN11269402

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has deployed thousands of soldiers to fight drug gangs across the country since taking office in 2006. Despite the effort, more than 6,000 people were killed last year in drug violence.
Source: http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-03-08-voa7.cfm

Thanks to American drug users, Mexico's drug cartels have enough money to support a 100,000-man army of soldiers
Source: http://www.fark.com/cgi/comments.pl?IDLink=4247568

The conflict goes back a ways: MEXICO CITY — One of Mexico's biggest drug cartels has launched a brazen recruiting campaign, putting up fliers and banners promising good pay, free cars and better food to army soldiers who join the cartel's elite band of hit men.

"We don't feed you Maruchan soups," said one banner in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, referring to a brand of ramen noodles.

The recruiting by the Gulf Cartel reflects how Mexico's fight against traffickers increasingly resembles a real war, nearly 17 months after President Felipe Calderón ordered the army into drug hot spots.

"Army and police-force conflicts with heavily armed narcotics cartels have escalated to levels equivalent to military small-unit combat," the U.S. Embassy said last week in a travel warning to Americans.

Fliers urging soldiers to defect began appearing earlier this month in the border city of Reynosa. They were pasted on telephone poles over government posters that offered rewards to drug informants.
Source: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-04-24-mexicocartels_N.htm

Forbes magazine's latest list of the world's billionaires includes Mexico's most wanted man - Joaquin Guzman.
The 54-year-old, who is said to be the head of one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels, is 701st on the list with an estimated fortune of $1bn Forbes magazine's latest list of the world's billionaires includes Mexico's most wanted man - Joaquin Guzman.
The 54-year-old, who is said to be the head of one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels, is 701st on the list with an estimated fortune of $1bn

In 1989, Colombia's Pablo Escobar was ranked the 7th richest man in the world, with $25bn (£18bn) to his name.
Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7938904.stm

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Mexican drug cartels are increasingly active inside the United States, producing homegrown marijuana and gaining new urban footholds, officials say.
Narcotics officials say that the four major cartels are avoiding tougher border enforcement efforts by growing more pot within the United States. Combined with what they have been able to smuggle into the country, the gangs have been able to maintain marijuana supply lines that have barely suffered a dent while flows of other kinds of illegal drugs have been pinched, The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) reported Monday.
The four largest Mexican cartels -- the Federation, the Tijuana Cartel, the Juarez Cartel and the Gulf Cartel -- now operate in 195 U.S. cities, up from about 50 cities in 2006, a Justice Department report indicates. One reason is that marijuana sales have been a steady and lucrative business for them, virtually unrelated to the ups and downs of other drugs.
"Marijuana is the king crop," Special Agent Rafael Reyes of the Drug Enforcement Administration told the Times. "It consistently sustains its marketability and profitability."
Mexican drug traffickers have also moved into hydroponic marijuana production -- cannabis grown indoors without soil and using sunlamps, officials said.
Source: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/02/02/Mexican_cartels_move_into_US_pot_growing/UPI-99021233580269/

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The world was different just a few hundred years ago

I’m at the bottom of my ideas as to what to post here. Just to show you how much though I’ve given this, I considered asking you to tell me what color your favorite M&M was.

Something that has been rolling around in my mind lately is man’s inhumanity to man. So it’s a toss-up between writing a post on M&Ms, or man’s inhumanity to man. Oh well, everybody knows that you like the red M&Ms the best, so I’ll just move into my other subject.

Man’s inhumanity toward man. I think that the most brutal way to die would be the be dragged, drawn, and quartered. Up until the mid nineteenth century is was legal in Great Briton to drag, draw, and quarter a person found guilty of treason. For those of you unfamiliar to the process, it was to be as follows from old English Law:

“Then Sentence was passed, as followeth, viz. That they should return to the place from whence they came, from thence be drawn to the Common place of Execution upon Hurdles, and there to be Hanged by the Necks, then cut down alive, their Privy-Members cut off, and Bowels taken out to be burned before their Faces, their Heads to be severed from their Bodies, and their Bodies divided into four parts, to be disposed of as the King should think fit.”

They did this only in the cases of “High Treason”, which basically means that you disagreed with the king.

“Women found guilty of treason in England were sentenced to be drawn to a place of execution and burned at the stake, that was later changed to hanging by the Treason act of 1790 in Great Britain, and 1796 in Ireland.”

As you can see, they were much kinder the gentler sex.

After looking around the world a little bit, and looked at some of the methods that used to kill each other, I thought that probably the only people in the world to treat each other decently would be the American Indian. Although I’ve heard of tales of great brutality, most of then were against the white man during the Indian wars of the eighteen hundreds. So, I started my search of the Indian culture. I found that some of the north coast Indians held slaves.

From Wikipedia:
“Among some Pacific Northwest tribes about a quarter of the population were slaves. Other slave-owning tribes and societies of the New World were, for example, Comanche of Texas, Creek of Georgia, the fishing societies, such as the Yurok, that lived along the coast from what is now Alaska to California, the Pawnee and Klamath, the Caribs of Dominica, the Tupinnamba of Brazil, and the Tehuelche of Patagonia.”

The South American Indians were much more unfeeling toward their fellow human beings, it seems that they used their slave much as we use cattle today:

“In Brazil slavery was already part of the native population traditions. Native Americans would enslave other Native Americans, captured from rival tribes, and would often eat their slaves after some time. After the arrival of the Portuguese, the Native Americans started to trade their prisoners, instead of using them as slaves or food, in exchange for goods. But the enslavement of Europeans could also occur as happened with Hans Staden who, after being set free, wrote a book about the habits of the Native Americans.”

I’m not writing this to point out any great fault in the American Indian, but to point out that much of these kind of things went on before organized civilization. So when people start feeling bad about what their ancestors did, there is enough shame to go around on ALL sides. The early men were brutal to each other.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spy Rock School

Three pictures of the Spy Rock School, by Robin Shelly. I'm not sure where this school is located, nor am I sure if it has anything to do with the schools that we have been talking about. I want to make that clear after mistakenly thinking that Frank Layton ran the post office. I'm still not sure that he didn't, but I'm bad at research.

These photos remind me of the small school that we have up Salmon Creek, near Miranda, that Kym is familiar with.

Robin do you have any more information about this school, is it private, a charter school, or part of a school district?

The bottom photo is the old Branscomb Store in Branscomb California. Photo by Robin Shelly.

It is also the present day post office. The original store was built back in the eighteen hundreds. The original building had two square facades. They were removed and the front was remodeled to have the two triangle shaped gable end roof lines.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More on the Branscomb / School Connection.

Spyrock asked me if I knew the connection between the school in Spy Rock Called "The Branscomb School" And the Branscomb family. I went into a bunch of genealogy about the Branscomb family. I mostly to make you familiar with who Benjamin Franklin Branscomb was. He was born in Knox County Illinois, and raised on a farm on the Spoon River. He received his formal education in the Illinois public schools. He moved with his family to Iowa, and then on to De Kalb County Missouri. Where his father Joseph Branscomb served as sheriff.

Benjamin put great importance on education, he was proud of his education and tried to help others in becoming educated. Benjamin moved to California in the spring of 1857, he worked as a ferry operator for a year, then moved to Laguna and Guerneville, where worked as a farmer and a dairyman for about twenty years, during which time he married the daughter of the wagon train master that he came to California with. He moved, along with his family, to Jackson Valley California in the spring of 1880 in a wagon with all of their belongings. They Homesteaded 160 acres. They built a house out of one redwood tree, most of the lumber was hand split and finished. All of the timbers and shingles were hand made. The house was a large two story house and it was later used as the Branscomb Hotel. The old house still stands today. Just south of the Branscomb Store. It has been refurbished several times, but most of the main framework is original.

Benjamin helped to establish the Jackson Valley School District, were he also served on the Board of Trustees. Benjamin also established a post office were he was appointed the Postmaster. One of the privileges of being a Postmaster was that the Postmaster got to suggest a name for the Township. Along with many others at that time, he named the town after himself, Branscomb. The town of Laytonville was named after their Postmaster Frank Layton in 1874. Garberville was named after Jacob Garber. Leggett was named after Leggett, and Piercy was also named after their postmaster.

Charles Branscomb, son of Benjamin, was educated in the school in Branscomb, and he also put great value on Education. At this point I’m not sure of the connection to the Branscomb school in Spy Rock, but I think that the trail that I made will lead you to the same conclusion that I have come to, that it must have had something to do with Charles, and the daughters of Charles, who lived in Covelo. Spy Rock is in the North West corner of the Covelo area.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Some Geneology about Laytonville.

They say that the family tree is a pole in laytonville. It's not that bad, but you do have to be careful who you marry, because if you are from an old family chances are awfully good that you are related.

So Spyrock wants to talk about how a school near Spyrock, California, on the railroad got named "The Branscomb School".

He Posted:
spyrock said...
after reading your blog last night we watched a show about the drug war up your way and they said that Garberville was the center of activity. and that dog is obviously biting his own tail. so to change the subject. back to family threads.
found my katie mayo book today and reading about your family history i've made some connections. joe branscomb got married in jackson county, ohio when my dad's ancestor big george was living there. joe's son ben was the one who moved to northern california and homesteaded the town of branscomb. his oldest son charles moved to covelo to raise cattle and then became a famous blacksmith. his daughter etta who later married bert carner went to school with my grandma at the branscomb school in spyrock and in 1918, my mom and uncle delbert went to the yoew or yow school which was the home of etta's sister florence who married thomas yoew. they called the yoew school the spyrock school. after 2 years the school was moved to the cafeteria building built by north western pacific railroad when the railroad was built. the school was moved from there to the north and they changed the name from spyrock school to simmerly school.
i've got a picture of this school and of some of the kids in 1921. the leggets, shorts, dunlaps and simmerlys all went to these schools. as your great uncle had 3 girls is the reason your name doesn't pop up more often. but obviously they were responsible for getting kids educated up there from the beginning.

March 1, 2009 5:56 PM

My answer:
Spy I'm going to add some dates and other information so maybe others can follow your story, but you are right about the information in Katie's book. First consider this as “Bullshistory” because I’m writing what I’ve heard and cannot verify.

Yes, us Branscombs are prolific girl makers. My Dads brothers, uncle Edwin had five girls, and no boys. My uncle Ben had three girls and one boy, my father Everett had one girl and me, a boy. I had one daughter. My cousin Roy, Bens son, had two boys and a daughter. Good for Roy, or the Branscomb family would have ended in the South Fork of the Eel.

Katie Mayo got most of it right. As you know the Old-Timers were as careful with history as they could be, but spelling and dates didn't mean much to them, so they got a lot of things mixed up. As far back as we have been able to trace the family is Edmond Branscom (as spelled) born in the late 1700’s with no other details. He was the father of Joseph Branscomb, born in 1813. No other details. Joseph moved to Jackson County Ohio, where he married Diane Pierce in about 1835. The couple then moved, and bought a farm on the Spoon River, in Knox County, Illinois. From there they moved to Dubuque, Iowa in 1854, and from there to De Kalb County, Missouri, in 1856.

This is where the history gets confusing. He was the Sheriff of De Kalb, Mo. Where the records show that he was shot to death several days before Lincoln was assassinated. (April 15 1865) I’ve heard that Joseph Branscomb was also the Sheriff of Grass Valley, California, where he was shot to death there. So, the records show that he was killed in two places.

Joseph and Diane had nine children, six lived. Medical care back then was, if you lived, you were okay, if you didn’t, they put you in a box and buried you. The surviving children were, Benjamin Franklin Branscomb, (My dear old 3G grandfather that came to California in 1857) Emma (Branscomb) Pritchard, who I believe was Humboldt County Supervisor Harry Pritchard’s 2G Grandmother. Small world back then wasn’t it? Virginia (Branscomb) Littleton of Santa Rosa. Eliza (Branscomb) Cook, Burlington. Joseph Edmond Branscomb, Wyoming. Charles A. Branscomb, Grangerville. Idaho.

The records show that “the Branscomb family moved to California in March of 1857, with the Benjamin Taylor Ox-team wagon train”. Benjamin Taylor was my 4G Grandfather. Benjamin Taylor had a pretty young daughter named “Jane”. Jane was born in De Kalb County Mo. Daughter of Benjamin and Rachael (Ernest) Taylor. My 3G Grandfather Benjamin Branscomb and Jane Taylor were married August 1859 on the Taylor Ranch near Sebastopol, California.

On first arriving in California Benjamin Branscomb worked a ferry at Bidwell’s Landing near Chico. In 1858 he moved to Sonoma County, a year later he married Jane. Benjamin engaged in the dairy business, and farmed in the Guerneville and Laguna area. He and Jane had Ten children. That was back when birth control was practically not practiced. Lucky for me!

Of the ten children, one was Charles William Branscomb, the world famous blacksmith. Of course the world was much smaller then. Charles married Melvena Uarka Middleton daughter of John and Suzanna Middleton, who were my 2G Grandparents. They moved to California in 1853, and they stayed in Timbuctoo in the gold country until the mid 1860‘s, then they moved to Mud Springs on Mud Creek, near Branscomb Calif. They were Quakers and found their way to California with the help of Indian guides. They had a daughter at Salt Lake on their way to California her name was Mary. She is said to be the first White non-Mormon baby to be born at Salt Lake.

Melvene went by her middle name Uarka, we called her “Aunt Arky”. She and Charles Lived in Covelo and had two daughters, Etta Rachel Branscomb and Florence Estelle Branscomb. Spyrock, these two girls are the ones that I believe taught at the “Branscomb School” near Spy Rock.

You need to read pages 53, John and Elizabeth Kauble and The Simmerleys. Luther Sherburn is on page 55. Needless to say “Pioneering in the Shadow of the Cahto Mountain” is about our families.

Kym Kemp didn’t say who her Eel River Ranger ancestor was or I could probably tell her how we are related.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The dog has a good point.

The end with the teeth always wins!

The dog reminds me of Garberville. It solves it's problems in a very similar fashion.

For those of you that didn't figure it out, the picture is a video strip. Click on the arrow at the lower left of the screen.