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 …

Ghost Pine – Produces Nuts in Harsh Growing Conditions

Pinus Sabiniana is native to California and Oregon and has a variety of names. Habitat Its habitat forms a ring around California’s ‘bathtub’ (central valley). It grows in poor soils, is adapted to hot, dry summers and usually keeps company with Blue and Live Oaks. Common Names & Naming History Common names include; Ghost Pine Gray Pine California Foothill Pine …

Land of Broken Promises – Nisenan Ground Zero

If you live in Lake Wildwood, Rough & Ready, Smartsville, Penn Valley, on Beale Air Force Base or off McCourtney or Lime Kiln Roads, you’re on ground zero for the Nisenan People of Nevada County, the land of broken promises. Long before houses and roads were built, this land was designated in a treaty between the local tribes and the United …

Anthony House Aflame & Under Lake Wildwood

First published July 25, 2018 Before the white man came, the Anthony House / Rose Corral area of Penn Valley was home to Nisenan Headman Pamelo. The village, Cocosa, was once a vibrant trading site.   “The very earliest settlement of which we can obtain a trace in the territory now known as Nevada County, was in the summer of 1848, …

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   …

Willow – Bends without Breaking

First published June 9, 2017 The Arroyo Willow – Salix lasiolepis – is a native shrub or tree in California and in most Western states. Wetland Habitat Willo is important in riparian (creek and waterway) environments; it provides habitat and food for insects, birds, amphibians and other animals in spring, birds use a cottony substance released by the seeds to build nests …

Dammed Disrupted Salmon

First published May 23, 2017 When responding to the urge to spawn, Salmon become a powerful delivery system. If allowed to move freely through rivers and streams, they transport ocean nitrogen and other nutrients thousands of miles inland while providing humans and animals with a rich source of food. They did this successfully until man decided to industrialize their reproduction. …

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 …