California Oaks – Foundation Habitat Species

First published May 29, 2017 The Oak Woodland Forest ecosystem is prevalent in California. It contains both evergreen (live oaks) and deciduous types of oak trees. Oaks are considered foundation species because of their role in the web of life. Identifying California Oak Trees Acorns – One of the Most Important Protein Sources for Native Americans History: Native American Food Processing   …

Scurvy in California’s Food Capital

First published June 9, 2018 Well before the Gold Rush (by the 1750’s) it was known that eating citrus fruit prevented scurvy scur·vy | ˈskərvē/ | noun – a disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, characterized by swollen bleeding gums and the opening of previously healed wounds, which particularly affected poorly nourished sailors until the end of the 18th century. “Yet …

Mining Pollution Legacy and Clean-Up

First published May 21, 2017 In the mid-1850’s hydraulic mining filled the stream channels and muddied the waters all the way down to the Pacific Ocean. Mercury was used in sluice boxes to amalgamate gold. “It is estimated that ten million pounds of mercury were lost into the streams,” comments Kyle Leach, Geologist for Sierra Streams Institute. “The tale of the Gold Rush …

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 …

Name History: Oustomah, Deer Creek Dry Diggings & Nevada City

First published May 30, 2018 Before the Gold Rush: The Nisenan people called the Nevada City area Oustomah. At one time, it was home to approximately 2,000 Indians. It was part of a network of villages along Deer Creek. August 1849: According to, California Place Name, Deer Creek was named by Isaac Wistar and Mr. Hunt after leaving a freshly-killed deer. Hostile Indians …

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 …

Miners Provisions – 1850 Food Prices

First published March 16, 2017 “InMarch, 1850, the snow was ten feet deep on the banks of Deer Creek – three times the depth it has ever since attained. Goods of all kinds sold at exorbitant rates.”- Nevada, Grass Valley & Rough and Ready Citizens Directory – 1856 – A. A. Sargent fresh beef & pork  – .80¢ / lb molasses – $7.50 / …

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. …

Changing Water Levels

First published February 18, 2017 JANUARY 12, 1851 “It’s been raining all the week and the creeks are running bank-full. Over on Deer Creek it drove all the miners out and filled their claims with rock and gravel.” – The Diary of a Forty-Niner by Chauncey L. Canfield     Please follow and like us: