Friday, August 7, 2009

A soldiers tale of the Eel River

The following print in black is from Olmanriver's research. Anything in oxblood is my comments. The Armstrong Ranch is at the location of the River Ranch, now the Bonham Ranch, or where John Niel lives, the field south of the Garberville airport. The Spouls lived at the mouth of what we now call "Spowel Creek", named after them.

Report of Lieut. Daniel D. Lynn, Sixth U. S. Infantry.

FORT HUMBOLDT, CAL., March 28, 1861.
SIR: In conformity with recent verbal instructions from you I have the honor to enter upon a somewhat detailed account of the campaign from the South Fork of Eel River to its termination. But, firstly, permit me to state that I do not consider it out of place to submit a statement of the origin of the South Fork difficulties.

Origin of the South Fork difficulties.-The only reliable and satisfactory account of these difficulties and their origin that I have yet received is one from Mr. Bruce, a partner of Mr. Armstrong, of the Valley of the South Fork. I regret that I am unable to give all the particulars. It appears that Mr. Ross, widely known as a trafficker with Indians, with one or more persons, was going up the South Fork between Mr. Armstrong’s place and that of Messrs. Sproul, and overtaken by a small party of rather bold Indians. The Indians did not run, but slowly proceeded toward the white men, but Mr. Ross, either fearing that the Indians were dangerous, or thinking they were “too fast,” fired on and, I think, killed one. The Sproul boys appearing and taking sides with Ross and escorting him to their home, led the Indians to think that the Sprouls shared Mr. Ross’ sentiments, and were their enemies-a very rational conclusion, especially when it is added that the boys then sheltered and protected him, so that the Indians, keenly alive to their wrongs, at the first good opportunity thought they would clean out the boys. The boys had killed a bear and were dressing it when the Indians attacked them. The sequel you know; both boys were nearly killed. The white man’s side of the story I presume you have heard.
George WOODS was drowned in South Eel River, near Armstrong's ranch. He jumped from a raft on which he was crossing and attempted to swim to shore. 2/1/61.
Stories that I have heard leads me to believe that these two incidents were related. Woods heard the gunfire and commotion and tried to cross the river to help the Spouls, he didn't make it and drowned. The river was quite high and swift due to a spring rain.
Yet, notwithstanding this sad warning, those Sprouls shelter, at every visit, even now, the same desperate character who was their guest on that sad occasion. If the past has anything to do with the future they ought to take warning and eschew all such dangerous hospitality. In addition to the above, white men at the South Fork had whipped and raped Indian women. For further particulars I can be consulted personally at any moment.
More Bullshistory: The Indians that attacked the Sprouls had also stolen a bell and a pipe from them. A group of people, I don't know if they were citizens or Army, hunted the Indians down and killed them. The story goes that they could hear the Indians playing with the bell and were able to follow them from the noise. They followed them to Bell Springs where the bell playing Indian was killed and that is why it is called Bell Spings. They followed the trail of the other Indian that had the pipe, and he was killed at Pipe Creek and that is were the creeks name came from.
I apologise for the lack of accuracy, but these were the stories that I was told.

{p.9}
Are the buckskin gentry pioneers of civilization?-Let us see. As this appears to be the proper connection in which to answer this question, I will discuss it now. The term “buckskin gentry” is a more comprehensive one than buckskin hunters, and embraces all who hunt for a living-all who have a few ideas about agriculture and grazing and herding of stock, but who hunt at intervals; all who are brought into contact with Indians, to the extent of employing and forcibly obtaining Indian servants, and cohabiting with squaws, and all who, leading the life of an Indian, wander from place to place with no definite object. Such a life it will readily be seen, on the slightest reflection or by the slightest experience, is anything but refining. At the South Fork the same Jones who shot Mr. Wright, in partnership with Mr. McFarland cultivated some ground and raised a piece of corn, but went away and did not gather it that season. A pair of oxen ate some of it, but that same miserable buckskin clan that I found at the South Fork on my arrival appeared at the time in question, saying that they were out of everything and on the point of starvation. The settlers proper very hospitably shared with them, but they were not satisfied. They called a council of war, but instead of counseling the destruction of the Digger race, as they had uniformly done hitherto, they resolved on the destruction of the corn-field. The entire field was taken. Neither McFarland nor Jones were there to defend their claims or even to enter a protest, yet these same buckskin outlaws were those to tell me that the Indians had taken McFarland’s corn-field, and that the white men had given no provocation. The above question is accordingly answered in the negative.

Scouting.-The scouting party sent out to Spruce Grove under charge of Corporal Heron from the camp at the South Fork remained there till the last practicable moment, and only joined the command after the latter had passed Spruce Grove on its way to Larrabee’s.
(according to Ben: Spruce Grove Station was located just south of the Alderpoint Rd. junction on the Harris Rd. It was the only store/stage station in this area. Garberville did not exist as a store or town.)
The corporal’s party succeeded in capturing an Indian, but by the prisoner’s general conduct I was fully convinced that he did not belong to the hostile tribe at the South Fork, and on his rendering valuable services at Main Eel River I released him. Corporal Heron was quite confident of success at Spruce Grove had time permitted him to make use of the prisoner’s services in finding rancherias. At Larrabee’s the scouting was resumed. Determined to strike the Indians a blow if they could be found, I sent out three parties the same day in as many different directions. One started out in the direction of Van Dusen’s Creek, proceeding down it; another started out to the left of the trail with orders to proceed to strike a point low down on the Van Dusen and go up it till its intersection with the trail. The third, composed of sixteen men under Corporal Heron, had three days’ rations. It relieved the camp of all its disposable men. This party struck across toward the Van Dusen, but high up, and proceeded over in the direction of Mad River, with orders to go wherever success was probable and to join the command at Iaqua Ranch. This vast field had been crossed by a parcel of hunters, now resident at the Thousand Acre Field, a few days before. It was this which prevented success. Corporal Heron reported on his return that there were no very recent Indian signs and that there was not an Indian in twenty miles of Iaqua Ranch. From Iaqua Ranch three scouting parties were sent out. One, under Sergeant Wiedemer, proceeded to Yager Creek Settlement to scout the South and Middle Yager Valleys, and the Red Woods near by. This party espied four Indians, one squaw and three bucks, gathering clover apparently, but they were too distant to be fired on. The party approached nearer, but {p.10} the Indians had already taken warning. Another party under Simon Daysey proceeded down the North Yager and into the Red Woods in that quarter. The third, largest, fourteen men strong, and most important, under Corporal Heron, with five days’ rations, crossed Mad River from Iaqua Ranch and proceeded up that river while Indian signs rendered success probable and then struck across toward Pilot Creek in the direction of Hay Fork Valley. They did not reach Pilot Creek, but turned to the left and northward, scoured a wide field, and returned by descending Mad River. They were gone five days and a half. The time allotted was so limited that scouting had to be done as the command moved from point to point or not at all. From the camp near Kneeland’s Prairie but one party was sent out. This was under charge of Sergeant Wiedemer. The sergeant on his return reported no Indians and no traces of any. The day after Corporal Heron’s party united with the main command at Kneeland’s Prairie it stormed and continued up to the 27th, two days after the command reached the garrison, so that all further scouting after his return to that point was at an end.

I will now proceed to advert to a few incidents of campaigning, quite noticeable on our return, before passing to the contrast to which your instructions invite me.

Game.-Between Spruce Grove and Wilburn’s place, on Eel River, and especially between main Eel River and Larrabee’s Creek, game, particularly deer, is quite plenty, owing mainly to the fact, I suppose, that buckskin hunters, killing deer in contravention of the game laws and for their skins, have not yet, to any great extent, infested that region. Coyotes are quite plenty in the mountains to the south of Larrabee’s Valley.

Friendly Indians.-A party of these, and belonging to it the prisoner mentioned above, was seen at main Eel River. Their tokens of friendship, and not fleeing from us at our approach, as the guilty most always do, convinced me that they had no hand in the South Fork depredations, and I gave orders not to fire on them. A party of squaws and children was seen gathering clover on the side of a lofty spur to the left of the trail between Eel River and Larrabee’s Creek. Only one ran away. Quite a number first and last were seen whose abode was with white men and their services at their control.

Larrabee’s Valley.-( The Larrabee Valley is one of the prettiest alpine valleys that one will ever see. They say it is an old lake bottom and water is found just under the ground)

This is nothing but a basin in the mountains. In corroboration of this, limbs are found on the ground in the valley, having been broken off by the snow from the trees growing there. Another reason is the slight difference of level between the basin and adjoining mountains. In the summer time the basin is, I expect, a very pleasant locality. Its high level would indicate it cool and refreshing. Scenery on every side picturesque. Respecting its agricultural qualities, it is, I should think, quite fertile and admirably adapted for the cultivation of oats. Here in this apparently lovely valley lived a man about whose qualities I feel myself impelled to speak. I visited the premises on the morning after arriving in the valley. In this one exceptional instance I found truth had been told. I was very much surprised, because I had hitherto found it much rarer than gold. I found everything just as chronicled in the Humboldt Times. I had no conversation with Mr. Larrabee. I do not know that I ever saw the man. I heard no man speak in his favor, or even intimate one redeeming trait in his character. The universal cry was against him. At the Thousand Acre Field and Iaqua Ranch even the woman who was shot and burned to death was condemned for living with such a man. Of most enormities of which he stands accused you are aware. An accomplice and actor {p.11} in the massacre at Indian Island and South Beach; the murderer of Yo-keel-labah; recently engaged in killing unoffending Indians, his party, according to their own story, having killed eighteen at one time (eight bucks and ten squaws and children), and now at work imbruing his hands in the blood of slaughtered innocence, I do not think Mr. Larrabee can be too emphatically condemned. He certainly richly merited his recent losses. (Larrabee was one of the few that admited being involved in the Indian (Gunther) Island Massacre. I think that most of the other people involved were probably too ashamed, or afraid of reprisal, to admit their involvement. It would be my guess that they never even told their wives or family, and their horrible secret died with them.)

Summer and winter campaigning-the contrast.-The surface of the campaigning country is very uneven and exceedingly irregular-here somewhat gradual, there suddenly precipitous; here mountainous, there a deep, impassable gulch; here a branch, there a deep, windy, untraversed chasm or cañon. In the Bald Mountain region lofty peaks, rising much above the ordinary Bald Mountain height, are seen at convenient intervals for watch-towers. At the approach of an enemy Indian spies on these lofty summits, with commendable vigilance and admirable keenness of vision, give the alarm and flee, so that by the time you are looking for them they are lost to view and, perhaps, many miles away. On the western side of the Bald Hills lies a very dense forest, impenetrable in many places, and extending to the Pacific Ocean, familiarly known as the Red Woods, though this appellation has a more limited significance with those who most frequently use it. (I didn't follow this hidden reference. Does anyone know what he means?) To the east lies a wide expanse, alternately diversified with dense side-hill forests and bald ridges, stretching for miles away till lost in the dizziness of distance. To the south the Bald Hills terminate in two principal ranges of mountains, covered in the winter season with snow. Northward they sink away into the great Red Wood forest. With this brief survey before us, it will readily be seen how difficult it must be to campaign in such a country successfully or otherwise. The remarks thus far touching campaigning are alike applicable to summer and winter. But, then, is there no difference? Let us see. In the summer the days being much longer and sun rising much earlier, a much earlier start, and consequently a munch (much?)earlier camp, may be had by both men and train. Another very material consideration is the much greater certainty of progress in going from point to point. Watercourses low, and many perhaps dried up; little or no snow on the mountains to prevent progress. In the summer time there is usually but little rain to make it muddy and disagreeable. Nature herself in the springtime and summer, clad in the freshness of perennial verdure, wears a most pleasing aspect-a hope-inspiring sight and a solace to man desponding success; but in winter how different the scene, how striking the contrast. In the more elevated regions the impress of death is frequently visible. The little life stirring, all exotic, foreign to the soil that principally, if not entirely, nourishes its existence. Rivers high and swollen, snow on the mountains, melting, together with rain falling, making it muddy, slippery, cold, and disagreeable; piercing winds from long and deep cañons, driving a cold rain with them, only to chill you through, all combine to make one dislike the sport altogether. Winter is the season of storms. When they do come they usually last some time. (What an apt and picturesque discription of the place that we live. He even picked up on our two seasons; Dust and Mud.)

Defense of officers in the field.-I embrace this opportunity to express my perfect willingness and desire to defend my brother officers and companions in arms right straight through against the taunts, sneers, and slurs of hewgagism, whose principal business is iniquity, and whose loftiest ammunition calumniation; against the floating rottenness of filthy tatters; against the surplus filth and scum of outraged society; against the fleeting and shadowy fun of wholesale lying and cracking jokes at the expense of innocence. ( I've often said that very same thing! Do you think that he might be Alexander Haig's Grandfather?)

{p.12}
Personal.-Touching the matter of contrasting campaigning in summer and winter, I have been fully alive, and have felt myself unequal to the magnitude of the task. For any further explanations you may desire I can be consulted personally at any time in your convenience.

I have the honor to remain, with many assurances, your friend,

D. D. LYNN,
Second Lieutenant, Sixth Infantry.

18 comments:

Lynette M said...

It is obvious that some commanding officers embraced the "war" and others were appalled by what was happening. Anyone know anything about what happened to Lynn, Hubbard or even Rains, who initially refused to give up the natives that came to Fort Humboldt after the massacre on the Island (I think he eventually gave in to community pressure, but he tried)?

1860, March 28, (rough version found in Susie Baker Fountain Papers, likely Humboldt Times) Mr. Ross, widely known as trafficker with Indians, was going up the south Fork of Eel river between Mr. Armstrong’s place and that of Messrs. Sprowl. They were overtaken by a small party of bold Indians. Ross killed one as they approached. Sprowl boys appears and took Ross to their home.. Indians attacked Sprowl boys at their house and killed them. Should be a lesson to Sprowls.

I'll try to find the original article...

Ernie Branscomb said...

Some stories that I have heard say that the Sprouls lived. Others say they were killed. I don't know.

Sadly, having grown up here, most of the stories that I've heard often conflict. Written history was not as easily accessed as it is today and many of the stories that I have heard are compilations of many tales that have run together and have become confused.

Ernie Branscomb said...

I've added some notation to the above story, to give a little insight into it.

Fred said...

They mention indians picking clover. Anyone know what they did with the clover?

Dave Kirby said...

Clover is the term used for a number of greens that were an important food. It was the first fresh veggie available in the early spring after subsisting on winter stores. Large quantities were consumed either raw or steamed. The Wailaki held a Clover Dance each year. If you can get your hands on Environmental History and Cultural Ecology of the North Fork of the Eel River Basin by Thomas S. Keter published by The U.S. Forest Service you have an extraordinary resource.

olmanriver said...

Kat Anderson in Tending the Wild tells us on pg 269 that of thirty-one species of native clover, over fifteen were prized as food. Once again, they burned and helped reseed this nitro-fixing plant, which made for even more luxurious crops...much to the delight of Spanish and American settlers and their cattle.
Some tribes would literally graze in the fields, another method of eating clover was roll us a ball between the hands, and then put it in the mouth for chewing. Fresh, steamed, dried and stored for winter soups, this was probably one of their more widely eaten green, and a mainstay for many groups.
There is an account from Round Valley on pg 89 where a witness sees "a man drowning squaws from a cloverfield inside the reservation, they were picking clover or digging roots; he said he would be damned if he would allow them to dig roots or pick clover, as he wanted it for hay".

Jim Baker said...

Hello Lynette- Good to see you are still around and still interested. Daniel D. Lynn, from Indiana, enlisted in the 6th infantry Jan 7, 1860 as a 2nd Lt at the age of about 23, so had been in the regular army about a year when he wrote the report Ernie cites. Interesting to note that the date of his foray into S. Humboldt in March 1861 was only about 3 weeks before Ft. Sumter was bombarded and the Civil War began. As you know, immediately afterwards the regulars went east to fight in that war, and Ft Humboldt was manned by Calif volunteers, including Henry Larrabee and other local cattlemen, frontiersmen and hide hunters (referred to by Lynn as the “buckskin gentry”) whose main goal had been to “solve the Indian problem” by force. This was basically allowing the fox into the henhouse and signaled the start of an all-out campaign by local volunteers to drive Indians from the cattle lands or kill the ones who would not remain on the reservations to which they were taken. The Indian Island and other massacres of Wiyots in Feb, 1860 had taken place under the noses of the regulars in Ft Humboldt, and Larrabee’s ranch had been burned and his cook killed almost exactly a year later. The Indian attack on Larrabee’s ranch, the Sprouls and other settlers in the winter and early spring of 1861 signaled an increasing Indian resistance by Wailakis and other Southern Athabascan Indians to incursion onto their ancestral lands, and precipitated Lt Lynn’s foray into the area from Ft Humboldt in March. Violence increased between Indians and volunteers from that time forward, resulting in the inevitable “pacification” of local Indians and loss of their traditional homeland to homesteaders and ranchers. Daniel Lynn fought for the union during the Civil War, rising to the rank of Brevet Major by 1865, went back to his home state of Indiana, married in about 1869 and listed on the 1870 Indiana census as still enlisted as a major. He died in December of 1895.

Jim Baker said...

Misc addendums - Spruce Grove in March of 1861 was simply a good camping spot with an ample water supply on the main ridge trail when Lynn and his detail stopped there, as noted in the daily journal and sketch of his movements which accompanied his report. By the early 1870's the government survey notes in the area noted a structure on the site, and on an 1886 map the present site of Old Harris was designated as "Spruce Grove" and the site which Lynn had camped at was called "Old Spruce Grove". By 1886, the main traffic north had been diverted to a new road passing through Alderpoint and Blocksburg - probably the reason for the main overnight stopping place moving south from the old Spruce Grove location to the new one at what later was called "Harris". Lynn's vague reference to the "Red Woods" probably referred to the common contemporary term for Indians as "red men" and the fact that when being pursued, Indians often retreated to the redwood country because it was easier to hide and more difficult for the army cavalry to negotiate the terrain among the many huge fallen trees which then littered the forest floor.

Olmanriver said...

Great post Ernie, and how I love having Mr. Baker add on and give his perspective. This is history heaven for an amateur like myself. Thanks fellas.
ps. May I ask which town in Indiana Lt. Lynn hailed from?

Ernie Branscomb said...

I always thought that "Spruce Grove" was Old Harris. There is several great springs at Old Harris. The old stories and Manuscripts described Harris fairly well, but called it Spruce Grove. They must have called fir trees spruce back then. The original pony soldier trail took the Old Harris route around the middle of the hill. The Alderpoint road that comes down from the top of the hill was an old ranch road and my fathers logging company opened it up for logging in the 1950's. It became a popular road between Alderpoint and Garberville. The county eventually took over the maintenance of it. The same with the Eel Rock road.

One of the biggest problems that the old loggers had with the rancher that they logged their timber from, was they wanted their whole ranch to be accessible by road. It was always a negotiation; all the loggers wanted was the timber. The rancher wanted the roads. Roads increased the value of their ranches tremendously.

Jim Baker said...

Olmanriver - We're all amateurs here. Very few professional local historians, if that means making a living at it. Ask Ray Rafael, who had to branch out to the American Revolution to survive. For most of us it's a compulsion at best, and very likely an addiction. You and Ernie are creeping into that category - be careful. Ask Ben and Lynette M., two of the best local history researchers in the County, but neither making a dime on it last I heard. Lt Lynn in Dearborn County, Indiana at the age of 13 on the 1850 census, also in Dearborn County 30 years later on the 1880 census, per Ancestry.com. If you can spend the time to dig up his ancestors, please do so. I have a feeling there is a chest with momentos from his life in someone's attic right now that might shed some light on the year he spent as a 2nd lieutenant in Humboldt county.His entire military file would be available from the Natl archives if you have the moola to order it. That's where I would go next.
Ernie - I will bring maps of various dates down to show you next time I'm in town (what good is a surveyor without maps) to show the changes in the main trails, place names and stopover places from 1860 to 1886. Yes, loggers largely responsible for opening up new roads on ranch lands, but you know as well as I do that if you turned a catskinner loose anywhere in the 1950's, you ended up with a road of some kind. If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. For a catskinner, every patch of untouched ground looked like it needed some work. We have wised up and are more careful now - thank some of the more knowledgeable "newcomers" for pushing us in that direction, whether we like it or not. My last entry on this post - I have to make a living.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Thanks Jim, My beer machine ran dry, but the beer guy made me a deal on some Guiness Taps. As soon as I get it hooked up I'll let you know.

I know about the having to make a living while conflicting with the fun local history. This blog has taken the place of many of the other hobbies that I used to have. I find it very rewarding, but it focuses me into one dimension. I have found things about my family that I never knew before. Some that make me swell with pride, and other that make me hang my head it shame. I've found it best to follow the advice that I've given many other people. “You can't change history, the best you can do is understand it, and use that knowledge to make the world a better place.”

Ben said...

All... I have long admired the wonderful ability Lt. Lynn had as a writer. He does not appear again in the War of the Rebellion. (at least I don't recall him.) The other officers were much more pedestrian. Military men seemed to be the only literate folks in early SoHum and these records are invaluable.
The names of the Indian Island/South Beach/Eel River/Rio Dell raiders were well known at the time. Bledsoe comments that the leader died a few years previous to the publication of his "Indian Wars...." One excellent candidate for that job would be Steven Fleming of Eel Rock, Ft. Seward, Hettenshaw and Ohman Creek. He appears several times as a guide and militia leader and was called "Captain Fleming" at times. The raiders were said to start from Hydesville then splitting up to attack the Eel River, South Bay and Indian Island camps, Rio Dell was attacked on the way back, some say. The motive was the strongly held idea that the "tame" Indians were supplying the rebellious ones in the back country where many of these men had holdings and livestock, Larrabee and Fleming among them. Fleming died in San Francisco just before Bledsoe's book was published. Jim Baker has done some excellent work on the Masonic Lodges as possible centers for the planners. It is important to understand that these Indian camps were working for the ranchers and farmers of the area. Though there must have been considerable resentment, these Indians felt they were at peace with the whites. The term "tame" Indians or "pet" Indians was a polite way of saying indentures or slaves.
Spruce Grove was the first hill south of the Harris/Alderpoint Rd junction. The Indians used it as a summer camp for centuries as there are two large springs there almost on the ridge. I have heard that the first store in the area was a cabin at this site.
The Sproul boys do seem to have survived the attack. In "Last of the West", Frank Asbill has them killed and Mrs. Bowman attacked the same year. The attack on Mrs. Bowman happened five or six years later and was possibly the work of some Whilkut renegades who also attacked Indian villages.
I do love seeing The War of the Rebellion on the net. My copy is only the local correspondence laboriously xeroxed at HSU. Thanks OMR!

olmanriver said...

Reference to there being a band of Indian living in the the Sprowl Creek area in 1863 is found in the history of Samuel Piercy. Diane Hawk's A GLANCE BACK is the source for the story of Samuel Piercy taking in an Indian woman fleeing from a settler over in the Red Mountain area. She was on her way back to here Sprowel Creek family tribelet, but the rains and high waters made it too dangerous to cross the South Fork. Discovering her to be pregnant he took her in and foster parented the first child, Mary "Mollie" Piercy (born in Dec 1863), and had a subsequent child, Elizabeth Piercy, in 1867.
In 1866 the Piercy family took care of one of James Wood's children, born of an Indian mother who died. When James Wood remarried, the child, Wilson Wood, returned to the Wood family to be raised with 17 half brothers and sisters.
Elizabeth Piercy went on to marry Jose "Chandler" Smith, a pioneer since 1861 whose home six miles south of Garberville was on the route of the old highway, just north of the Bigfoot Burl, and south of the Smith Point Bridge.

Again, all this was taken from Margarite Cook and Diane Hawk's A GLANCE BACK, Northern Mendocino County History and to them must go the credit.

Omr said...

"The 1st Branscomb settler in Humboldt county"

'Glances Back' provides us with a little Branscomb history as well. The Smith diaries are a source of information about the Mudgett murder in the Piercy area in 1896
As the story goes... young John Dodge (and Ida(Noble)Dodge), mixed blood son of Leonard Dodge and his wife Susan Duncan Dodge, and reputed to be a ne'er-do-well, shot, and burned the bachelor Mudgett in his home.
segueing back in time...

In 1876, Charles A Ward of Sonoma county went to work in northern Mendocino at the Simpson and White ranch in Cahto. "At that time wages were $1.00 a day, and in the winter time Charles often worked for bed and board on a ranch."(pg 120)
In '84 he went into the livery business with George Stevenson in Westport. In 1885 he married Elizabeth Branscomb, born in Sonoma. In '86 he got the contract to build the road between Usal and Kenny. After his marriage, he and his father-in-law, B.F. Branscomb, contracted to build the road from Laytonville over to Dos Rios. In 1897 they bought the Mudgett Ranch at an auction. The Ward family carried their possessions on a spring wagon as far as they could from Westport, then packed them onto horses to make it to the South Fork of the Eel and the 920 acre homestead. Because of the aforementioned fire, they lived in a woodshed with their two children until they made their hand split redwood home. There is a picture of Elizabeth Branscomb Ward in her homestead garden on pg 121. They left the homestead in 1910 for Ukiah.

Elizabeth Branscomb Ward, was one of the ten children of Benjamin F. Branscomb and Jane Taylor, making her Ernie's great aunt?

Happy oldtimers party today Ernie!

omr said...

A Glance Back, not Glances Back..sorry.

Anonymous said...

Historical footnote: The Leonard Dodge, father of John Dodge, is on Kate Mayo's list of original Long Valley settlers.

(Pioneering in the Shadow of Cahto Mountain, pg. 2)

Oldmanriver said...

Anyone wishing to follow the story of James Wood's oldest son, Wilson Wood, and his marriage into the Jewett family can find that info here.