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  1. The town of Amboy was established in 1883 as the first of a series of alphabetical railroad stations and towns that were to stretch across the gigantic Mojave Desert in Southern California. After the construction of Route 66 through the town in 1926, Amboy's glory days commenced. In 1938 Roy's Motel and Cafe opened. It did very well because there was nothing else for MANY miles in any direction. I don't think the population of Amboy ever came anywhere close to 100 people and there appears to be only a few in the area these days. In 1973 a new highway (Interstate 40) was constructed that bypassed the town and started it's demise. The good news is that the place has been purchased and they are pumping gas again! I'm pretty sure the motel and cottages will never be opened again, but it's a start. To read more: http://patricktillett.blogspot.com/2013/04/amboy-ca-ghost-town-roys-motel-and-cafe.html
  2. Hello all, After too long being absent from the online ghost town community, a recent trip out to the eastern half of the state has inspired me to start posting again. So to kick that off I'll begin with a series on dying and dead towns in the state's Palouse Country. First off... Winona, Washington Like the nearby living town of La Crosse, Winona was established as a station on the Oregon Railroad & Navigation (Union Pacific) railroad line between the Tri Cities and Spokane. Its name came from one of the lead construction engineers, who hailed from Winona, Minnesota. Home to a camp for railroad workers building the main line and a branch to Pullman, the town quickly grew, with a post office opening in 1891. By 1910 the census showed 624 residents in Whitman County's Winona precinct. Like the rest of the fertile Palouse, Winona continued to flourish in the first half of the 20th centurydriven partly by the construction of grain storage facilities by the Sperry Flour Company in the early 1920's. However, like many small farm towns, the lure of bigger communities became too strong. The 1940 census shows that the population had decreased to 410. The Winona School District consolidated with that of nearby Endicott in 1955 and the school was sold to a local resident. By 1970, Winona didn't even appear as a census location. Then disaster struck. According to a gentleman I met while visiting the town, circa 1970 an out-of-control grass fire swept through the town, destroying much of what remained. Either due to the destruction of their structures or just simply the collapse of Winona, the Union Pacific closed its depot in 1971. The post office soon followed suit, ending operations in 1973. Today, looking at census data for the precinct subdivisions in Winona, only about 20 people live in the community. Looking at the former downtown, only a handful of structures remain in a neat, if worn, little row. First on the left is Kuehl's, which apparently served as a longtime hardware and grocery store. Next is the former bank building. I was told it was built circa 1890 and is one of the oldest banks in the region. The grey, concrete structure is the grange hall which despite being long-closed still supposedly bears a mostly intact interior. The brick building farthest to the right at one time hosted a general store, and one of the last businesses to operate there was a grocery store. Just uphill from the downtown, on what was Main Street stands the former Methodist Church. Long out of operation, and now used for storage by one of the few residents, it will likely collapse soon unless the roof is replaced.
  3. Reconnoitering Trips Northern Nevada, Southwestern Idaho (and a Blip of Southeastern Oregon Thrown in for Good Measure) June 19 - 28, 2001 This is the trip that I consider to be my favorite trip I have ever undertaken. It had been in the planning stages since the previous December. Originally, quite a number of people were invited and had semi-committed themselves to come along. Over time, however, eventually the number of people whose semi-commitments became firm commitments to this trip narrowed to four. And I was one of them. Between June 19 and 27, 2001, I undertook a trip throughout northern Nevada, southeastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho in search of ghost towns, adventure and to enjoy the wide open spaces that the Great Basin is known for. Beside myself, there was Alan Patera, of Oregon; Graham, of the California Bay Area; and Gil, of southern California. Since we were coming from different points on the map, we elected Midas, Nevada - located in the far western side of Elko County northeast of Winnemucca, as a meeting point. Gil was originally going to drive to my primary home, then at Ridgecrest, California, and ride with me. However, at the last minute, he changed his mind and drove his car the entire trip. Graham and I chose to meet at Hawthorne, Nevada or at Mono Lake, depending on the circumstances of our first morning travels. Alan was to meet Graham and I in the evening at Midas on our first day out. Gil planned to meet us at noon the following day at Midas. My 4x4 rig at the time was my 1996 Chevrolet S-10. It was bone stock, with standard suspension. It was powered by the 4.3 liter V6 with the higher power option; a 5-speed manual transmission; standard, lever activated 4x4 transfer case. The interior sported the LS option package, which included upgraded interior materials; but the truck still had manual crank windows, no tilt steering wheel; and had an aftermarket cruise control installed. Other options were bucket seats and console. The truck had nearly 100,000 miles on it when we started. It turned over the century mark during this trip, on a dirt road in the wide open spaces of north-central Elko County. Graham drove a 1990 Chevrolet ¾-ton 4x4 pickup with a low profile, pop-up camper. The truck is scarcely optioned, running a 350 cubic inch V8 and a 5-speed manual transmission. Graham has equipped the truck over the years for expedition and is well equipped to tackle everything. However, his truck became problematic over the course of the trip. Alan Patera drove his bone stock 1997 Ford Explorer. It's the most stripped Explorer I've seen, virtually no options. It's well used off road and the lack of fluff has suited this rig well. Gill tagged along in his 1990 Pontiac Grand Prix. He slept in it, ate in it and drove it over miles of dirt roads. The car would have escaped unscathed, if not for his hitting a deer on the dirt road between Tuscaurora and Midas after he split from our group on the last day we all were together. He continued to drive his wrecked car for a couple more days, until he stopped to visit friends in Reno. My camera at the time was one of the original Sony Mavica digital cameras, with a resolution of 640x480. For storage of photos, it used standard floppy disks. The Mavica was in its dying stages at the time, I had owned it about three years. It started acting up on the second day of the trip; completely quit, inexplicably began working again, then died completely on the last day of this adventure. I took a 35mm Pentax camera along as a backup, but had taken along a roll of old film. None of the photos I took with the Pentax came out, I had shot one roll. When processing the many disks of digital photos, I found that about ten or eleven disks had been corrupted by issues with the camera, so that I was not able to extract the images from the disks, loosing around 200 images. Many of the lost images were of ghost towns, such as in the case of National, Nevada; so that I have no images whatsoever of that location, others few. My written documentation for each day of the trip will be in a rather paraphrased format, but includes all travel and most experiences. You can gather the rest of the trip from the video and photos. I will break the six plus hours of edited video taken and cut down to videos for each single day, along with a photo slide show at the end. This thread will contain all content from this trip from start to end. In a break from my past custom when presenting video on this forum, and due to the volume and number of ghost towns visited, I will not write up a history for the ghost towns or historic places visited. That is far too time consuming and labor intensive. There are plenty of written and web resources if one wishes to pursue their quest for knowledge of these sites. Below, a list of historic locations we visited – in the order that we visited them: 1. Bodie & Benton Railway, California. 2. Stillwater, Nevada. 3. White Cloud City (Coppereid), Nevada. 4. Unionville, Nevada. 5. Midas, Nevada. 6. Spring City, Nevada. 7. Paradise Valley, Nevada. 8. Buckskin, Nevada. 9. National, Nevada. 10. Delamar, Idaho. 11. Silver City, Idaho. 12. Rio Tinto, Nevada. 13. Pattsville, Nevada. 14. Aura, Nevada. 15. Cornucopia, Nevada. 16. Edgemont, Nevada (from a distance – on private property) 17. White Rock, Nevada (from a distance – on private property) 18. Tuscaurora, Nevada. 19. Dinner Station, Nevada. 20. Metropolis, Nevada. 21. Charleston, Nevada. 22. Jarbidge, Nevada.
  4. Short little video of an explore I made a few weeks ago. I've been meaning to post this for some time but was overcome by a lot of RL events with work & stuff. But I am starting a series of videos on the Oregon Trail as it came through Boise, and one of those videos includes the tiny town of Mayfield, Idaho. I read about it in a newspaper and saw that there is going to be a concerted effort to develop the area around the old town site and figured I should collect some images while I could. I found a really cool region close to my home that I knew nothing about, so I may go out there again for more videos. Anyhow, here's a link for the interested and I'll try to pick up the pace and do more than one video a month!
  5. Toyah takes its name from an Indian word meaning 'flowing water'. It is the oldest townsite in Reeves County, and began as a trading post for ranches in the area. Prior to the Texas and Pacific Railway's arrival, W.T. Youngblood and his family arrived in a covered wagon and opened an adobe store. In 1881, Toyah saw first train and a post office was open. By the end of the year, Toyah had tents, saloons, restaurants, and a six-times weekly stage service provided by the Overland Transportation Company connecting to Fort Stockton and Fort Davis. In 1886, the A.M. Fields Hotel was opened, and in 1894 Toyah's first school was built. By 1910, Toyah had a population of 771 and had become an important cattle shipping point (although the shipping point soon moved to Toyahvale, some 25 miles south as the crow flies). A handsome new brick school was erected in 1912, and by 1914 Toyah had over a thousand residents, where it remained until the Crash of 1929. Two years later, only 553 remained in Toyah, and only 17 businesses were open. Since then, Toyah has been in a steady decline. By 2010, only 90 people remained in the quiet town. The school building has been abandoned for decades, and the majority of the business district was leveled by a tornado in 2004. Toyah School, built 1912 Ruins of the old Bank Toyah Christian Church Toyah Baptist Church, est 1903 For more Toyah photos, check out my Toyah album.
  6. Recently, I’ve been going through my old VHS video tapes and digitizing them to DVDs. These tapes contain my travels and explorations between 1995 and 2009. I thought I’d start releasing some video shorts of my early travels on this forum. The back story for this particular video is as follows. On March 30, 1996, I made a short hike of about a mile and a third up the lower third of Surprise Canyon, on the western slopes of the Panamint Range, Inyo County, California. This canyon is just outside of Death Valley National Park. This canyon has running water running year round through the stretch shown, fed by substantial Limekiln Springs, and the canyon is a water wonderland. For those not familiar with the area, refer to the two maps. The first one shows the canyon in relation to the region, the other a close up of the canyon and the ghost town of Panamint City. The blue line in the close up image shows the route that was taken. I made the trip with author/publisher Alan Patera, of Oregon. I had been this way several times previous, but this was Alan’s first time. Alan publishes the WESTERN PLACES series of monograph publications, centering on the history of locations now ghost towns. He and I have collaborated on several published historical writings over the years, and have traveled to and have camped in many historical locations. On this hike, we drove up and parked at what is shown on the topo maps as Chris Wicht Camp. Chris Wicht was a colorful character, businessman and prospector who lived in the region in the late 19th century and early 20th century; who was a barkeep at Ballarat, now a ghost town a few miles away on the Panamint Valley floor. He is buried in the nearby community of Trona. At the time of the hike, Chris Wicht Camp was inhabited by father and son George and Rocky N.; George has since died and Rocky has since been operating the seasonal general store down at Ballarat. Alan and I then hiked upstream, through an increasing flow of water, topping out at the top of what is locally known as the falls, about a third of a mile below Limekiln Spring. At that point, there are found in the copious overgrowth of willows mining equipment and a vehicle or two. Above this point, the road the remaining way to Panamint City has been left alone by the elements and is still in drivable shape but now out of bounds. Since Alan and I weren’t prepared and it was too late in the day to continue up to Panamint City, we returned back to my vehicle. Believe it or not, this byway used to be a maintained road, accessing historic Panamint City, one of the region’s early mining booms, founded in 1873. The remains of Panamint City are high up the canyon, at an elevation of about 6,350 feet. Though Panamint as a town was a ghost town by the 20th century, a few hardy souls have often lived in one or other of the structures that stood up there thereafter. There was always some mining activity going on up there, thus Inyo County kept the road maintained. Severe flashfloods of 1984 totally destroyed the road in the lower canyon. Inyo County didn’t have the funds, nor did the few who worked their prospects and mines and who lived in one of the few shacks provide the tax base to undertake such a major rebuild. The route above the high point that Alan and I reached is still in very good shape and could be taken by most vehicles. The route that we walked was the goal for hard core off road enthusiasts with extremely modified rigs and big winches to about the year 2000, when a large environmentalist group sued the U.S. government and the road has been closed to vehicles since. Protests and lawsuits were made by land owners and those who had patented claims at Panamint City, without success. At the time Alan and I walked the road, there were still occasional groups who made it up this canyon with their vehicles, as the closure was still about four years in the future. There were owners of patented mining claims who drove as far as they could then hiked in to do their annual assessment work. Death Valley had changed from National Monument to National Park status the year previous. Alan and I didn’t make it to Panamint City that day, which is several miles further on up the canyon. But we did make a hike up there the following year and camped overnight, along with two other people, which is another video I’ll add in time. In the days I took this video, I was using a Sony Hi-8 video camera. In those days, most of my video editing was simply dubbing video off the camera and onto the VHS tape in the VCR, using the pause button on the VCR to edit out unwanted video. This particular tape was edited using a complex, cumbersome, old style video editing system, which utilized the camera, a monitor, a VCR and a box that contained an archaic computer. All editing took place by archaic and hard to use on screen menus. That is why the video begins with some graphics and text indicating some of the details of the trip. This video segment is just over 10:38 long. Put on your waders and enjoy! NOTE: There is a blank section midway that is about five seconds long and doesn’t show anything. Don’t worry, the video will come back and continue. Surprise_1996.mpg Surprise_1996.xmp [Note: This file is a corresponding file to the video file above and will not do anything of its own if clicked.] Surprise_1996.wmv UPDATE: A retry of the original video, plus the same video in two other formats attempted to see if I can get any to work. This will also help me to determine what video file format works best on this board.
  7. I am searching for some cool abandoned places! I leave Las Vegas on September 5th so wanting to visit some old abandoned buildings, towns, vehicles, any military stuff, etc. I drive a Jeep that is somewhat built so looking for something way far out untouched by vandals and scum of the earth. I've found a few places listed and unlisted through aerial views but want some new stuff to explore. Thank you in advance for any information.
  8. My husband and I stumbled across this cemetery on a drive through the log truck trails near our home about six months ago and intended to return. We went back this weekend and the property has been fenced and posted "No Trespassing". I am going to attempt to get permission to roam around. We spoke to somebody else who was in the area and they informed us that there is an entire ghost town out there and that some of the grave sites date back to the 1800's. So, cross your fingers in hopes that I will be able to find the owners of the property and that they will allow us to explore.
  9. If any of you ladies or gents would like to contribute a gallery of photos for http://GhostsofNorthAmerica.com, we are accepting submissions now. We don't let just anybody contribute, but I've been here long enough to know you folks know what you're doing. Of course, we'll give full credit to you, and link back to wherever you would like. Rules for submission are: Photos should be 800 px wide minimum. Minimum submission is eight photos of any given place. Please include as much info/history as you can, plus comments about your visit. Thanks all! Troy
  10. Here are a few from our recent South Dakota/Nebraska shoot. That's my buddy Terry going up to get a better angle on the lift at the abandoned Devils Nest ski resort in Knox County Nebraska. - more: http://wp.me/p4k9RQ-b0 This is the church in Monowi, Nebraska. Monowi is the smallest incorporated city in America with only one resident. The church was last used 50 years ago when the last remaining resident's father died, and his funeral was held there. more: http://wp.me/p4k9RQ-cz What remains of Pineview Drive-In outside Long Pine, Nebraska. more: http://wp.me/p4k9RQ-cW Couple other places we put up on the site too if you care to take a look. It was a looooong trip. We drove from Fargo to Yankton, through central Nebraska and South Dakota, then back to Fargo in about 48 hours. 1100 miles.
  11. Mondak (MONtana -- DAKota) was a bootlegging town on the Montana/North Dakota border designed to supply thirsty North Dakotans with booze during prohibition. We visited last weekend and found the jail still standing, among other things. I always love exploring these places that have a rich history and captivating back story. http://www.ghostsofnorthamerica.com/ghost-town-mondak-montana/ Troy GhostsofNorthAmerica.com GhostsofNorthDakota.com
  12. The Randsburg Inn & Hostel, formerly the Commercial Hotel, and at one time the My Place Dance Hall. The Randsburg Inn sits on a location which has seen a lot of interesting and rowdy history and has to be one of the most fascinating buildings in the town. This is truly one of those places where you think to yourself…”If only walls could talk!” Or, in this case, if only the very plot of land could talk! The first building located on this site was the “Orpheus Theater,” opened on March 15th, 1897 by Joe Petrich and by 1899 the name had been changed to “The Orpheum,” operated by John Louis Woodward and his wife Minnie. In 1903 the establishment was taken over by “French” Marguerite Roberts and renamed the “My Place Dance Hall” and sometimes referred to as “The Oasis.” No matter what its original name this entertainment venue saw its share of activity, both legal and illegal. One can understand why this would have been a popular place of entertainment to lonely miners, men long on the trail and those who were far away from their families and loved ones. It is easy for us in our modern world to sit back and pass judgment on the women who worked here and the men who paid for their company, but the hard cold reality is that a valuable service was rendered and these “soiled doves” are an indelible and important part of the history of the west. Many of these men were miners without wives or sweethearts and “marriageable” women were few and far between, and a miner’s life was not a very attractive one to many women. Quite a few men did have wives who were left behind, from Los Angeles to the East Coast, and many never saw their husbands again, either due to abandonment or a lack of desire to pick up and join their men in a desert town, far from the amenities of civilization. The “actresses/artists/waiters” employed by John Louis Woodward provided these men with a source of female companionship to add some femininity to their otherwise bleak and hard existence. I cannot resist sharing some of the fascinating history behind this location and the people who lived it. So, without further ado, read on and immerse yourself in the rowdy, raucous and rambunctious life of a boom town theater/brothel/dance hall. Oh, if only these walls could speak! In February 1898 the Orpheum Theater, under the management of Joe Petrich, faced its first threat of closure when an ordinance had been passed by the board of supervisors of Kern County which prohibited the sale of liquor in dance halls and no bar could be operated where dances were held. The people of Randsburg were not happy with the thought of their only place of amusement having to shut its doors. The town folk rallied around Joe and managed to get the board of supervisors to drop the ordinance. The Orpheum was saved, the dancers continued to kick up their heels, the amber liquid flowed and the prize fighters went toe-to-toe again. The Orpheum, under the management of John L. Woodward, also known as Woodward’s Dance Hall, and also nicknamed the “Floozy Barn,” at one time caused divisions among the townfolk. Most were in favor of the draw this popular venue brought to the town, while some proclaimed it to be a den of iniquity and wanted it closed down. An article in the San Francisco Call newspaper, printed June 29th, 1899, provides us with this little tidbit… “Louis Woodward, proprietor of the local Orpheum, will be arrested tonight on a complaint drawn under section 303, Penal Code. Seven female artists were arrested under section 306 of the same code. Heretofore many attempts have been made to close up this theater. Nearly two years ago the camp was well divided on the subject.” Also from the Los Angeles Times on the same date: “Randsburg was wildly excited tonight. Gus Tower, a deputy constable, acting under instructions from Chief Kelly, who is away, arrested Louie Woodward, proprietor of the Orpheum, and took him before Judge Davidson, who bound him over to appear tomorrow at 2 o’clock, under section 303 of the Penal Code. Immediately after this, six of the women who were working in the theater were arrested and taken before the court on a charge of misdemeanor under section 306 of the Penal Code. The girls were permitted to go on their own recognizance to appear tomorrow at 2 o’clock.” Just for your edification, here are the cited Penal Codes as they were written and followed at that time. A bit long winded for sure, but if you are the curious type like I am your inquiring mind will want to know what the charges are. Section code 303 is still on the records, but 306 is not. California Penal Code 303: Every person who sells or furnishes any malt, vinous, or spirituous liquors to any person in the auditorium or lobbies of any theater, melodeon, museum, circus, or caravan, or place where any farce, comedy, tragedy, ballet, opera or play is being performed, or any exhibition of dancing, juggling, wax work figures and the like is being given for public amusement, and every person who employs or procures, or caused to be employed or procured, any female to sell or furnish any malt, vinous, or spirituous liquors at such a place, is guilty of a misdemeanor. California Penal Code 306: Every person who causes, procures or employs any female for hire, drink, or gain, to play upon any musical instrument, or to dance, promenade, or to otherwise exhibit herself, in any drinking saloon, dance-cellar, ballroom, public garden, public highway, common, park, or street, or in any ship, steamboat, or railroad car, or in any place whatsoever, if in such place there is connected therewith the sale or use, as a beverage, of any intoxicating, spirituous, vinous or malt liquors; or who shall allow the same in any premises under his control, where intoxicating, spirituous, vinous or malt liquors are sold or used, when two or more persons are present, is punishable by a fine not less than fifty nor more than five hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding three months, or by both; and every female so playing upon any musical instrument, or dancing, promenading, or exhibiting herself, as herein aforesaid is punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail, not exceeding one month, or by both. Now, we know that the arrested proprietor was named Louis Woodward, whose full name was actually John Louis Woodward, but who were the “girls” also arrested? Although we cannot say positively who they were without a copy of the original arrest record, we can make a good supposition based on the 1900 census which, lo and behold, shows exactly seven “actresses” living with J.L. Woodward and his wife Minnie. Those enumerated in his household were Stella Rae, Kitty Kola, Violet Foy, Annie Parker, Laura Hirst, Lulu Beckner and Hazel Alisky. It’s a knocking bet that these were the same women who were arrested, and I would guess that these were not the names they were born with. Marcia Rittenhouse Wynn mentions in her book, Desert Bonanza, a woman named Vi who came down from the Alaskan gold fields to perform at the Orpheum. Possibly this was the woman named Violet Foy. Two men were also listed in the Woodward household as boarders, William B. Boone and Jesse E. Woolley. Jesse was a prize fighter, but is only listed as a boarder and not by occupation. . Whether or not J.L. and Minnie were actually married is questionable and so far no record of marriage has turned up in my research. What we do know is that sometime after 1902 John moved to Goldfield, Nevada, where he was operating as a liquor merchant in 1910, and now listed with a wife named Lorine. It is possible that John met both Wyatt and Virgil Earp, who lived in Goldfield from 1904 until the death of Virgil in 1905. By 1920 we see John working as a miner and still married to Lorine, who was about 21 years younger than John. Poor John did not live much longer after the enumeration of the 1920 census. On 21 December 1920, while working in the Seibert shaft, which had been part of the Original Klondyke Mining Company claim in Esmeralda County, Nevada, John fell down the shaft and fractured his skull. Now, here is where things get interesting, giving me a tentative personal connection to the Orpheum in Randsburg. John’s widow Lorine remarried a year or so later to a man named Clinton Norcross, who, funny enough, turns out to be my 5th cousin, 3 times removed! Small world, isn’t it? Clinton and Lorine moved to Pasadena, California, where, in 1932, they divorced due to Lorine’s propensity to bring home up to a dozen cats. Apparently she gave more attention to the cats than to Clinton. Now, here is another piece of strange coincidence. Remember Jesse E. Woolley, the prize fighter mentioned above? Well, it turns out that in 1940 he was living in my hometown of Simi Valley, where I currently reside! Anyway, back in Randsburg, John Woodward left town and we find the rather colorful “French” Marguerite Roberts as the next owner, who operated her establishment under the name of “My Place Dance Hall,” sometimes known as “The Oasis,” and right next door was her saloon. I’m sure it is fairly easy for you to figure out that Marguerite was a madam who ran this as a “bawdy house,” which caused much consternation among the more “decent” town folk. There wasn’t much known about Marguerite and what was known and printed during her life and at the time of her death was only what Marguerite wanted people to believe. We know from her tombstone in the Rand District Cemetery that she was a mother. A death notice for her appeared in the Bakersfield Californian newspaper on April 20, 1907, stating she had a son named August who was attending school in Bakersfield. However, it does not mention whether or not he was using the same surname. We know she was age about forty years when she died. She was not listed in the Randsburg census in 1900. She had to be somewhere. In any case, it is doubtful that she used her real surname. Using the clues available, and after extensive research, I believe I know what her real name was and why she changed it. If my research is true and correct, which I will present after her death notice, it is no wonder that Marguerite supported herself in the manner that she did. Her life was a very sad and tragic one, and it is my hope that by telling her story we can all view her life with compassion. From the Bakersfield Californian newspaper, April 20th, 1907… Marguerite Roberts Dead – (Randsburg Miner) “On Tuesday of this week Mrs. Marguerite Roberts, an old time resident of Randsburg, died of lung trouble and was buried this afternoon in our little burying ground here. Mrs. Roberts was born in France about 40, or more, years ago, was married there and had one child, a son, August, who is now a young man and has been attending school in Bakersfield. He came up to attend his mother’s funeral. Mrs. Roberts’ husband died in France and soon afterward she and her child came to America. This was shortly before the discovery of gold in Randsburg. She came here in the fall of 1896 and has lived here ever since. She had accumulated considerable money, owning the theatre and some other buildings here, besides money in the bank. A short time ago her father died in France, leaving a small fortune to Marguerite and one sister. She had been ill for some time with no hope of recovery and we fervently ….(unreadable) in peace.” Before presenting my findings I would first like to set the stage with a bit of history regarding the era “French Marguerite Roberts lived in, helping you to better understand how I came to my conclusions. First and foremost keep in the forefront of your mind that the majority of “soiled doves” lied, fabricated and twisted the truth about who they were and where they came from. They rarely used their real names and often were just known by nicknames. Second, during this era the crème de la crème of the dance halls, bawdy & parlour houses and brothels were French women, most likely due to the popularity of erotic French Postcards. French “sporting women” commanded a higher price for their services, so, as a consequence, many a home-grown American floozy moved to new pastures, recreated themselves and became a ‘French’ courtesan. It was also common for these women to have children who were sent away for schooling or to live with relatives, often never even knowing what their mothers did to support them. Another issue we will be dealing with in Marguerite’s story is how so-called mental health issues were dealt with and what the repercussions were for women. During this era it became popular and acceptable for a husband to have his wife committed to an asylum in order to break away from the marriage without actually filing for divorce. I’m sure quite a few parents also did this in order to hide away a child who they perceived to be a shameful embarrassment because of what today we know to be a medical, and not a mental issue. The main clues I used to track down the elusive origins of Marguerite were very few, but enough to lead me in the right direction. The main clue was the name of her son, August, who actually attended her funeral, and the mention of Bakersfield. The son was referred to as a “young man” attending school, which helped to narrow down an age range to between 13 and 17 years of age. Had he been older it would have stated that he was attending a college or university, and not just a school. The next clue was mention of a sister, which told me that her sister may have been known in Randsburg. Of course, Marguerite’s age was also a guiding factor. With these clues at hand I began the in depth and time consuming search, which included census records, ship’s passenger lists, birth, marriage and death records, city directories and scouring through many different old newspapers from the era. The death notice from the newspaper stated that Marguerite had been in Randsburg since 1896, but I found absolutely no mention of her prior to 1902, and with the type of establishment she ran, combined with her known temper, she most certainly would have been mentioned earlier had she been in the town conducting business. So, I searched through every State census for the year 1900 and nowhere did I find her listed under the name ‘Marguerite Roberts.’ I checked vital and baptismal records for France, for both her and her son, and again came up with nothing. Ship’s passenger lists from the east to west coasts and other coasts in-between also yielded nothing. City directories, again, zilch. For those who are familiar with old newspapers anything and everything was printed. Our ancestors were a nosy bunch and back then you couldn’t sneeze without someone making mention of it in the news. Yet Marguerite shows up nowhere in any accounts until the early 1900’s in Randsburg. Phase two of the research consists of shifting my focus to all males named ‘August’ born between the years 1890 to 1895. Then I narrowed it down to those who were not listed as living with their mother, but were either at a school or with other relatives. I narrowed it down to four possible candidates and then, in the 1900 census for Los Angeles, one of them suddenly stuck out like a sore thumb! We have one August Jarick, age 6, born in 1893 in California, living in the household of his maternal grandparents, Charles and Marguerite Brickett. Charles was born in New Hampshire and Marguerite in France. Also living in the household are Allen R. Pinyan and wife Nettie (Henrietta), who is a daughter of Charles and Marguerite, and we also see another daughter listed, Birdie (Bertha) Wager, and her daughter Viola. Obviously Nettie and Birdie are the aunts of August Jarick. I next began to do a little research on the grandparents and aunts of August and found that there were two other daughters not listed, as well as a son, Emily (Millie, Nellie), Charlotte (Lottie) and Charles Brickett, Jr. What was interesting at this point in my research is that daughter Birdie and granddaughter Viola were enumerated in the census again seven days later, this time in Randsburg! Birdie and daughter are listed with Birdie’s husband, Nelson Wager. Even stranger is that in the census the week previous Birdie lists herself as divorced. So, we have a boy named August with an aunt living in Randsburg in the year 1900. Two pieces of the puzzle come together. Am I making sense so far? I hope so because even I am starting to feel my head spin! But stay with me, the rest of the tale is unfolding and it leads to some interesting little twists and turns. During my search the son of Charles and Marguerite Brickett holds no real interest for me right now as it is a fair assumption that August Jarick is not his child, which leaves me to focus on locating daughters Charlotte and Emily. Charlotte married a man named David Packwood in 1895, and they either divorced, he passed away, or one of them abandoned the marriage. In any case, in 1901 we see Charlotte has now married a man named Frank Burke. This rules her out to be the mother of August Jarick. Finally, we come to Emily. Bingo! We’ve struck pay dirt! In August of 1892 Emily Brickett married August H. Jarick in San Bernardino County, California. A July 1893 issue of the Los Angeles Times, in the San Bernardino section, informs us of the birth of a son to August Jarick and wife. Why the wife was never mentioned by her name is beyond me, considering she was the one who actually went through the process of giving birth, but that is another good example of the times Marguerite was living in. Then, one year and two months later this notice appeared in the September 22nd, 1894 edition of the Los Angeles Times newspaper, San Bernardino section… “Today Mrs. Emily E. Jarrick was taken before Judge Campbell and after a thorough examination by Drs. Thompson and Campbell, was committed to the asylum as an epileptic. She is the daughter of George Brickett and has been an epileptic since she was 4 years old. A few years ago she was married to Mr. Jarrick, and leaves a thirteen-months-old son, who is bright and shows no signs of epilepsy.” Yes, I know that Emily’s father was named Charles and not George, but these types of mistakes were quite common, as were misspellings of surnames, like Jarrick instead of Jarick. Very minor stuff. Records of marriage and son August’s death record in 1961 confirm the connection. So, continuing on our journey of discovery, we now know a few more facts. First, Emily was committed to an asylum using epilepsy as the committable offense under the insanity laws of the time. It would be easy to assume that Emily’s husband August was responsible for having her committed, but in this case I believe that to be untrue, and suspect that it was actually her parents who initiated the evaluation for insanity, and here is why. The newspaper article above states that “a few years ago she WAS married to Mr. Jarrick.” Notice the past tense? If her husband had still been in the picture it would have stated that she IS the wife of August Jarrick. Like her younger sisters who had been married, divorced and re-married, Emily married a much older man and the relationship probably fell apart, leading to at the very least a separation, and possibly divorce or abandonment. Census records for the years 1900 and 1910 show son August living in the household of his grandparents in Los Angeles County. In 1920 he is living in Bakersfield with his grandmother, Marguerite/Margaret Brickett. No sign of the father, who shows up in news accounts in various areas of San Bernardino and San Diego counties, and a few times in the Yuma and Prescott, Arizona areas. Matter of fact, in 1899 August Jarick, Sr. was tried for murder in Hedges, California, when he shot and killed a man while working as a town constable. He was acquitted, turned in his badge, and headed for the area of Yuma, Arizona. We know from this information that young August was not being raised by his father, and now his mother was being sent away to an asylum, for epilepsy of all things! I cannot begin to imagine how Emily must have felt at this point in her life when she was trying to raise an infant without the father around to help, and then she is locked away in an asylum for the mentality insane, most likely due to her parents involvement. Of course, I suspect there was more to this story and feel that there may have been an arrest first, and then evaluation by doctors. So, maybe, just maybe, her parents had valid reasons for having her locked away from her child. At that time the Southern California State Insane Asylum was located in San Bernardino and is where Emily would have been sent for treatment, to live among those who were truly insane and not just epileptic. Below is a postcard image of the asylum at the time she was admitted as a patient. (The Southern California State Insane Asylum, now known as Patton, which houses the criminally insane.) From further research I found that Emily was still in the asylum in 1900, as she was enumerated there in the census, and of course, her sister Birdie (Bertha) was living in Randsburg. A search of the 1910 census shows that Emily is no longer enumerated at the asylum, nor does she show up anywhere else in that census year under the name of Emily Jarick. A search through the index of deaths also comes up negative with a listing for Emily, so she left the asylum alive and not through death. I took into consideration that Emily may have joined up again with husband August, but again, this came out as a dead end. Strangely enough, at this time there was an Emily Jarick living in Australia, with a husband named August. Just on the off-chance that they had left the country after Emily’s release from the asylum I researched this couple as well. Again, it proved to not be a match, just a very interesting coincidence. So, here are my conclusions. I am not saying that there isn’t a possibility that I am wrong, and if anyone has proof of another possibility for Marguerite Roberts’ true identity, please drop me a line and let me know, but what I have come up with makes good sense and falls within the realms of high probability. If Emily and Marguerite are one and the same person then my assertions that she lied about her place of birth are correct, as Emily was born in Wyoming, with a father who was a native of New Hampshire and a mother who was born in France. After leaving Wyoming the family had a brief stay in Arizona, where daughter Charlotte was born. By 1876 the Brickett family are in San Bernardino County, where children Bertha, Henrietta and Charles were born. At sometime while living in San Bernardino Emily met August Jarick, a man ten years her senior who was a native of Germany. They married in August 1892 in San Bernardino. In July of 1893 a son, August, Jr., is born to the couple. Sometime between then and 1894 Emily and August were no longer living together as man and wife, due to whatever circumstances. In September 1894 Emily is committed to the asylum and her son falls under the custodianship of her parents, who take the child to Los Angeles to live. Sometime between late 1900 and 1903 Emily is released from the asylum. She can’t go home to her parents for whatever reason so heads to Randsburg where sister Bertha is living, or at least was the last known address Emily had for her. Emily takes up the only profession she can in order to make a living, that of a “soiled dove” and later as a brothel madam, and in the process changes her entire identity. Maybe there is a lot of anger or resentment towards her mother who not only allowed her to be committed to the asylum, but who now is raising her son, so she chooses the name of “French Marguerite” as a way of getting back at dear old mom, who, after all, was born in France and named Marguerite. I am also going to go out on a limb and make a guess that once Emily, aka “French Marguerite,” began to make some good money as a madam she arranged for her son to attend school in Bakersfield, enabling her to see him and renew their relationship. We know that in 1900 and 1910 young August lived in Los Angeles, but it is possible that between the years of 1901 to 1907 he was in Bakersfield, a place where he returned to in later years, and where both he and his grandmother died and are buried. I full heartedly believe that Emily E. Brickett Jarick and Marguerite Roberts were indeed one and the same person. Whether you, dear reader, also believe it or not, it does make for an interesting story. Now that we have wandered through the twists and turns of what may have been the origins of French Marguerite, lets have a look at some of the shenanigans that occurred at her fine establishments. I’m sure there were far more than I am recounting, but suffice it say these few are entertaining and adequate enough to give you a good idea of what life and business was like at The Oasis / My Place Dance Hall. Just a note, newspaper accounts from 1903 state that Marguerite actually owned two saloons along with the dance hall. On January 12th, 1903, an incident occurred at the establishment of Marguerite Roberts which left one man dead, another fighting for his freedom and a young woman who, although the catalyst, seemed rather unmoved by the whole mess. This is a story which has been retold on various websites and in books, but the main details were incorrect and had the re-tellers of this story dug a little deeper they would have found further information which shows that the young woman involved was not the innocent, deceived girl she was made out to be. It also needs to be noted here that her rescuer was not her brother, but was variously called her friend or lover, and it has also been alluded to that he may have been her pimp in San Francisco. From the Los Angeles Times, January 12th, 1903... Love, Shame, then Blood; Shooting Over Pretty Erring Girl at Randsburg “In an attempt to rescue pretty, erring Kitty Palmer from a life of shame, a young man named Louis Edwards shot and probably fatally wounded “Big Mike” Suzzallo in Marguerite Roberts’s “parlor house” here tonight. Suzzallo is in a critical condition with two bullets in his body and Edwards is in jail. Back of the shooting there is evidence of a remarkable love story, the devotion of a man following a fallen girl to the very depths. Edwards’s home is in San Francisco; he is 34 years old and of prepossessing appearance. Kitty Palmer is young, vivacious and comely; she came from San Francisco and has gone under the name of Ollie Blake here. “Big Mike” Suzzallo is a notorious habitué of local saloons and bawdy houses. Young Edwards arrived on this evening’s train from San Francisco. He went at once to the Roberts woman’s resort, which is called “The Oasis,” and inquired for the girl. The madame showed him to her room, and the pair were soon heard to be in earnest argument. Edwards was pleading with her to forsake the primrose path and to return with him to her friends in San Francisco. Finally the girl consented to leave the house, and was engaged in packing up her belongings when there was vociferous cursing in the hall and someone demanded to be admitted. Edwards refused to open the door, when with oaths and vile epithets the fellow yelled: “I’ll get the _____ out!” With that the door was burst open and in rushed Suzzallo. Edwards had drawn his revolver, and when “Big Mike” rushed toward him began shooting. Four shots were fired in quick succession, and two took effect. One struck Suzzallo in the side of the neck, and the other in the left leg. Suzzallo turned when shot, and retreated to the street, running a block before being stopped by loss of blood. He was taken into the Jones house and his wounds dressed, afterward being conveyed to his bed in the Roberts woman’s place. Dr. Renshaw, who is attending him, says Suzzallo is in a critical condition. The bullet in the neck passed right through the windpipe and ranged downward. The one in the leg lodged against the bone. Neither has been extracted. After the shooting Edwards took the girl and started up Butte avenue, but they were followed and both arrested by Constable Arnold. Edwards tells a straightforward story of the shooting, claiming he believed his life in danger and fired in self-defense. He makes no open profession of love for her, merely saying that they are “old friends,” and that he came here solely to persuade her to abandon shame and go home. The man said he sent letters and telegrams, and even went so far as to send her a ticket. All these efforts had failed to bring her to San Francisco, so he decided to try a personal visit as a final effort. In the jail the two were granted an interview, and the man renewed his pleadings that she leave. The girl was silent and indifferent, and gave him little satisfaction. It is believed the Roberts woman and Suzzallo overheard the conversation of Edwards and Kitty, and the proprietress ordered her “bouncer” to eject the visitor, who threatened to lure away one of her girls. Ollie Blake, through her beauty and cleverness, has been one of the most popular “women of the town.”” But the saga continues with this follow-up article over a week later, where we see that Louis Edwards is now called Lewis Handi (maybe Handl), and is charged with the murder of Mike Suzzallo… The Los Angeles Times, January 25th, 1903: Man Who Sought to Rescue Girl From Bagnio Must Stand Trial For Life “Michael M. Suzzallo, who was shot by Lewis Handi on the evening of January 11, while Handl was trying to rescue and remove a young girl from the “Oasis,” a Randsburg bagnio kept by Marguerite Roberts, died yesterday in the Pacific Hospital, Los Angeles, as a result of his wounds. Pneumonia, superinduced by septicaemia, is the cause of death assigned by the attending physician. Upon being informed by Coroner Trout of the demise of Suzzallo, the District Attorney of Kern County caused the arrest of Handi on the charge of murder, and the accused man now occupies a cell in Bakersfield. Previously he had been released, pending results, on the charge of assault with intent to commit murder.” On January 27th, 1903, the Los Angeles Times reports further on this case… Witnesses Didn’t Come – Coroner’s Jury Couldn’t Bring Out the Whole Story “Death from septic pneumonia caused by gunshot wounds, was the verdict that the Coroner’s jury returned yesterday at the inquest held over the body of Michael M. Suzzallo, the bouncer in a Randsburg bagnio, who was shot on the 14th inst. by Lewis Handi, and died at the Pacific, this city, on Saturday. Handi, a young man from San Francisco, was trying to rescue Kitty Palmer, an inmate of the house, from the life of shame she was leading, and Suzzallo burst in the door of the room where they were talking. Handi shot Suzzallo twice, one bullet lodging deep in the neck and the other in the knee. The poison from the latter seeped through the blood vessels to the lungs and caused pneumonia. The bullet which entered the neck was not located. Marguerite Roberts, keeper of the Randsburg house, was the only witness examined. She said that Handi fired a shot through the door when Suzzallo was forcing his way into the room. Afterward Handi sent the two bullets into the bouncer’s body. Then, Mrs. Roberts said, he turned the gun on her and discharged it twice, but she was not struck. Other witnesses who were expected failed to appear. Coroner Trout sent a message to the District Attorney of Kern County yesterday, requesting him to gather all the evidence available in the case.” Finally, three months later, we read in the April 2nd, 1903 edition of the Los Angeles Times: Handi Turned Loose “Louis Edward Handi, arrested for the murder of “Mitch” Suzzallo, while trying to take a girl out of a joint in Randsburg, was released from jail today. Justice J.R. Mansing, who held the preliminary hearing, made the order, there being no evidence on which to hold Handi. Ollie Blake, a leading witness for the prosecution, disappeared.” So, man travels a long distance to rescue girl, kills a man in the process, and in the end girl disappears into the sunset to leave her rescuer on his own. Like I stated earlier, the “fair maiden” was not as innocent as first made out to be, and Louis was not rescuing her out of love. I am not surprised that they do not show up in census records under any of the names they were known by. Obviously Marguerite’s place was one of much activity and excitement, giving the good people of the town plenty to gossip about. But, like everyone else, she paid her taxes and paid for her licenses to operate, which in turn generated revenue for the town. However, some did not see it that way and would have preferred to shut her down. In the Bakersfield edition of The Daily Californian for the date of May 22nd, 1905, we find this tidbit… Marguerite To Pay A Fine “In the Justice Court, Justice M.G. Reddy, of Mojave, presiding, the case of the People vs. Marguerite Roberts, charged with willingly and knowingly admitting a woman, a minor, to her house of ill fame, was tried before the Justice and she was adjudged guilty and fined twenty-five dollars. The fine was paid. The character of the house was established by two witnesses, Juanita Grant and Flora Williams. The girl, Marguerite Fredericks, whose real name is Mrs. Marguerite Widman, testified that she was only fifteen years of age and would not be sixteen until the 21st day of June.” Also from The Daily Californian, dated June 6th, 1905… Marguerite Roberts’ License is Revoked “Acting on the report of Supervisor Peterson, who went to Randsburg for the purpose of making an investigation in the Marguerite Roberts case. The Board today revoked the license as prayed for in the petition to that effect. Mr. Peterson said that the dance hall run by the Roberts woman was no worse than others there but that on account of its location, being in the center of the business section of the mining town, he did not believe it should be allowed to run.” Just seven months later Marguerite is again fighting to retain her business, this time with the backing of a few well-respected towns people, as we see in another edition of The Daily Californian, dated January 6th, 1906… Protests to Supervisor “Marguerite Roberts’ petition to conduct a saloon in Randsburg was rejected yesterday afternoon by the Board of Supervisors on the ground that the sureties on the bond are insufficient. The sureties were William. M. Atkinson, Jack Harrison, Charles A. Koehn, and Pat Byrne, $2500 each. Following are the names of those who signed the application for a license: W.H. Hevren, A.A. Nixon, Mrs. Lena Skillings, Pat Burge, W.A. Ruffhead, John Tomonich, R.N. Osborn, H. Rott, D.J. McCormick, D.C. Kuffel, D.A. Blue. The following protest against the issuance of a license to the Roberts woman was telegraphed to the Supervisors: “We, the undersigned residents of the city or town of Randsburg, County of Kern, hereby petition the honorable Board of Supervisors in the matter of the liquor license of Marguerite Roberts or John Doe, not to grant same on the grounds that the said Marguerite Roberts has heretofore kept and run a disorderly house. We furthermore ask and petition the honorable Board of Supervisors not to grant to any one a liquor license which will be located in or about the business section of said city or town of Randsburg, which will be in any way connected with or adjacent to a dance hall or place of resort for women.” The petition is signed by C.A. Burcham, Thomas McCarthy, Dr. R.L. McDonald, J.T. Curry, William M. Houser, George S. Young and E.B. Maginnis.” These next newspaper clips make one wonder if Marguerite knew she was dying, and so began to deed over her properties. Her death notice did state that she had been suffering from lung problems for some time, so it’s a good guess that she was aware that her end was approaching. From the Bakersfield Daily Californian, dated Dec. 11th, 1906… “Marguerite Roberts to Edward Killeen, $300 and o. v. c. beginning northeast corner lot 2, block 5, Brown survey, Randsburg, east 22.5 feet, south 150 feet, west 23.5 feet, north 150 feet.” For those unfamiliar with real estate transfer terms o. v. p. means ‘other valuable consideration.’ This is also referred to as ‘love and consideration.’ This was most likely a quitclaim deed and could lead us to the conclusion that Edward Killeen was either related in some way or this was deeded over as a gift. From the 1900 census we know that Edward was a miner and living in the lodging house of Sarah Burton. This property, according to the J.D. Browne Survey, on record with the Engineering, Surveying and Permit Services Dept. of Kern County, is located between the General Store and Tom O’Donnell’s Photography Studio and currently is occupied by two buildings. And this clip, from the same newspaper, dated February 25th, 1907, and the only mention of her son as being called August Roberts. However, I do not find him anywhere else at any time under this name… “Marguerite Roberts to August Roberts, $10, lots 16 and 17, Block E, New York add. Randsburg, retains life interest.” These properties, according to the New York Addition Survey, on record with the Engineering, Surveying and Permit Services Dept. of Kern County, are located on Lexington Avenue, which would mean that the cribs belonged to Marguerite and were used by her “girls.” Here are four photos of the still existing cribs... http://www.exploreforums.com/uploads/monthly_08_2013/post-120-0-97059800-1377531718.jpghttp://www.exploreforums.com/uploads/monthly_08_2013/post-120-0-62942900-1377531723.jpghttp://www.exploreforums.com/uploads/monthly_08_2013/post-120-0-74152800-1377531728.jpghttp://www.exploreforums.com/uploads/monthly_08_2013/post-120-0-03287800-1377531734.jpg Burns_Town_Cigarette.pdf Mike Suzzallo murder - Marguerite Roberts.pdf Olllie_Blake_Marguerites_House.pdf The Oasis.pdf
  13. Humboldt City was the first white settlement in the county, established in 1860. I have added an attachment which gives a description of the town in 1863. Never reaching a population higher than 500, the town only lasted for 9 years. Therefore, there was never a census enumeration, making it difficult to locate former residents of the town. Perseverance always pays off though, and I have found one citizen who for a short time had some prominence in the area before returning east to Illinois. Bailey Hathaway Nichols Bailey H. Nichols was a son of Roswell Nichols and Mary Durfee and was born in Putneyville, New York on March 13th, 1826. By 1840 Bailey’s parents moved the family to Manchester, New York, where young Bailey’s family would live at a place known locally as “Gold Bible Farm.” The farm gained this name in 1823, when Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon faith, supposedly found the “gold plates” or “gold Bible” in a hill located on this property. These gold plates were later called “The Book of Mormon.” Sometime before 1850 Bailey’s father died, and after the 1850 census his mother remarried. She and her new husband removed the family to Illinois. In 1852 he crossed the Plains with ox teams to California, where he worked in the mines. After two years of this he decided to head home, this time by water. On the way home he was shipwrecked and lost everything he owned. He had no other choice than to go back to work in the mines for another two years. He again headed home by ship, narrowly escaping death when he came down with Panama Fever. Finally arriving home to Kankakee City, Illinois, he met Viola B. Potter, a daughter of Horace and Fannie A. (Edson) Potter, born December 6th, 1843. Bailey and Viola married on February 28th, 1860. Three months after their wedding day Bailey and Viola were on their way across the Plains and headed for California. One has to wonder how Viola felt about this, considering she was a young bride 17 years of age, and probably had seen too much of the world past her own doorstep. The couple reached California, but by 1861 they had moved to Carson City, Nevada, and then shortly after that they were running the Coulter Hotel in the new town of Humboldt City, where their first child, a son named Arthur Humboldt Nichols, was born on November 25th, 1862. It was believed at one time that he was the first white child born in Nevada. However, in journal that was written by Laura Ellis in the 1850’s, Laura recorded in 1854 the birth of the first white child in Nevada, her son, James Brimmel Ellis. Laura and her husband had a farm in Gold Canyon, near Dayton. Bailey Nichols was elected to the legislature from Humboldt County, where he voted for Stewart for U.S. Senator, and for the abolition of slavery. In 1867 he and his family returned to Kankakee City, Illinois, where he became a farmer. In 1900 he was working as a Justice of the Peace. Bailey H. Nichols died on February 26th, 1906, in Kankakee, Illinois. He is buried in Mound Grove Cemetery. In 1920 Viola was enumerated as living in Evanston, Cook County, Illinois. Included in her household are daughter Janette, and grandsons Willard Rose and Edgar Rose. Viola died in August 1928 and is also buried in Mound Grove Cemetery. The children of Bailey & Viola: Arthur Humboldt Nichols, born in Humboldt City, Nevada, November 24th, 1862. On June 29th, 1884 he married Jennie Free in Illinois. They had a son named Ray E. Nichols, who was born in 1886. In 1900 Arthur was living in Chicago. In 1907 he divorced Jennie. By 1910 we find him in Terra Haute, Indiana, as a divorced man. In 1920 he was employed as a printer for a newspaper in Terre Haute, where he lived as a lodger in the home of the Cliff family, at 1314 South 8th Street. In 1921 he married Louise Laux. In 1930 the household includes two step-sons and four grandsons. I suspect that these grandsons were the children of son Ray. Arthur was working as a printer for a newspaper. He died April 24th, 1943, in Terre Haute. Fannie E. Nichols, born July 24th, 1867, died March 30th, 1872, buried in Limestone Cemetery, Kankakee. Nevada Sinclair Nichols, born November 21st, 1870. Married Willard Newcomb Rose, September 1893. He was born in Grand Haven, Michigan on November 15th, 1869. By 1900 the couple, now living in Chicago, had two sons, Willard and Edgar. The family were comfortable enough from Willard’s income as an accountant to afford a maid. In the 1910 census the family now have a third son, David. This youngest son died March 25th, 1916. Nevada died December 5th, 1918. Janette Nichols was born 1876, in Illinois. No record of marriage has been found yet. Another early resident of Humboldt City was Joseph Hatcher, who was born in England circa 1832. An article from December 1862, in the San Francisco Bulletin, tells us a little bit about Mr. Hatcher… “Here, too, is a fine garden ranch, owned by one Hatcher, an Englishmen, who with his personal labor has realized over $2000 since last spring. He lately erected the neatest cottage to be found in the mountains.” Of course, even small towns have their scandals and criminal activities, and Humboldt City was no exception. The November 23rd, 1861 edition of the San Francisco Bulletin newspaper makes mention of a murder in Humboldt City: ATROCIOUS MURDER AT HUMBOLDT – Correspondence from Humboldt City of the Red Bluff Independent gives the following account of a recent murder at the former place: “Lewis Sneath was killed in Humboldt City last Sunday, 27th October, by Frank Archer. It was one of the foulest murders. The man Archer went into Sneath’s own house, took a long-handled shovel, and struck him across the nose, just below the eyes, cutting the nose entirely in two; the second blow broke in his temple; the third ranged from the right cheek bone across the upper lip, severing the upper part of the mouth from the head, and ranging across the left jaw, breaking it all to pieces; and the same blow knocked out some dozen of his teeth. There were other wounds too numerous to mention. When I heard of it, I went to Humboldt City to see Mr. Sneath interred. He was the worst looking sight I ever saw. This man Archer, who killed him, left for Oregon or Washoe. He was a small man, with black hair and whiskers, black eyes, and dark skin; when he left he had on a black hat, black coat, and black pants, with the seat and back part of the legs laced with buckskin. Archer was formerly from Oregon. I do hope that Mr. Sneath’s uncle will take it in hand and try to catch him. The above is about as good a description of the man as I can give. I do not think that Archer would weigh over 120 pounds. There was nobody else in the house at the time he inflicted those wounds on Mr. Sneath. I think it was a premeditated thing. Persons said in my presence that if Archer had not killed Sneath, some of them would have had to do it. Sneath lived about three hours, but was not able to speak or move a limb.” Lewis Sneath was born in Seneca County, Ohio in 1838. By the age of 12, in 1850, his father was dead and his mother May was raising her children alone. I have not yet located the name of Lewis’ father. Frank Archer has disappeared into the mist of time, most likely having changed his name after going on the run. @ 2013 Cindy Nunn. All Rights Reserved. Description of Humboldt City_1863.pdf
  14. Haunting photographs of a Washington ghost-town which was once a bustling railroad village before the jobs left and the residents followed Lester, Washington's last living resident died in in 2002 at the age of 99 The town was once a fuel stop for trains but lost its usefulness when they stopped using coal By DAILY MAIL REPORTER PUBLISHED: 01:19 EST, 12 September 2013 | UPDATED: 14:31 EST, 12 September 2013 The town of Lester, seen in images from the Seattle Post Intelligencer, in central Washington State was once a service stop for trains running from Seattle to Minneapolis on the Great Northern railway line, but it is now a ghost town. The last surviving resident of the town, which was founded in the 1892 in the picturesque Cascade Mountains, a woman by the name of Gertrude Murphy, died in 2002 at the age of 99. Now, the town stands as a testament to the changing face of America in the post industrial age. Go to link to see the amazing photos. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2418419/Washington-State-ghost-town-haunting-photos-bustling-railroad-village-frozen-time.html#ixzz2h08MqCXC
  15. St. Thomas: A high-and-dry ghost town STEVE MARCUS Dean and Edie Hiedeman of Henderson look over the remains of the schoolhouse at the town of St. Thomas in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area Monday, July 22, 2013. The town started as a farming settlement in 1865 but was covered by the rising waters of Lake Mead in the 1930’s after the construction of Hoover Dam. By Matt Hufman (contact) Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013 | 10 a.m. Finding Nevada Population: Today, zero. At its height, 500 — with up to 1,500 in the area. Location: About seven miles southeast of Overton. From Las Vegas, about 65 miles northeast via Interstate 15 and the Valley of Fire Highway. It’s in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which requires an entry fee. GPS: 36.466247°, -114.370517° Elevation: 1,166 feet St. Thomas is known for one thing: It was the town that was flooded in 1938 by Hoover Dam. The history is much richer than that, and in recent years, people have been able to explore it. Due to the recent drought, the water that once covered the site — about 60 feet deep — is gone, and you can scramble down to the site and wander among the foundations, cisterns and tamarisk. The story of St. Thomas is, in many ways, the story of Nevada — hearty pioneers came to try to make a living here and when things didn’t work, they moved on. The town was eventually given up for something with better benefits — Hoover Dam. The town was founded by Mormon pioneers in 1865 and named after one of the expedition’s leaders, Thomas Sassen Smith. The group was sent by Brigham Young to grow cotton and open a supply route to Utah via the Colorado River. The pioneers suffered several hardships, heat, malaria-infested mosquitoes and scorpions. They dug miles of irrigation canals but found the cotton didn’t grow well. There were also some conflicts with local Indians. But what pushed the Mormon pioneers out was a tax bill presented by Lincoln County officials after an 1870 survey put St. Thomas in Nevada. Residents thought they were in Utah or Arizona. Nevada didn’t relent on the issue, and Young blessed the group’s return. All but one left. The town was taken over by a variety of settlers, including outlaws and others looking for a remote place to hide out. But Mormons would return to the area and resettle it, trying a variety of crops and taking advantage of its position on the road from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. It was a stop on what became known as the Arrowhead Trail with a bridge that crossed the Muddy River. Motorists in the early 1900s could cruise through, finding a broad, leafy boulevard with a hotel, cafe and able mechanics. But the bust of nearby mines in the early 1900s hurt the town economically, and then the bridge was destroyed in a fire in the 1920s. With the plans for Hoover Dam taking shape, a new bridge was built to the north, along with the new highway, away from where Lake Mead would take shape. Residents fought the federal government to no avail and complained about what they said was the government’s low payments for their properties. Nearly all of the residents left well before the lake flooded the town, but there were a few people who denied that the lake would rise that high. The last of those was Hugh Lord, who woke to water at the foot of his bed one morning. He gathered his things and before climbing into his rowboat, set fire to his house. Why? The histories don’t say, but it seems like a fitting Nevada way out — one last shake of the fist at the federal government, which might force him out but couldn’t take everything he had. If you go: St. Thomas is on the edge of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. An entry fee is required. A dirt road leads from just inside the park gate, southeast of the intersection of Valley of Fire Highway and North Lakeshore Road, and goes about 3.5 miles to a parking area. (Bring water, there are no facilities at the trailhead.) A trail descends from the parking area to the valley floor. It’s a little more than a half-mile to the edge of the town site. The loop trail runs about 2.5 miles. The St. Thomas Cemetery, which was moved before the lake was flooded, is off Highway 169 just outside of Overton. It is on the west side of the highway, just north of the Simplot facility. The Lost City Museum, which features artifacts from nearby Anasazi Indian ruins which were flooded by Lake Mead, is north of the cemetery off Highway 169. Remember: It’s against federal law to use a metal detector or take anything. And park staff frowns on climbing on the foundations. (Sorry.) For more: “St. Thomas: A History Uncovered,” by Aaron McArthur, will be published in November. It will be the history of the town, and it focuses on the Mormon roots. The book comes out of work McArthur did for the National Park Service, which then led to a Ph.D. dissertation at UNLV. It’s a solid, well-researched and readable history. Links: The National Park Service’s site is here. http://www.lasvegassun.com/features/finding-nevada/2013/sep/15/st-thomas-high-and-dry-ghost-town/
  16. Wednesday, October 2, 2013 Haunting a Ghost Town Unofficial mayor John Elwood is one of the last residents of Elberton, Wash. Matt Benoit Elberton, circa 1904 [Photo: Dixie Roach and the Whitman County Library Rural Heritage Project ] John Elwood lives in a town that no longer exists.Where churches, hotels and homes once lined the streets, now remain the few forlorn fragments of an Eastern Washington ghost town: an old cemetery; a boarded-up brick church; an unused railroad trestle straddling the banks of the Palouse River. Elberton, Wash., is a place where the pavement ends and the past begins. “Rather few people really get the opportunity to live in a rural setting in the Palouse country,” says Elwood, 62, who lives in a century-old home with his wife, a cat named Tom Kitten, and two dogs, Barkis and Pip. Elberton, 60 miles south of Spokane, is one of only two Washington towns in the past 50 years to disincorporate, or give up its official status as a town. Two others, Gold Bar and Mesa, have recently mulled disincorporation due to budget issues. Although Elberton is now a quiet residential community of less than 15 people, it was once, as Elwood puts it, an “up-and-comer.” The town got its start in the 1870s, and succeeding decades brought rail service and growth. With a population of 500 at the turn of the 20th century, Elberton enjoyed an economic boom spurred by a sawmill, a flour mill, acres of prune orchards and a four-furnace fruit dryer said to be — at one time — the largest in the world. The town also hosted the famed Elberton Picnic — a three-day, fair-like event so big that former presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan once attended to give a speech. After a while, though, hard times befell Elberton. Decline and Demise The demise began when the local sawmill moved to Idaho after exhausting local timber resources. A fire in 1908 and flood in 1910 destroyed portions of the town. Eventually, Elberton’s flour mill closed, and prompted by improving transportation to larger towns, so did the rest of its once-thriving business district. Largely residential in the following decades, Elberton’s population shrank to less than 70 by 1966. That year, after a series of bridge repairs exceeded the town’s operating budget, the town disincorporated. When a town disincorporates, the majority of its assets and powers are transferred to either the county or state. In Elberton’s case, a 1969 grant allowed Whitman County’s parks and recreation department to take ownership of most of the former town’s land. The county envisioned turning the site into a county park that doubled as a living history museum, but a lack of finances sidelined those plans. John Elwood's Elberton home was once the town's polling place. | Derek Harrison photo Today, a few residents and a ropes course, operated and maintained annually by the Palouse River Counseling Center, are the only active portions of Elberton. “It’s just sad that the little town had to die,” says Bill Stern, 66, who grew up on his father’s farm just outside Elberton’s city limits. Stern recalls a childhood spent playing games in front of an old general store that’s now a bare foundation with a derelict basketball hoop. Children would swim in the Palouse River during the summer and ice skate on it during the winter. Charlotte Mundell, 71, was raised in Elberton and remembers Sunday school classes at the still-standing United Brethren Church, built in 1913. The classes were held in the basement, which filled with mud after a 1996 flood. Little House on the Palouse And then there’s Elwood, who has watched over the site as Elberton’s “mayor” since moving there in 1982 from outside of Colfax. The faux title was given to him years ago by D.A. Davidson, Elberton’s last official mayor who ran Elberton’s final business — a general store — until the mid-1970s. Stepping into Elwood’s home is like stepping back in time. There are no computers or televisions. In the kitchen sits a cast-iron stove. On a nearby wall hangs a gray rotary phone. Hanging near the front door, on an enclosed porch, is a framed 1944 voting poster. Elwood found it in an old shed on his property. The house, he says, once was Elberton’s polling place. Elwood’s doorbell, repaired using a bell from a tricycle, is indicative of the remodeled and somewhat cannibalized nature of his home: various parts and pieces — including a brown-and-gray, paint-cracked backyard door taken from a painter’s former residence — were removed from other unoccupied area homes. In the backyard — not far from where Elberton’s picnic grounds once featured a dance pavilion, grandstand and horse-racing track — are several sheds, wooden swings, two gardens and a chicken pen. During the summer, Elwood and his wife sleep outside in a wooden pavilion situated near a sheepherders’ wagon that’s now a sauna. Although the Elwoods originally paid rent to the county to live in their home, the rest of Elberton’s rental homes were eventually abandoned or burned as training exercises for local firefighters. Today, the couple is only responsible for the house’s upkeep. “It’s only here because we saved it,” says Elwood with a laugh. “And when we’re done with it, my guess is that [the county] will be, too.” Until that time, however, Elwood likely will be content as Elberton’s “mayor,” keeping tabs on the old church, admiring the land’s natural beauty, and telling anyone who’ll listen about this nearly forgotten part of the Palouse. This article was provided by Murrow News Service, which is produced by journalism students at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. http://www.inlander.com/spokane/article-19789-haunting-a-ghost-tow.html
  17. Dust to dust: Exploring ghost towns Dillon and Rudefeha Photo Courtesy Carbon County Museum Ghost town Dillon Men appearing to be gambling on the street in Dillon. Photo taken in 1904. Posted: Saturday, October 5, 2013 5:30 am By Han Cheung hcheung@rawlinstimes.com |0 comments Two other notable ghost towns of the short-lived Grand Encampment copper boom are Dillon and Rudefeha. Rudefeha is where it all began. In the summer of 1897, Ed Haggarty attempted to return to the canyon where he had seen a red spongy substance on the rocks, according to “Ghost Towns of Wyoming” by Donald Miller. With fellow grubstakers James Rumsey, Robert Deal and George Ferris, Haggarty discovered that the “melting snow had rolled down tons of red ore.” He staked a 20-acre tract and named it after the first two letters of the four owners: Ru-de-fe-ha. After Deal and Rumsey backed out, the mine assumed its more commonly known name: Ferris-Haggarty. The foot shaft was sunk in August 1898 and two months later, the first wagonload of ore was hauled to Fort Steele. The money started pouring in. Transportation of the ore from the mine to Encampment, a 15-mile trip, was by cable cars. It was the longest tramway in existence at that time. Haggarty sold his interest to Ferris in 1899 for $30,000 and returned to his native England, where he paid off his parents’ debts and purchased a cottage for them. He later settled in Encampment. Haggarty may have sold out too early, but bad fortune struck the mine soon. Ferris died in a buggy accident in 1900 and shortly afterwards the shaft was destroyed in a storm. “Then the mine management passed through a number of unwise and unwealthy promotional schemes,” Miller wrote. In 1902, he North American Copper Company purchased the mine for $1,000,000, according to the book “Carbon County Dreamers and Schemers” by Lori Van Pelt. By the time the railroad came to the area in 1908, the mine was on its deathbed because of “mismanagement, over-capitalization resulting in costly litigation and hazardous transportation,” according to Miller. The 200 miners were laid off one-by-one that year. “A few hung around, going down the ridge a mile to Dillon for liquid refreshments and to wile away their idle hours,” Miller wrote. Dillon was built because the mine management decided to ban saloons in Rudefeha. “They moved three-quarters of a mile down the ridge where the town of Dillon was built, for the convenience of any and all who might thirst. Many did,” Margaret Edwards Daley wrote for the Rawlins Daily Times in a 1965 commemorative article. A known saying of that time was “It’s day all day in the day time, and there ain’t no night in Dillon.” Dillon was named after saloon and boarding house owner Malachi Dillon, who constructed the first building in town. According to a Daily Times article, “Dillon founded the town and he more or less ruled it. He was absolute arbiter in disputes that arose in camp.” Another interesting Dillon character was Grant Jones, who published the Dillon Doublejack newspaper for two years. A graduate of Northwestern University and former writer for the Chicago Times-Herald, Jones came to Encampment to investigate the copper boom. Jones' articles were printed all over the country and “took credit for bringing hundreds of Easterns families to the Sierra Madres,” a Rawlins Daily Times article stated. He started the Doublejack in 1902, “conceived to tell the tales of the booming copper towns and their grizzly inhabitants.” According to another Rawlins Daily Times article, Jones “delighted his readers with his fantasy tales of the weird, twilight inhabitants of this strange country he was sent to.” He went as far as to invent creatures such as the Bockabor, the one-eyed Screaming Emu and the six-legged Coogly Woo. Creatures that had the ability to swallow themselves and creatures that only appeared on moonlit, starry nights. Jones allegedly died of a morphine overdose while “loaded to the brim with bad whiskey.” While the other copper towns were immediately deserted after the mine closed in 1908, people apparently hung around in Dillon for another year. The last person to leave Dillon was George Baker, owner of the Miner’s Exchange Saloon. He reportedly stayed a whole year after the mine closed. He later told the press that “he stayed a year too long.” http://www.rawlinstimes.com/news/article_b0b7ec76-2d63-11e3-989a-001a4bcf887a.html
  18. The first woman to be buried in the little Randsburg cemetery was Mrs. Emily A. Davidson, and under the most tragic of circumstances. On May 19th, 1897, David Davidson, husband of Emily, arrived in Randsburg on the stage from Los Angeles. Davidson was attempting to convince his wife to return to Los Angeles. Upon her refusal Davidson pulled out a gun and shot Emily dead in front of the restaurant she operated on Butte Avenue. David I. Davidson had owned a restaurant in Minneapolis, MN from 1885 to 1890, located at 209 Hennepin Ave. and 208 Nicolette Ave., which was called Davidson’s European Restaurant and Hotel. At Denver, CO in 1892, he operated another restaurant, located at 1727 Larimer, with his residence being listed at 1720 Larimer. Sometime around 1896 David and Emily arrived in Los Angeles where he operated another restaurant. As a sideline he engaged in criminal activity, of which he supposedly forced Emily to take part in. Both had bad reputations in Colorado, and continued their disreputable behavior in Los Angeles, with a tragic ending at Randsburg. This story was reported in the May 20th, 1897 edition of the Sacramento Daily Union newspaper. SENSATIONAL TRAGEDY AT RANDSBURG David Davidson Commits a Brutal and Cowardly Murder. Kills His Divorced Wife Because She Would Not Live With Him. The Murderer Taken to Mojave to Prevent His Being Lynched by the Enraged Citizens of the Southern Mining Camp. RANDSBURG (Cal.). May 10. “The most sensational tragedy ever enacted at Randsburg took place this morning when David Davidson arrived on the Kramer stage. Davidson met his divorced wife on Butte avenue at about twenty minutes past 11 o'clock. The two walked to a restaurant that had been kept by the Woman and became involved in a quarrel. Davidson grabbed the woman by the arm with his left hand, drew his revolver with his right hand and shot her. The ball from the pistol entered Mrs. Davidson's left side just below the ribs. As she fell he held her firmly by the arm and shot her twice more in the back as she was falling. Davidson was immediately arrested and put in jail, but shortly thereafter he was taken out by the officers and started for Mojave as a lynching was feared. Excitement is running high here, as the woman was highly respected. If Davidson is overtaken by a mob, as appears to be very likely, he will be summarily dealt with. Both parties to the horrible affair were originally from St. Louis, and recently kept a restaurant in Los Angeles. Davidson sent a number of telegrams to his divorced wife during the last few days imploring and commanding her to return to him, to which she did not reply. When he arrived here on the morning stage from Kramer he said he had come to kill her, and she asked protection of the officers, but little attention was given the threat until the deed was committed. Davidson and his wife have been divorced twice. They formerly lived in Minneapolis, Minn., and Denver, Col. It is reported that she left him because of his criminal inclinations, he having at one time knocked out her front teeth and broke her nose because she would not consent to be used as a cats-paw in his blackmailing schemes. Another story is that she refused to divide about $2,500 which the pair had succeeded in swindling from an Easterner. Both have relatives in Minneapolis, who are said to be wealthy and respected people.” The May 20th, 1897 edition of the Los Angeles Times fills us in with more details about the character of both the victim and her killer: “David I. Davidson, well known in Los Angeles, yesterday murdered his wife in cold blood at Randsburg.” “Later advices from Randsburg state that Davidson went there with the avowed intention of killing his wife, who, it is represented, left him some time ago rather than submit longer to his brutal and criminal conduct in not only beating her, but forcing her to take part in blackmailing schemes.” “Davidson told the officers that the killing had grown out of his wife’s refusal to divide $2500 which they had together secured from some easterner on a swindling scheme.” “The Davidsons, man and wife – if, indeed, they were actually so – are better known in Los Angeles than in any other part of the West. They were a disreputable pair, though there is reason to believe that the woman had long sought to escape the domineering influence exercised over her by Davidson. There is the very best of evidence – the evidence of the truth-telling camera itself – to show that she was, not so very long ago, a creature of utter depravity.” “Davidson, too, has shown himself to be a wretch ready to stoop to the lowest depths” “There was little to attract public attention to the Davidsons until in October of last year when a damage suit for $20,000 was brought by Davidson against Henry Wormington, an old capitalist from Denver whom he has formerly known. It may be added in passing that the Davidsons left bad records in Denver.” In a nutshell, David and Emily Davidson set the old guy up so that he would be caught in a compromising position with Emily, when she had entered his room uninvited, locked the door, stripped off her clothes, and when he husband came looking for her and knocked on the door she let him and two detectives in. A photo was snapped of the scene as “evidence.” This set in motion a fraudulent suit against Wormington in which he was accused of alienating Emily’s affections from Davidson. In other words, blackmail, pure and simple. Davidson divorced Emily as part of the scam, which meant little as they were never legally married any way. A few more quotes from the newspaper state: “After the settlement of these legal matters, Davidson went back to his First-street restaurant and his “wife” acted as his cashier. They got along swimmingly except at such times as the woman was caught running around with other men. Then he became furiously jealous, and, it is said, abused and beat her.” “Among certain women of the town she was known as Cora, and, at one time, it is said, was mistress of a disgraceful “crib” at No. 12, Bauer’s Alley. This is supposed to have been without the knowledge of Davidson.” From the December 3rd, 1897 edition of the Los Angeles Times, a deposition is read from the defendant’s father: “The killing was not denied by the defendant’s attorneys. The defense opened by reading the deposition of the defendant’s father, a physician of St. Louis. He said the defendant’s mother was insane at the time of his birth and had been so for times for some months before, and was so subsequently. He also said the defendant, when 10 years of age, fell and injured his head and frequently thereafter complained of pains in the head.” From the December 12th, 1897 edition of the Los Angeles Times: “After being out seven hours the jury in the case of David Davidson the Randsburg wife-murderer, brought in a verdict of murder in the first degree, and fixed the penalty at life imprisonment. All the jurymen were for murder from the first, and until the last ballot ten were for the penalty of death. The defense rested wholly upon the insanity of the defendant, and all through the trial the defendant sat in court apparently oblivious to all that was going on. Experts said, however, that he was shamming. Defendant’s counsel waived time and today Judge Malone passed sentence. It is not believed that an appeal will be taken. The defendant is the son of a wealthy St. Louis physician.” The San Francisco Call states that Davidson’s father was a millionaire living in Santa Cruz County and that he also had family in San Francisco. Davidson was sent to San Quentin prison, where he is listed in the 1900 census as being born in March 1858 in Missouri, and states that his father was from Ireland and his mother from Virginia. Other records state mother was from Missouri. Census records show him as being born between 1854 and 1858. In 1902 it was mentioned in the news that Davidson was seeking a pardon. Davidson was paroled or pardoned at some point and died in Los Angeles, the article of which follows later in this story. It can be safely assumed that Emily was not a legitimate wife of Davidson, and was herself of a questionable nature. Her family were probably not overly shocked over the end she met. Earlier background information sheds some light on the brutal nature of David Davidson, as well as his propensity for being involved in dysfunctional relationships. Davidson did indeed have a legitimate wife back in Minneapolis, Caroline Miller Davidson as evidenced by this news clip from the Saint Paul Daily Globe, May 18th, 1889: “David I. Davidson is the plaintiff in divorce proceedings against Caroline, his wife. He charges her with having committed adultery with one Edward Gore, in the boarding house at 208 Nicollet avenue last March. He also claims cruelty, alleging that she attacked him with a butcher knife at one time and at another with a lamp. He asks for the custody of the five children.” From the Saint Paul Daily Globe, June 2nd, 1889: “Mrs. Caroline Davidson has filed an answer to the complaint of her husband, asking for divorce on the ground of adultery, and so the case was stricken from the special term calendar.” Also from the Saint Paul Daily Globe, August 22nd, 1889: “Carrie E. Davidson, wife of David I. Davidson, the restaurant man, had her husband arrested yesterday on a charge of threatening to kill her. She told a pitiful story to the clerk of the court, and exhibited a black eye and a swollen face, which she said were due to the chastisement she had received at the hands of her husband. Davidson was arraigned and pleaded not guilty. He gave $200 bonds for his appearance today. Mrs. Davidson says her spouse destroyed her clothing, failed to provide for her and her children, spent his money and time with another woman, and threatened to kill her.” Could the other woman have been the infamous Emily? From the Saint Paul Daily Globe, August 22nd, 1889: “Minneapolis Woman Seeks A Divorce In Denver Caroline Davidson began suit against her husband, David L. Davidson, for divorce and alimony. The complaint of Mrs. Davidson says that she and her husband were married in 1878, and shortly afterward secured a home in Minneapolis. The husband sued the wife for a divorce in the district court of Minneapolis, alleging that she was too friendly with Henry Hurd. Davidson failed to secure a divorce from his wife, and the court made an order directing him to pay alimony. Afterward, his wife says, he fled and arrived in Denver sometime between Jan. 24 and Feb. 7, 1892. In March of the same year he began suit against her in the county court, and alleged that he did not know her whereabouts. Mrs. Davidson was surprised long afterward to learn that her husband had obtained a divorce from her by default. She hastened to Denver and filed her present suit. She accuses her husband of ill treatment, and besides asking for a divorce, she wants alimony and the custody of her five living children.” It is quite obvious from Davidson’s earlier history with his wife, and then later with Emily, that he had a violent temper and was not a very pleasant man. The following account of his death makes one wonder why he refused service to this customer and what caused such an angry reaction that he died from a heart attack. From the Los Angeles Times, dated April 7th, 1935: “EXCITEMENT OF ARGUMENT FATAL FOR CAFÉ OWNER Excitement caused by an argument with a would-be customer yesterday proved fatal for David I. Davidson, 77 year old restaurant proprietor, according to police. He died of a heart attack a few minutes after the debate. The argument took place in Davidson’s restaurant at 232 East Seventh Street when a man entered and asked for service. Davidson refused to serve him, witnesses said, and ordered him out. No blows were struck but a few minutes later Davidson collapsed and was dead when an ambulance arrived. According to Detective Lieutenants Sanderson and Glese, Davidson had been a chef many years on Mississippi River floating palaces. When the river traffic was absorbed by the railroads, he entered the restaurant business and owned and operated fifty-three different restaurants during his career.” Since he does not appear in the census for 1870 he may well have been working as a chef / cook on a river boat. He was born in St. Louis, MO and later lived in Minneapolis, MN, with the Mississippi River flowing through both locations. This all fits in with our David Davidson, who, in 1880, was working as a chef in Minneapolis before opening his own restaurants. By 1920 he has pardoned or paroled and was found living at 1013 Third Street, Sacramento, working in a restaurant. In 1930 he was living in San Diego, and from there made his way back to his familiar stomping grounds of Los Angeles. I wonder if that unwelcome customer who caused so much anger was his son, David, Jr.? Or maybe someone from his past who remembered his crimes? Murdered Davidson Woman - First buried in Cemetery.pdf
  19. Located on a portion of the Navajo Reservation in Coconino County, just 37 miles east of Flagstaff, very little remains of this once thriving, lawless town, that during its heyday boasted about 2000 residents. First discovered in 1853 by a soldier named Lieutenant Whipple, who was part of the thirty-fifth parallel survey party, he aptly named it Devil’s Canyon because it presented such a major obstacle that the team had to go miles out of their way to continue the land survey. However, it did not originate as a town until 1880, when the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad decided to run tracks through the area, which required a bridge to traverse the canyon. Building of the bridge came to a halt when it was found that not enough materials had been provided to complete the project. As a result a ramshackle town was built and quickly gained notoriety as being a more dangerous place than Tombstone, Dodge City and Abilene, where more people were killed in one year than from the three other cities combined. This little outpost in the middle of nowhere sported fourteen saloons, ten gambling halls, four brothels, two dance halls, which may have also operated as brothels, and one or two places to buy food and dry goods. The main, and only street, was called Hell Street, which ran for about a mile and was lined mostly with tin and canvas buildings. Along this appropriately named street you would have come across businesses with names like the Road to Ruin, the Last Drink, Name Your Pizen and the Cootchy Klatch. Although the brothels were unnamed, the were operated by women with pretty colorful names, such as Bullshit Mary and Clabberfoot Annie. It has been reported that these two women, who operated their establishments directly across the street from one another, would often stand in their doorways hurling insults and threats at each other, which often lead to fistfights in the street and the ripping off of each other’s clothing, much to the amusement of the local men. On one occasion Annie became so incensed that she ran back to her house, grabbed a shotgun, and filled Mary’s rather large bottom full of buckshot. This was truly a lawless place, and anyone brave (or foolish) enough to put on a lawman’s badge soon found himself buried 6 feet deep in the local hard-scrabble graveyard, where thirty five unmarked graves, except for one, can be found. There are many other burials throughout the town, where victims were buried where they fell and died. Crime went completely unchecked and robberies were a constant problem. It has been said that robberies occurred hourly, and anyone passing through was sure to be robbed, and murder was just as common an occurrence. The town only lasted about two years, and with the completion of the bridge, most of the workers, prostitutes and shop owners packed up and left the town to slowly erode back into the dust from which it had sprung so quickly. Only a few hardy die-hards remained behind to continue life in this inhospitable region. As hard as they are to find, some people from this little town did make the news, allowing for further research into their histories. The Arizona Champion newspaper, dated March 16th, 1889, tells us of the sad passing of young Harry Marvin, son of Mrs. & Mrs. Harry Marvin… “The many friends of Harry Marvin will regret to learn that his little 7-year-old son, Harry, died at Canyon Diablo last Thursday of dropsy. He was buried at the Flagstaff cemetery yesterday afternoon.” Further down the page we find a more in depth account of the death of young Harry… Marvin – at Canyon Diablo, Friday, March 15th, Harry, son of Mr. & Mrs. Harry Marvin. “On Friday of this week the youngest son of Mr. & Mrs. Marvin died. This little fellow was five years of age. He was the first boy born on the mountains near here. Since two or three weeks since the child was taken ill and Canyon Diablo. A physician was called. Last week the mother and child came up to Flagstaff for the purpose of being near the doctor. Notwithstanding medical care and the kindest attentions of mother and friends, the little child grew worse and died on Thursday, March 14, and was buried on the following day. In spite of very severe weather many friends attended the funeral. Mr. & Mrs. Marvin have the sympathy of all their friends in this hour of sorrow.” The same page of this newspaper mentions a J.A. Dines… “J.A. Dines who had his leg broke recently near Canyon Diablo, is steadily improving and is now able to be out again.” James A. Dines was born in Missouri between 1845 and 1849. On June 2nd, 1897, at Maricopa County, he married Jennie B. Steele. He and wife Jennie are listed in the 1910, 1920 and 1930 census records for Tempe, Maricopa County, AZ. In 1919 James was listed in the Arizona State Roster as a registered pharmacist in Tempe. He died at Prescott, Arizona in 1935. So, according to the newspaper little Harry was born in either 1882 or 1884, near Canyon Diablo. A mention in the Arizona Champion, dated August 15th, 1885, tells us that Harry, Sr., had been a long-time employee of the railroad, making it very likely that he arrived at Canyon Diablo during the building of the railway bridge sometime between 1880 and 1883… “Harry Marvin, who for a long time has been in charge of the section house at Belmont, has removed with his family to his ranch near Belmont, and will henceforth be an honest granger. Harry is an old employee of the railroad company, and we wish him success in his new venture.” This same issue, on the same page, also mentions… “On Tuesday of this week, Miss Maggie Marvin, daughter of Harry Marvin, of Belmont, met with a very serious accident, which resulted in the breaking of a leg. The young lady was on the log wagon drawn by oxen, and when crossing the railroad track she was thrown off, the large heavy wheel passing over her limb, crushing the bone. Dr. Brannen was sent for, who splintered up the injuries, but he is not certain he can save the limb. The little girl was eleven years of age, which is in her favor, for if she was an adult there would be no other course but amputation. She is doing well at last reports.” A later account informs us that little Maggie’s leg healed just fine and amputation was not necessary. The May 12th, 1922 edition of the Coconino Sun also provides us with a photo of Harry Marvin, who was a member of the G.A.R. See attached .pdf. This indicates that he was a veteran of the Civil War. Henry “Harry” Marvin was born in the year 1844 in Illinois, and wife Hester W. Loman was born in the year 1852 in Missouri. In 1880 the family were listed in the census for Conway, Taylor County, Iowa, with the following children listed in the household…Anna, Lovel and Maggie. Anna was born in Kansas and Lovel and Maggie were born in Iowa. The Tombstone Epitaph Prospector, dated May 1st, 1882, tells us a very brief but informative account of a fatal shooting at Canyon Diablo… “A man named Brock shot and killed John Lee at Canyon Diablo recently. Cause, poker.” The May 5th edition of the Weekly Journal Miner (Prescott) states… “Ed Whipple, City Marshall of Winslow, Apache County, came in on the A.&P. coach Saturday night with a prisoner named John Layton, charged with killing John Lee at Canyon Diablo on April 21st. Mr. Whipple returned to Winslow this morning. Another article, this one from the May 26th, 1882 edition of The Weekly Arizona Miner gives us yet another name for John Lee’s killer… “The Grand Jury to-day found a true bill for murder against John Layden for the killing of John Lee at Canyon Diablo.” The June 3rd, 1882 edition of The Arizona Daily Miner tells us that John Layden was transported to the state penitentiary after being sentenced to 4 years and 10 months. John Lee, born in the year 1827 in Virginia, had been employed as a store clerk at Prescott, Arizona in 1880. He was listed as single. @ 2013 Cindy Nunn. All Rights Reserved. Marvin_GAR_May_1922.pdf
  20. Ghost Town To Be Turned Into Bikini Hall Of Fame Posted: Jul 09, 2013 5:44 PM PDTUpdated: Jul 09, 2013 6:02 PM PDT BIKINIS, Texas - Doug Guller, owner of a sports bar chain, bought all the property from the abandoned town of Bankersmith, Texas in 2012. He has since changed the town name to Bikinis, and will have a grand opening of his bikini hall of fame next week. The bikini hall of fame will detail the history of the bikini from its invention in 1946 to its world wide popularity in modern day. The grand opening on July 13 will feature live music from famous country musician Jerry Jeff Walker and a meet and greet with model Carmen Electra. Doug's move has drawn controversy, with some questioning his ability to rename a town that no longer exists, and others not happy with what he's turning the town into. Bankersmith lost most of its population after WWII when residents left in search of better-paying work. Doug Geller purchased the remains of the town on Craigslist. The identity seller and the purchase price are unknown. Guller owns Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill, a chain of breastaurants. He says he has no plan to open another chain in the town.
  21. Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 1:00 am By LORA NEU, Enterprise Staff Writer | 0 comments Searching for ghost towns might lead you anywhere in Arizona or Pinal County. My search came together with the ghost town of Pinal City and the Legends of Superior Trail, also known as the LOST trail. With my preference for hiking, this trip sounded like it would allow me to try out a new, interesting hiking trail and to explore a ghost town at the same time. The LOST Trail runs through Superior and heads west to intersect with the Arizona Trail, which bisects the entire state of Arizona, north/south, from Mexico to Utah. With the LOST trail, this helps make Superior a gateway town for the popular through trail. Already, many hikers from all over the United States and the world have stopped in Superior. Eco-tourism could be a big boost for this historic mining town, and Superior seems to understand that the LOST trail system is a great way to promote the town and get visitors walking, not only on desert trails, but through the town as well. In fact, there have been two annual Legends of Superior Eco-Tourism Festivals the last two years in February, where visitors can learn about all of the outdoor adventures that can be found in Superior. They have guided hikes to show off the trails, and numerous events in town. Check with the Chamber of Commerce for next year’s festival. Opened in 2011, the LOST trail ends at the Hewitt Station Road trailhead for the Arizona Trail. The Forest Service website for the Tonto National Forest has a brochure and map for the segment that links the ghost town of Pinal City with the Arizona Trail. Or you can get information about the trail at the Superior Visitor Center in the red caboose. Superior sits below the looming Apache Leap escarpment and the nearby imposing Picketpost Mountain. Queen Creek cuts through the area, and the ghost town that once housed the mill for the Silver King Mine are all part of the experience of the LOST trail. The mining history in the Superior area goes back to at least 1876 with the discovery of silver, which led to the development of the Silver King Mine. Milling of the silver was done along Queen Creek, in a town named Picketpost. That town became Pinal in 1878 and is now the site of the Pinal ghost town. At one time, more than 800 people called it home. The mine operated from 1875 to 1889. The town was eventually abandoned and most people moved to the small town of Hastings, which later became Superior. The nearby Silver Queen Mine was opened in 1880 and ran until 1893, when it was shut down. The Silver Queen, purchased in 1910 by Boyce Thompson, was renamed the Magma Mine, and it became one of the most productive copper mines in Arizona. The Magma finally shut down in 1995. Currently, Resolution Copper is located at the Magma Mine site with an exploration operation. The ghost town of Pinal is a testament to the ups and downs of the mining industry, and no doubt Superior residents have their own stories to tell of the boom-and-bust cycles of living in a mining town. However, another chapter is trying to be writ. And writ large. Resolution Copper has been in the process of trying to develop what would be one of the world’s largest copper deposits that could potentially supply the U.S. with more than 25 percent of its copper needs. But it remains to be seen whether they will be able to develop the body, which they found 7,000 feet below the Magma Mine in 1996. Environmental groups, Native American concerns, federal legislation and agreement with the residents of Superior are just some of the issues that have to be ironed out before it can happen. Besides mining, another significant piece of history involves the conflict with area Apache Indians. Apache Leap, the majestic escarpment that hangs above the town of Superior, is the focus of a well-known tale. Legend says that a band of Apaches were driven to the edge of the cliff by U.S. soldiers and, rather than be captured, they chose to jump to their deaths. The Apache women gathered at the base of the cliff, where they wept for their dead. Their tears were captured, the legend says, inside the translucent stones known as “Apache Tears,” which are obsidian, or volcanic glass. To learn more about the area, you can visit the Superior Visitor Center, located in the Red Caboose on the left just past the rest area, as soon as you get in town. If you’ve never seen an Apache Tear, they have examples in the caboose and can even give you directions as to how you can find them yourself. For my hike, I found that the visitor center had maps and brochures that provide directions and include an explanation of the interpretive stations you will find on the trail. Looking for a parking place I found a huge dirt area next to the giant Superior sign, adjacent to the Airport Road. I chose to park on the side of the Airport Road instead of the dirt lot off the highway. On this trail segment, which begins just off Airport Road, you’ll find the first interpretive station, which urges the hiker to gaze toward Apache Leap, which hangs over the town of Superior. And behind you the huge monument that is Picketpost Mountain looms above the site of what was once the city of Pinal. The trail does cross numerous dirt roads from beginning to end, which made me wonder why I was walkin’ if I could be drivin’, but it was an enjoyable walk. After about 35 minutes of walking, I was happy to see a very shady cottonwood grove and stopped to rest there in the clearing. This, then, was station two: Queen Creek. The brochure pointed out that the water was of course always an attraction and that the prehistoric Hohokam and later the Apache and the Yavapai Indians called the area home. It was very inviting and would make a great spot for a picnic. Even in the summer, it should provide a cool, beautiful rest spot or destination for a picnic lunch. As I sat there with a breeze cooling me down, I wished I had brought my binoculars as there were lots of tweets going on and I would have liked to get a closer look at some of the bird life there. Queen Creek flows through here, and there was still some water standing in a few deep pools. Though Queen Creek does flow year-round, it does so underground. So the pools may dry up in the summer. The weather was quite warm on a May afternoon and I reluctantly left the shaded copse. Station three points out the riparian forest made up of the creek and the cottonwood and mesquite trees that line its banks. Station four finally brings me to downtown Pinal. The trail comes up on a terraced area, which was the Main Street of the town. I have to admit, I’m more interested in hiking than in ghost towns. I knew before I came that there wasn’t much left of Pinal City. I had to look closely and walk around a bit before I could see the artifacts that were right in front of my face. Without the interpretive signs pointing out building foundations, I surely would not have recognized them for what they were. I’m sure I would have just seen them as some more rocks in the area. So the brochure is nice to have with you because of the brief description it gives, enabling you to locate the artifacts. Station six, however, was much more visually revealing of the past that once existed here, evidenced by the numerous building foundations located on a terraced hillside. Since it can be viewed from above, it is very easy to see the outlines of the foundations of buildings that once stood here. Continuing along the trail finally leads the hiker near where the trail crosses under U.S. 60. But one of the best sites, and what really makes it a worthwhile visit, are the wagon tracks cut into the rock. Station nine is a short jaunt to see the really amazing tracks that are on the old ore haul road. The wagon wheels, made of wood and rimmed in steel, cut deep grooves into the porous volcanic tuff rock. They are definitely something worth making a trip to see. Again, I have to admit, this site is very near to the highway and a dirt road goes very near it. I’m not sure where that road comes in off the highway, but again, the walk was enjoyable so I didn’t really mind the idea that I walked an hour to a place that someone could drive to. In fact, my car is low clearance, so I couldn’t have used most of the dirt roads anyway. From here, the trail goes through a culvert under the highway. I didn’t relish going into the very long, darkish culvert by myself. But I had another goal I was trying to reach on my ghost town hike, and it lay on the other side of the highway. While researching the ghost town of Pinal, I came across a tale of the Pinal City Cemetery. Word is that Mattie Blaylock is buried there. Celia “Mattie” Blaylock was the common-law wife of Wyatt Earp. Mattie had eventually moved to Pinal, where she allegedly committed suicide in 1888. Earlier, I had been given directions to the gravesite by the friendly people at the Superior Visitor Center. I had decided to maximize my hiking time and take the dirt road on the map they gave me and just drive to the cemetery. Having a low-profile car, I was a little nervous taking it on a dirt road. The main road was fine, but where the directions said “go to the top of a hill and take the first little dirt road to your left,” I backed out, literally, and decided to head back to the Airport Road and start my hike. Surely, anyone who has the foresight to plan a trip to a ghost town cemetery would have better luck than I. I tend to rush off, with my mind set on hiking — but this was supposed to be a ghost town exploration! Back to the hike: I contemplated the roughly 60-foot-long culvert that looked like a great snake haven, something from one of those Indiana Jones movies. Or some cave that might have held prehistoric bones. Got through the culvert okay, but it did give me goosebumps. I followed the trail until I crossed some modern-day railroad tracks and a large water pipe. The trail came out on a ridge and I could see the power lines very nearby. Now I had also read that the cemetery could be reached via this trail I had been hiking on, though it was a little out of the way. I thought I could reach it by hiking cross-country after crossing the highway, but I couldn’t find anything and preferred not to stray too far off the trail. I thought, OK, another way to find it, based on the directions I’d been given, was to just walk below the power lines until I found the cemetery. How hard could that be? There’s usually a road under a power line. There was a road, and I looked and looked (again wished I had my binos) and saw nothing that looked like a cemetery. I believed it was fenced and contained some actual headstones, so I thought it ought to stand out, but saw nothing of the kind. Being the lionhearted (chicken) hiker that I am, I had my eye on the thunderclouds that had been hanging over Apache Leap all afternoon and were heading my way and getting darker by the minute. So I headed back to the trail and retraced my steps back to the trailhead rather than continuing to the junction with the Arizona Trail. All told, the hike took about three hours. I had no clue how many miles I had hiked in spite of the brochures and instructions I carried in my pocket. All I know is I was hot and footsore when I finished. Be sure to drink plenty of water if you go. I carry 3 liters just for a short hike. You might want to bring at least a gallon of water or more if you plan to be out there more than two or three hours. Depending on your source and how you look at the trail, it is either 6 miles long (NFS) or looked at as three segments of 4.6 miles, 3 miles and 2 miles. I was on the Gateway segment. Of the other two segments, one takes you through historic Superior and one takes you on an uphill hike to the old Claypool tunnel. It actually only took me about 30 to 40 minutes to get back, so I must have lingered longer than I thought at the ruins and the cottonwood grove. My adventure nearly over, I didn’t want to leave the area without one more search for the gravesite. Who knew when I might next return to Superior? I drove back to the dirt road indicated and this time paid closer attention to the directions and also the little map attached that I hadn’t even noticed was there before! I believe I followed the directions most carefully and took my car up a couple of humps I was uncomfortable with, and finally I arrived at the power lines again, this time at a different point. The directions say “aim for the SW corner of Picketpost Mountain straight ahead of you. Go about 3⁄4 mile. When the power lines are above you, park and look for the graves. You are in Pinal Cemetery.” I think I was too far east. I should have been veering more southwest toward Picketpost Mountain. Well, I didn’t see any cemetery. Further research, after my hike (brother!) tells that the road is best taken in a high-clearance vehicle. I spoke to Paul Burghard with the National Forest Service Globe Ranger Station and he confirmed that, yes, the cemetery is there and I took a left on the dirt road when I should have veered right. He said the directions I got from the visitor center were good, just be sure to choose the right-hand road at the Y early on. “You kind of need to know how to get there,” he said. But again, he said the visitor center’s directions will get you there, but he did recommend a high-clearance vehicle. Depending on weather conditions you frequently don’t know what condition a dirt road might be in. Based on what has happened at the cemetery and to Mattie’s grave and those of the other pioneers buried there, some are loathe to give directions. Over the years there has been vandalism, lack of respect, building of memorials to Mattie, moving of rocks, etc. So I will leave out any further directions here. I couldn’t find it anyway! You just need to go to the red caboose visitor center for a map and directions. Burghard said that now there is a fence around the cemetery and there is a sign that says Historic Pinal Cemetery. “It looks real nice, and we were trying to protect it,” Burghard said of the fence that now surrounds the cemetery. I can tell you this much, though. Whether you are searching for the Pinal Cemetery and Mattie Earp’s grave, or you hike on one of the three segments of the LOST trail system, or visit the ghost town of Pinal, you will have a good time getting LOST in Superior. ——— The brochure with a map and the interpretive information can be downloaded from the National Forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5269665.pdf or picked up at the Superior Visitors Center.
  22. An aging room for authentic balsamic vinegar is an unlikely sight in a traditional New Mexican adobe village. Katy McLaughlin looks at how Stephen and Jane Darland have transformed their property in a remote New Mexico "ghost town" into an award-winning gourmet food hub. http://www.nasdaq.com/video/couple-transform-ghost-town-into-a-vinegar-hub-517807476
  23. June 06, 2013|by meteorologist Abby Dyer, KY3 News | adyer@ky3.com MELVA, Mo. -- Hidden away in the foothills of Taney County are ruins of a town that few Ozarkians remember. Don Rittenhouse, a Hollister resident, had ancestors who lived in Melva. “The old town site, the old hotel or boarding house, whatever they call it, by the railroad and then I saw where they had built houses up there on the lots. The best I remember, they didn’t have foundations; a lot of them just had rocks," said Rittenhouse. There isn't much left of Melva today. If you hike to see the ruins, you'll see several old foundations and a tall chimey that still stands amongst the trees. Juanita Campbell and her family lived in Melva for awhile. “I’m thrilled to death to see what’s left of it today. It’s like emotionally coming home. It feels great just to see it, it really does,” said Campbell. Melva had a relatively short life. People began to migrate there in the early 1900s as the Missouri Pacific railroad was completed north to Branson. Others who lived here made a living by farming or selling fruit and lumber. “It was a mining and railroad town. It had a big bridge crew," said Rittenhouse. Melva provided some hope for hardworking families. Then, on March 11, 1920, it almost disappeared. A violent tornado ripped through the Melva and changed the landscape and the lives of those that lived there forever. The tornado claimed 11 lives and flattened the town. Only a few homes and the schoolhouse were left. “Well, my dad and his parents lived there at Melva when the tornado came through," said Rittenhouse. The twister also destroyed Melva’s future. “I don’t think they tried to rebuild much. It just kind of disappeared, moved out, and I don’t remember being there much.” “So many were people injured and killed in it and that’s the main reason I think that they did not rebuild it. Plus the fact that you had Hollister at that time and Branson at that time so it was a very, very small rail stop," said Taney County historian Larry Howe. Today, part of the land is owned by Branson Creek Properties and its accessible from a hiking trail through the woods. “We fully intend to leave Melva intact, preserve the history as well as a few other parcels on this property. We want people just like Juanita to come back for years to come," said vice president of development Scott Bailey.Branson Creek Properties has mapped out how to see the Melva ruins. Click here to see its map and read a little bit more about the history of Melva.
  24. The Children of Toano, Nevada On the fifth of June 'Neath the cloudless moonlit sky Three children play Shadows cast and stars shine bright As the children of Toano Dance and play till dawn. - Dan Turner, 5/20/02 The small town of Toano, created by the Central Pacific railroad in 1868, and pretty much dead by 1906, has left very little behind to mark it’s previous existence. When the town petered out many of the buildings were removed to the town of Cobre. However, atop of small lonely hill sits a tiny forgotten cemetery, where at least thirty people are purported to be buried. However, only three graves still bear the names of those who rest here, all of them children. The first of the three to find final rest in this rocky plot of land was little Mary Morgan, daughter of David and Olive Morgan. Mary was born December 9th, 1878, and took her last breath on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 1880. Sadly, no newspaper account of her death seems to exist, which might have provided us with further information. A look at the 1880 census, enumerated four months after Mary’s death, provides us with information, which is misleading, a good example as to why census records cannot be taken completely as truth, nor used as primary source information. Read by someone with little knowledge of common census mistakes, they might be lead to believe that Mary’s mother died soon after she did, as the census shows a household consisting of David Morgan, a widower born in Wales, and his four children, named Agnes, William, David and Olive, all of whom are listed as “single.” However, further research shows that David, Jr. and Olive were NOT brother and sister, but husband and wife, and that this Olive was Mary’s mother. We can only assume that someone other than family members provided this information to the census enumerator. So, after sorting out that mistake I was able to determine that Mary’s parents were David Samuel Morgan, born May 23rd, 1857 at Spanish Fork, Utah, and Olive Matilda Lewis, born January 3rd, 1862 at Henry’s Fork, Wyoming. They were married in the year 1878. Sometime shortly after the death of Mary her parents moved to Idaho. According to the 1900 census for Blackfoot, Idaho we know that Mary’s parents had at least seven other children, with four out of eight children still living at that time. The names of three still alive then were Cora, born in November 1883 at Blackfoot, Idaho, Estella, born February 1886 in Idaho, and Jetta, born November 1888 at Blackfoot, Idaho. In 1907 David was a town commissioner for Blackfoot, precinct 2. Father David died April 23rd, 1928, at Shoshone, Lincoln County, Idaho. Mother Olive died here as well on March 26th, 1940. Below is the grave of Mary Morgan, along with one of the other Toano children, John David Lewis. The next of the three children to die was Willie Schodde. The only information provided for his parents on his gravestone were the initials of H & M Schodde. A search of local records, such as census enumerations, only brought up a William Schodde living in Elko, Nevada. However, after extensive digging I have been able to locate Willie’s parents, who were Henry Schodde and Wilhelmine Henriette (Minnie) Wessel. What helped to obscure the identity of Willie’s parents in the first place was the inaccurate information of other researchers of this line, who have stated that Henry & Minnie had a son named William who was born and died at an unknown date and was buried somewhere in Nebraska. Tracing the information backwards for this Henry reveals that he did indeed live in Toano for three to four years, where he worked as a freighter. This is where he also got his start in the cattle business. It is understandable that earlier researchers lost track of Willie’s last resting place, considering the rather busy life his father lead after landing on American shores. When I started out looking for Willie’s parents there seemed to be little to nothing available that I was beginning to believe that I would have to leave his history in the murky past. However, once I did identify his parents I found so much information that it would take hours to compile all of it. So, here is the short version, with attachments provided to fill out the rest. Henry Schodde was born March 31st, 1836, in Germany. At the age of 18 years old he decided to head for the shores of the United States, where he landed in New Orleans in 1854, where he found employment working on the riverboats plying their trade between New Orleans and St. Louis. Within 8 months Henry would get “itchy feet” and be on the move again. He ended up in Dubuque, Iowa where for about four years he ran a bakery business with partner Tony Faust. It seems that Henry was a wandering type of man for soon after his partnership dissolved with Faust he headed for Fort Benton, Iowa, where he became engaged in running freight between that town and Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This only lasted a few months before Henry moved again, this time to Corrine, Utah, where he was employed hauling freight between Utah and Montana. It was said that in 1875 Henry had purchased some apples from Brigham Young, which he then freighted to Montana ansd sold for one dollar each. With the building of the railroad to Helena and Butte Henry found that his freighting services through the use of oxen and mules were no longer needed in this area, so he moved yet again, this time to Toano, Nevada, where he hauled freight between that small town and Pioche, Nevada, where he resided for at least four years. Now we come to the part of this family’s history where Willie got lost and earlier researchers jumbled up their facts. At some time Henry left Toano and went to New York, where he boarded a ship and went back to Germany for a visit. While there he met Minnie Wessel, who he would bring back to the United States with him, and marry in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1881. Willie was born April 26th, 1882, probably in Toano, and died five months later, on September 14th, 1882, at Toano. Some accounts state that after marrying in Utah Henry and Minnie moved to Idaho, and at sometime between 1881 and the death of Willie in Toano in 1882 they also managed to be in Nebraska, where it is claimed that Henry hauled freight, participated in fights against the Indians and managed to be shot and wounded by an arrow in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Nowhere have I found any evidence that they had lived in Nebraska at any time. Willie could have been born in only one of two places, Utah or Nevada. Henry and Minnie moved from Nevada to Idaho, where Henry became a very wealthy, respected and well-known resident until his death on July 13th, 1910. Their daughter Clara was considered to be the first white child born what was still considered “Indian Territory.” Some trivia about Henry Schodde: 1.) He was a hearty fellow. According to a news article, C.C. “Pops” Baker said Schodde was known to drink a quart of beer each day before breakfast. 2.) The Schodde family were the first settlers to homestead on 320 acres on the north side of the river above where Starrh’s Ferry was built. 3.) Schodde constructed 14 waterwheels adjacent to 160 acres of farmland. The wheels, powered by the swift current of the Snake River, were used to irrigate his crops of hay, grain and a family garden, according to a 1955 article in the Minidoka County News. According to the article, his waterwheels were the first in Idaho history and the largest ever constructed for irrigation in the state. 4.) He raised thoroughbred horses and ran thousands of head of cattle on the open range shipping them out to eastern markets from railroad sidings at Kimama and Minidoka. It was reported that he was the largest stock raiser in southern Idaho. 5.) According to Reclamation records, Schodde maintained a private school in a one-room lava building with mud mortar, which served as the family’s first home. When their children finished grade school they attended school at Albion. Minnie and son George visited Nevada in November 1917. Since Henry appeared to have no interests in this state that Minnie needed to attend to, I can only assume that she wished to visit the grave of her son Willie. I have contacted the other researchers of this line and provided them with the information about Willie so that they can now correct their records, and maybe one day pay their own visit to this lonely little grave. The last child of the three to be buried in the Toano cemetery was John David Lewis, born June 15th, 1891, and died December 21st, 1901. His parents were John Gibson Lewis and Margaret Ann Cazier. He had two known siblings, Lloyd, born and died in Utah in 1898 and Wesley, born 1902 in Nevada. A fourth child was also born to this family but so far name and gender is unknown. This child might also rest in the Toano cemetery. John Gibson Lewis was born April 15th, 1856, at Kaysville, Davis County, Utah, to a Mormon family. Some records state that he was born in Wyoming, which is also true, as the area of Utah he was born in is now, in fact, part of Sweetwater County, Wyoming. His father was David Lewis, born in New York, and his mother was Ellen Gibson, a plural wife. John was raised in the household of his father, mother, his father’s first wife Mary Gibson, and the children from that union. Ellen and Mary were sisters, both born in Scotland. At some time John moved to Toano, Nevada, where he married Margaret A, Cazier on January 1st, 1890. Margaret’s family were also Mormons who had moved to the area from Nephi, Utah, where Margaret was born November 9th, 1863, to John Cazier and his plural wife, Angelina Hallowell. Margaret’s father had participated in the Walker War in Utah in 1851, including the battle in Echo Canyon, which was a conflict between the Mormon settles are the Utes. In Toano, John Cazier owned and operated the Toano store and hotel. Angelina Hallowell Cazier died in Toano in 1902 and is buried in one of the unmarked graves in the cemetery. Margaret’s nephew, Henry Hallowell Cazier, son of her brother John Hallowell Cazier, was indicted into the Hall of Great Westerners in 1965, representing the state of Nevada. Some may wonder why Mary Morgan and John David Lewis share a grave plot, considering they died about 20 years apart. Well, the answer to that riddle is this…they were actually related! Mary’s mother, Olive Matilda Lewis, was a daughter of David Lewis and his first wife, Mary Gibson, making Olive a half-sister to John Gibson Lewis, whose mother Ellen was David Lewis’ other, plural wife. @ 2013 Cindy Nunn. All Rights Reserved. David_Morgan_1870_census.pdf David_Morgan_1880_census.pdf Henry_Schodde_cattle.pdf Henry_Schodde_cattle_poisoned.pdf Henry_Schodde_death.pdf Henry_Schodde_death_2.pdf Minnie_visits_Nevada_1917.pdf Schodde_Lawsuit_1912.pdf
  25. I have recently published a book about Randsburg, California, a living ghost town. Below is the description of the book from my Amazon page... http://www.amazon.com/Randsburg-Mojave-Deserts-Liveliest-Ghost/dp/1479102032/ref=tmm_pap_title_0 "A combination history, photographic journey and travel guide to the historic living ghost town of Randsburg, California, located in the Mojave Desert. See where Billy Bob Thornton made his supporting role debut, learn the real identity of Randsburg's most famous red-light madam, and read about the woman vampire seeking new virgin blood! Read the stories of some of those buried in the Rand District cemetery, who, until now, have been forgotten to history. Learn all the details behind the murder of Emily Davidson, shot dead on Butte Avenue in broad daylight by her husband. Full of photographs, both color and black & white. If you have purchased this item, or plan to, please leave your review here: https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1114892 For some reason my buyers have been unable to leave reviews at the Amazon listing page. Remember, your reviews help to further promote my book to others. Thanks!" I have been a genealogist and researcher for 30 years. I spent many, many hours researching some of the subjects in this book, including the real identity of the brothel madam, "French" Marguerite Roberts. The digital edition of the book normally sells for between $4.99 to $7.99, and the hard copy for $22.00. However, for those willing to read it and then leave me feedback I am offering a limited time introductory price of .99 cents Here is the page on my website where you can get this special offer, since the publisher will not allow me to price it at less than $4.99 on their site... http://www.cindynunn.com/rand_pdf/rand_pdf.htm To leave feedback please go to this page, where you can also read a small preview of the book... https://www.createspace.com/Preview/1114892
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