Alonzo Delano – Grass Valley Champion & Gold Rush Correspondent

At age 43, after being sick with consumption, Alonzo Delano left his home and loved ones to join the mass of gold-seeking emigrants making the overland journey to California (1849). In Illinois, he sold bank stocks and commodities and lived with his wife and two children; Fred an invalid son of 16 and Harriet, a six-year-old daughter.  After surviving the …

Gold Rush Stories – Book Review

“History, warts and all,” is the essence of what Gary Noy delivers. Noy’s meticulous research, ferreting through dusty archive boxes for photos and first-person accounts, makes his gritty, sometimes enormously disturbing, and often entertaining Gold Rush story vignettes radiate with life. In the lawless immigrant melting pot of California dreams, “accidents, disease, murder, natural disasters, [and] mob violence, … took …

Native Plants for Healing the Land after Fire

First publish ed September 19, 2018 “Destructive fires in California have increased in both number and severity over the last decades. … Recent drought and bark beetle tree mortality has resulted in millions of dead and dying trees … significantly weakened to resist fires.” – Nevada County 2018-19 Fire Safe Guide   “This is California’s new normal,” says Governor Jerry Brown. Contributors to the New Normal warmer and longer …

Exclusionist State Governor

First published March 13, 2017 Peter Hardeman Burnett: California’s First Governor Before securing his position as California’s first Governor (1849 – 1851), Burnett moved his family from Missouri to Oregon on a wagon train. “As a legislator in Oregon, Burnett proposed that all free blacks be forced to leave the state. Any who failed to leave were to be arrested …

Nisenan Book Review, Culture, Historic Trauma & Healing

Book Review History of Us, Nisenan Tribe of the Nevada City Rancheria by Richard B. Johnson First published August 10, 2018 In his recently published book, Johnson describes the indigenous lifestyle (before white men came to California) in a way that makes the heart long to experience the close family ties and feel the intimate connection with the land. He …

The Diary of a Forty-Niner – A Skillful Blending of Fact and Fiction

First published April 7, 2017   In the 1947 centennial edition of The Diary of a Forty-Niner published by James Ladd Delkin, Oscar Lewis, a California historian, researched the origins of the book. Below is his introduction along with his findings. ——— In the voluminous literature of the Gold Rush The Diary of a Forty-Niner has long occupied a position at once unique and puzzling. …