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  1. The People of Seven Troughs & Mazuma Thanks to recent postings by our members, we have gained a lot of valuable information about the towns of Seven Troughs and Mazuma. We have learned about the devastating flood of 1912 that raged through the canyons, wiping out structures and taking a number of lives with it, as well as explored the small cemeteries that mark the landscape with many unmarked graves. Now, we are going to uncover the stories behind some of those who lived in these towns, those who brought life and personality to the dusty streets and desert beaten buildings and homes. As a note of reference, the remains of the flood victims were taken to the funeral parlors of Groesbeck and O'Brien in Mazuma. Below is an account given by P.E. Groesbeck, undertaker… MAZUMA DEATH LIST FIXED AT 9 PERSONS AND LOSS $100,000. BRING REMAINS OF VICTIMS TO THIS CITY. ONE CHILD IS STILL AMONG THE MISSING. P. E. GROESBECK RETURNS FROM SCENE OF TRAGEDY AND GIVES DETAILS OF DISASTER. “Lovelock, July 20. -- The list of dead in the Mazuma disaster still remains at nine persons and nine were injured. Additional details fix the approximate loss due to the flood at about $100,000. P. E. Groesbeck of the undertaking firm of Groesbeck and O'Brien of this city returned from the scene of the flood-stricken Mazuma district this morning. "I reached Lovelock about 3 o'clock Friday morning in response to a call sent out from that place. I found no automobiles or other conveyances awaiting, and, known that the services of an undertaker would be one of the crying necessities of the hour, proceeded toward Mazuma on foot. The first automobile which I found returning from Mazuma I stopped and, explaining the situation to the driver, he consented to take me back." "We got into Mazuma about 8 o'clock Friday morning, accompanied by a nurse and my assistant, a Mr. Bird of the Coalition Mining company. I met the officials of the mining companies, who in turn took me to the building where the remains of MRS.RUDDELL, MRS. FONCANNON, MICHAEL WHALEN, the youngest KEHOE boy and the 6-year-old son of MR. GILLESPIE of the Mazuma Hills Mining company had been placed." "The condition of all these bodies was terrible to behold. They were bruised from head to foot and were almost completely beyond recognition. The bodies were entirely denuded when found. They were covered with debris, dirt and sand. some of the bodies, were picked up several miles from the place of residence." "Many of the escapes from death were miraculous. The flood apparently came without warning and swept down on the victims in a moment. Many of the survivors had to be held back from rushing into the flood in an effort to rescue minor effects." "MICHAEL KEHOE had just retired when the flood struck the building. He jumped from his bed and ran to the door. He saw the body of the smallest KEHOE boy float by him on the crest of the flood and lost his life trying to save the lad." "The entire town, with the exception of one or two buildings located high on the hill, was wiped out. The Coalition Mining company lost nearly its entire plant and its big vault where in the neighborhood of $20,000 worth of bullion was stored. The bullion was all lost." "One of the KEHOE children still is missing. There is no doubt but what the unfortunate child is dead. The remains are either covered with debris or have been buried in the mud." "The remains of MRS. RUDDELL and MRS. FONCANNON were brought to Reno this morning and will not be disposed of until instructions are received from relatives. The remains of WHALEN will be brought to Reno to await the coming of his mother, who has started from his home in Illinois to take charge of them." "The property loss is estimated in the neighborhood of $100,000." Casualties as known: GEORGE S. KEHOE, aged 4 years old. JAMES C. KEHOE, aged 6 years old. RONALD M. KEHOE, aged 1 1/2 years old. JULIA FONCANNON, wife of Floyd. PERRV GILLESPIE, son of Matthew, 10 years old. MRS. KEHOE, wife of William. MRS. McCLEAN, wife of Alex. MARGARET O'HANLON, wife of Steve. MAUDE EDNA RUDDELL, aged 33 years. JOHN TRENCHARD. MICHAEL WHALEN, aged 45 years. Reno Evening Gazette Nevada 1912-07-20” Now on to those who lived, worked and died in the towns of Seven Troughs and Mazuma. Matthew M. Gillespie, born January 25th, 1875 and Sara Mayne Heron, born circa 1884, were immigrants from Northern Ireland. The maiden name of Matthew’s mother was Burns. Arriving first in Canada in 1905, where son Thomas Perry Gillespie was born in May 1906, they soon made their way down to Oakland, Alameda County, California, where son Richard H. was born May 15th, 1909. The 1910 census enumerates this family as living in Berkeley, Alameda County, California. The household consists of Matthew, wife Sara, and sons Thomas and Richard. Matthew’s occupation is listed as manager for a mining company, and at this time he and Sarah had been married for a period of four years. In 1911 the family moved to Mazuma, Nevada, but by 1912 were planning to move back to Oakland, California. On July 18th, 1912 a flash flood tore through the towns of Seven Troughs and Mazuma, washing away buildings and humans alike. Thomas Gillespie, just 6 years old, was one of the victims who drowned in the flood. The family had his body sent to Oakland, California, where he lies buried in the Mountain View Cemetery. A newspaper article in the Bridgeton Evening News (Bridgeton, NJ), July 20th, 1912, provides us with further information… “While saving his wife, Dr. Gillespie, the superintendent of the Daily Mining Reduction Works at Mazuma, was compelled to see his oldest son drown. If he had let go his wife to save the son the wife would have drowned, and although the mother tried to prevail upon the physician to let her drown in order that her boy might live, the husband clung to his wife and finally got her out of danger,” One can only imagine with horror and compassion the trauma and long lasting after-affects of this incident in the life of this family. No other children were born to this family, even though both Matthew and Sara were still young enough, which makes me wonder about how the dynamics in their relationship may have changed after the death of young Thomas. In 1920 the family are living back in Oakland, California, with the household consisting of Matthew, Sara and son Richard. By this time Matthew was working as an importer. The 1930 census for Oakland shows the same information. In 1935 Matthew and Sara were living in Berkeley, California, and by 1940 they had moved to Contra Costa, California. Matthew Gillespie was naturalized as an American citizen in 1944. Sara Mayne Heron Gillespie was naturalized in 1948. Matthew died in Alameda County, California on May 17th, 1949. So far no record of death has been found for Sara or son Richard. John S. Keheo, born in Illinois on December 26th, 1864 and Mary “Mamie” J. Lewis, born in Colorado on December 2nd, 1884. A record of marriage, conducted in Cripple Creek, Colorado, states that John Kehoe (NOT Keheo!) married Mamie Lewis on November 27th, 1901. Known children were Lewis, born 1904 in Colorado, Cletus, born 1906 in Colorado, George, born 1908 in Nevada, and Ronald, born 1910 in Nevada, John M. born 1914 in Nevada, and Baby Keheo, born and died 1916 in Nevada. The 1910 census for Lassen, California enumerates the family, consisting of John, Mamie, Lewis, Cletus and George. Son Ronald would be born in 1910, after the enumeration of the census. In 1912 the family were living in Mazuma, Nevada, and were unfortunate enough to be in the path of the flood of July 18th. For the Kehoe family the losses would be extremely tragic. Three of their sons, Cletus, George and Ronald, would be swept away and drowned, along with their friend Thomas Gillespie, who had been visiting with them at the time. Mother Mamie was also feared to be dead, but was found alive. Unsurprisingly, the family left the Seven Troughs / Mazuma area, moving roughly 27 miles away to Lovelock, Nevada, where son John was born in 1914. In 1916 another child was born, who died so soon after birth that the little one was buried without a name. In the 1920 census enumeration for Lovelock, Nevada the family are recorded under the misspelling of Kehab, instead of Kehoe or Keheo. The members in the household are John, Mamie, Lewis and Jack (John, Jr.). In 1930 John is enumerated at a different address from his wife and son, possibly because he was living away from home for employment reasons. His wife and son are recorded under the misspelling of Mamie and John Kehoa. Both John and Mamie state that they are married. Son Lewis is listed as living in Reno, Nevada, lodging with the family of Victor Spencer. His first name is spelled as Louis. Lewis married Florence Brown in 1935. In 1940 Mamie is enumerated in Lovelock, Nevada with son John, Jr and mother Mary O’Hanley. Mamie states that she is divorced. Ex-husband John is listed at a different address, where he is working as a ranch hand. He makes the declaration that he is still married. I think this gives us a good idea regarding which of the two wanted the divorce. Son Lewis is enumerated in Lovelock, living with wife Florence and sons John and William. John died November 5th, 1956, and is buried in the Lone Mountain Cemetery in Lovelock. Mamie died in April 30th 1974 in Solano, California, and is buried in Lone Mountain Cemetery in Lovelock, Nevada. Son Lewis died at Vallejo, Solano, California on September 15th, 1980. Son John disappears from the records after the 1940 census. John Trenchard, one of those who was in the flood at Mazuma, and died 17 hours later, was born August 18th, 1858, at Fairton, Cumberland County, New Jersey. His parents were Theophilus Trenchard and Sarah. John married Ida Mayhew, daughter of Daniel & Caroline (ALLEN) Mayhew, and sometime in 1899, after the birth of son John, they moved West with their family. An article in the Bridgeton Evening News (Bridgeton, NJ), dated August 26th, 1899, tells us that John and family were living in Colorado, where John suffered losses to his furniture business in the Great Fire of Victor, Colorado. They do not appear in the 1900 census, which leads me to believe that they were again on the move at that time. They eventually settled in Los Angeles, California, where they were enumerated in the 1910 census, along with children Caroline, Sarah and John. Not listed was daughter Catherine, who was an adult and lived elsewhere. In 1910 John was also enumerated in Mazuma, where he was conducting business as a merchant. By 1912 the family would be living at Mazuma. After the flood a number of news reports were sent by telegram to their family members back in New Jersey and reported in the local newspapers. Wife Ida lived until after 1940, as she was enumerated in the 1940 census for San Mateo, California. Maude Edna Ruddell was a sister of Mrs. Reese, who was married to Dr. Reese. It has been reported that both Dr. and Mrs. Reese and their five children were killed in the flood. The newspapers of the time reported that Maude was a native of Canada, but according to her great-grandson, Tim Ruddell, she was born in Indiana. Another fallacy is that she is one of the victims buried in the little cemetery at Seven Troughs. Again, great-grandson Tim corrects this erroneous information and informs us that she is actually buried in an unmarked grave at Mountain View Cemetery in Reno, Nevada. Maude was born as Maude Edna Buckles in South Bend, Indiana in 1879, a daughter of Francis Marion Buckles and Minnie Whiteman. Reno Evening Gazette July 25, 1912 Page Three MAZUMA POSTMISTRESS FUNERAL HELD TODAY “Sad and impressive were the services held this morning over the remains of Miss Maude Edna Ruddell whose funeral took place from the mortuary parlors of Groesbeck & O'Brien on West Second Street. The deceased was postmistress at Mazuma and she was one of the victims of the disastrous flood there, which carried nine people to their deaths. Miss Ruddell was aged 33 years. Rev. Samuel Unsworth officiated at the funeral. The interment took place in Mountain View Cemetery.” TO BE CONTINUED! @ 2013 Cindy Nunn. All Rights Reserved. Large_Article_1907.pdf Large_Article_1908.pdf Large_Article_b_1908.pdf John_Trenchard_2.pdf John_Trenchard_3.pdf John_Trenchard_4.pdf Mazuma_High_Ground.pdf Seven_Troughs_1.pdf Seven_Troughs_2.pdf Seven_Troughs_3.pdf Seven_Troughs_4.pdf Seven_Troughs_5.pdf Seven_Troughs_6.pdf
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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/
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Tubac, located in Santa Cruz County and settled in 1752 as a Spanish presidio, was the first and oldest European settlement in Arizona. The name of this little town is an English bastardization of the Spanish name, Tubaca, which in itself is a bastardization of the O'odham name of Cuwak, which translates into English as the word “rotten.” The town has a long history of violence being committed upon its residents by both raiding Apaches and rogue Mexican banditos. It was also one of the few places in the southwest where a Confederate flag flew during the American Civil War. Tubac’s most famous resident of Spanish descent was Juan Bautista de Anza, who built the chapel of Santa Gertrudis. The foundations of this building now sit underneath St. Anne’s Church. There is plenty of material out there written about the history of the town, so the focus of this article will be on some of the people and incidents of Tubac. In the Arizona Weekly Star (Tucson, AZ) dated September 26, 1878 we read about Sabino Otero and his visit to the Paris, France exhibition…. “Sabino Otero, of Tubac, arrived from the Paris exhibition last week, having been absent from the territory several months. He was born in Tubac, and had never been outside the territory. He has seen many grand sights, on his trip, and now knows more of the world, but is content to remain at home, which he considers the best place after all.” Sabino Otero was born at Tubac in 1844, to parents Manuel Otero and Clara Martinez. His death certificate gives a birth date of December 30, 1842. Sabino was the great-grandson of Toribio Otero, who, in 1787, had been granted property by the King of Spain, to build a home and farm plots, making the Oteros the First Family of Tubac. In 1861, during the Civil War, Tubac was briefly under the control of the Confederacy, but since neither side in the war stepped up to offer protection to the town Tubac soon found itself under constant attack by Apaches. The 19 year old Sabino, now the official head of his family, feared for their lives and safety, so packed his family up and moved them across the border to Buzani. It is claimed that at this time Sabino had a wife named Concepcion and a son named Manuel. The family returned in 1870, and Sabino soon began to build a cattle empire that would grow into thousands of head of cattle, earning him the esteemed title of “Cattle King of Arizona.” In the 1870 census, we see him listed as the head of his household, with occupation listed as farmer. It appears that his mother and his siblings were all reliant upon him to support the family. Family members listed in his household include his mother Clara and the following siblings… Francisca, Gabriela, Fernando, Theofilo, Anna & Brijida. It appears that Fernando and Anna were twins. Sabino was responsible for helping to found St. Mary’s hospital in Tucson, which sits on land that he donated for the cause. He was also fundamental in helping the Sisters of Carondelet to found the orphanage. His sister Gabriela later joined the order as a nun. Sabino died on January 22, 1914, cause of death listed as Cirrhosis of the liver. He died in Tucson, Arizona and is buried at Holy Hope cemetery. His death certificate lists his marital status as “single,” and not widowed. Sabino_Otero_death.pdf From the March 6, 1887 edition of the Tombstone Daily Epitaph (Tombstone, AZ) we learn that someone had it in for T. Lillie Mercer, who was postmaster of Tubac at one time… “Sometime Thursday night, an unknown person blew up the store and dwelling house of T. Lillie Mercer at Tubac. Everything in the building was destroyed and all of his goods were ruined. Giant powder was the substance used. It is generally supposed that the party who placed the giant powder under the premises, also set the house on fire, as it was burned to the ground with all of his household effects. The inmates barely escaped with their lives.” T. Lillie Mercer was born in 1841 at Connecticut, with the full name of Thomas Lillie Mercer, a son of Scottish immigrants, James & Dorothia Mercer. By 1850 the family have moved and settled at Abington, Massachusetts, and before 1855 the family had moved again, this time to Cambridge, Massachusetts. Thomas had fought in the Civil War, enlisting with Co. D 45th Regiment of Massachusetts. Historical accounts state that T. Lillie Mercer showed up in Tubac about 1876, coming down through Prescott. Upon arrival in Tubac he purchased the Miner’s Hotel and a store from Sabino Otero. The August 12, 1876 edition of the Arizona Citizen newspaper announces the arrival of T. Lillie Mercer, a recent arrival from Boston, Massachusetts. It is believed that he is the same “Mercer” who, in April 1877, sent a letter to the New York Herald in an effort to scare off Capitalists from coming to the Territory. By all accounts the people of Tubac were very angry with this letter writer who, at a time when the people of the territory were seeking new money and relief from unemployment, seemed to be doing his best to prevent this much needed financial relief. This was the same month and year in which he was appointed as postmaster. In 1879 Thomas Lillie Mercer was a made a Justice of the Peace for Tubac, and on July 26, 1883 he married Isabella “Reta” Newton at Tucson. The St. Johns Herald newspaper, dated September 8, 1892 informs us that a judgement was found against T. Lillie Mercer, and the deputy sheriff had to confiscate and sell off Mercer’s cattle in order to satisfy a debt to pay a Mr. Wolfe. In the April 27, 1893 edition of the same newspaper there is a small mention about the Santa Rita Land & Cattle Company trying to evict T. Lillie Mercer from his grant of land. Santa Rita lost and Mercer was allowed to continue living on his land grant. In 1893 T. Lillie Mercer filed a claim for an invalid’s pension based on his service during the Civil War. In May 1893 Mercer was the publisher and editor of the Daily Nogales newspaper. One year later the May 17, 1894 edition of the St. Johns Herald informs us of the death of T. Lillie Mercer. In 1895 his wife Isabella filed a widow’s claim for Mercer’s Civil War pension, and then in 1905 his daughter Kate filed a minor’s claim on his pension. T. Lillie Mercer and Sabino Otero worked together to make sure a school was opened up in Tubac to educate the local children. This school still stands as a testimony of their dedication to the betterment of the town. Of course, not all who settled in Tubac would live a long, prosperous life. Underwood C. Barnett, born in Arkansas about 1833, married Laura Ellen Pennington on April 28, 1867, in Arizona Territory. They had two known children, an unnamed daughter who was born in 1868 and died by 1869 and a son named James who was born in late 1869. Underwood was a Legislator for Yavapai county for a period of time. Laura was a daughter of Elias Pennington and his wife Julia Ann Hood. The Pennington family were the first whites to settle in the Arizona Territory. A brief newspaper blurb in the Weekly Journal Miner (Prescott, AZ), dated July 17, 1869, gives us a glimpse into what will be just the beginning of this young family’s tragic story… “The many friends of U.C. Barnett, formerly of Walnut Grove, in this county, but now of Tubac, Pima County, will be pleased to learn that he intends to return here, with his family, at an early day. In a recent letter to us, he speaks of the recent murder, by Apaches, of his father-in-law and brother-in-law, Mr. Pennington and son, accounts of which have been published in the Miner. He also informs us that Major Stickney and Mr. Richardson were living at Tubac, and that much sickness prevailed in his portion of Pima.” Laura’s brother James had been killed the previous year, in August 1868, by Apaches. Then, in June of 1869 her father Elias and brother Green were also ambushed and killed by Apaches on the warpath. This excerpt from the book The Penningtons, Pioneers Of Early Arizona: A Historical Sketch (1919) by Robert Humphrey Forbes sums up the tale… In June of 1869 Elias Pennington and his son Green Pennington were killed by Apaches while working on their farm about fourteen miles south of Fort Crittenden. Elias was plowing, with his rifle slung to his plow handles, while Green was repairing an irrigating ditch some distance away. Just after Elias had turned his back on his land, the Apache Indians in ambush shot him down from behind. Green might have escaped, but not knowing his father was dead, remained to fight off the Apaches. He was mortally hurt, but finally reached the ranch house where he remained until rescued by cavalry from the fort, to which the alarm had been carried meantime. Green and his father's body, were brought to the Fort, where eight days later the young man died. Both were buried in the same cemetery near Fort Buchanan, Arizona. Mr. Sidney R. DeLong, then quartermaster of the Fort, read the burial service over them.” The family’s bad luck continued when, five months later, Underwood C. Barnett died suddenly on November 29th, 1869, from chronic dysentery. His obituary in the Weekly Arizona Miner provides us with more information… “DEATH OF U. C. BARNETT.- The many friends of U.C. Barnett, will learn with sorrow that he departed this life, at Tubac, Pima county, Nov. 29, 1869. Deceased was well and favorably known all over the Territory. He was twice elected to the Legislature- once from this county, and once from Pima county- and served in the Legislatures in 1866-1867. He formerly resided at Walnut Grove, in this county. He was a native of Arkansas, and aged about 37. He leaves a wife and child to mourn his loss, buffeted with adverse circumstances, and maintain themselves in this cold hearted world.” Also, from the 1870 US census mortality schedule, AZ Territory, Pima County, Tucson, page 2, line 18… “U. C. Barnet," was 38-years-old, born in Arkansas, a carpenter, he died in November 1869 from chronic dysentery.” But still the tragedy did not end. One month later James, the infant son of Underwood and Laura Barnett died from acute dysentery and not too long afterwards, on December 30th, his mother Laura succumbed to pneumonia. The Apache raids and depredations on this small community were horrific and too numerous to cover even just a small percentage of the accounts. A report in the March 25, 1871 edition of the Arizona Citizen provides us with just one of many such incidents… “L.B. WOOSTER MURDERED AND TRINIDAD AGGERA CAPTURED BY INDIANS --- Indian murders continue all round, while Post-commanders are holding farcical peace talks and dispensing rations to the murderers. Dr. Lord received the following on Wednesday: Tubac, A.T., March 20, 1871, the Apaches have killed L.B. Wooster and taken Trinidad Aggera (a woman) prisoner. Have cleaned out the Bosque Ranch, and sweeping up and down the river in large force. Signed by Forbes, Smith & Totenworth.” The April 01, 1871 issue of the Weekly Journal Miner… “Mr. Jones, clerk in Fish & Co’s store, was out last week, to Tubac, and viewed the wreck the Indians made of the home of L.B. Wooster. Everything that could be ruined was laid in ruins, and Trinidad Aggerra, the woman reported captured, was murdered within 400 yards of Wooster’s place. Mr. Jones picked up a fresh scalp, evidently taken from a woman within a few weeks.” The April 22, 1871 issue of the Weekly Journal Miner tells us… “The lifeless body of Trinidad Agguera, the woman reported captured by Apaches, was found, recently, near Tubac. The brutes first outraged and then murdered her.” Leslie B. Wooster was born in Connecticut in 1843, according to the 1870 census for Tubac. Also listed in his household as a housekeeper was Trinidad Equirre (Aggera), aged 20 years old, and Ignacio Equirre, age 50 years old, farm laborer, presumably the father of Trinidad. Accounts state that Trinidad was his wife. Trinidad’s surname was actually Aguirre and she lived with L.B. Wooster as his common-law wife. L.B. served during the Civil War with the Company B, 1st Regiment, Connecticut Cavalry. Once considered to be a ghost town, Tubac now flourishes as an artist’s colony, as well as a historic park. http://www.tubacarizona.com/ http://www.tubacaz.com/ @ 2013 Cindy Nunn. All Rights Reserved.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. This year, Montana is celebrating the 150th anniversary of gold being struck in Alder Gulch, leading to booms in nearby towns such as Bannack, Virginia City and Nevada City. Fast forward a century and a half and the story seems common enough: gold was discovered, miners hoping to keep their finding to themselves got found out, the population of these towns exploded, then busted and on and on. Throughout the year, Virginia City is hosting events to commemorate the occasion, including concerts, farmer's markets and art shows. For visitors eager to see a few spots, there is a short tourist train connecting the towns of Virginia City and Nevada City, which both feature reenactments. Nearby Bannack is a state park and is among the best preserved ghost towns around. Check out the nice photos, too.... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/27/abandoned-montana-towns_n_3503915.html
  12. 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
  13. Before we get into any debates that this article might provoke, let me make my position perfectly clear from the outset. I believe that prostitution should be legalized and regulated. Would legalizing it lower the incidents of rape in an area? Well, yes and no. Yes, in one sense, at least for those men who, although not predisposed to committing rape out of anger or hatred towards women, do so when they are out with a woman and felt that sexual overtures were being made or would have been welcomed, by the woman. These men tend to have problems connecting with women in a normal relationship due to a lack of proper male/female socialization. They might have grown up in a dysfunctional environment, or were ostracized and viewed as an outcast in school, making it impossible for them to learn how to interact with peers and the opposite sex. I believe that the easy availability to legal prostitutes would provide a healthy outlet for these men, as well as a positive experience with women and male peers, considering the fact that many legal brothels also provide an area where customers can chat and socialize. This might not be the ideal “bonding” environment for most of society, but for these men it is something that they are desperately in need of in order to feel as if they are a part of society in some way, and provides a sense of spiritual comfort. On the other hand, it will not prevent rapes committed by those men who are rapists due to a disposition for sociopath behavior or arousal through sadistic acts. For them, it is all about finding their target, stalking her, plotting, planning, the hunt, the capture, having full control, and then causing pain, suffering, terror, submission and degradation. Even paying someone who specializes in fetish sexuality, like BDSM, will not suffice for them. To a sociopath, merely acting out the crime is not satisfying enough because they lose that aspect of complete control that they must gain over their victim. The illusion of the act has certain rules and expectations, like the use of “safe” words for when it is time to stop, and time limits based on how much one can afford to spend. Sociopaths do not work within these rules and never will. They are incurable. They are what they are and nothing, short of death, will stop them. I also personally find it offensive to hear these women referred to as “dirty sluts,” “skanks,” “slags,” etcetera, especially by the very men who utilize their services or enjoy looking at nude women in men’s magazines. These women are providing a service that these men obviously wish to use for their own gratification, and they need to better appreciate the fact that not only are these women fellow human beings, but they are also someone else’s daughter, sister, mother, wife or girlfriend. They do this job for many different reasons, from needing money to pay the bills or pay their way through higher education to doing it simply because they like it. A good look at some of the men they have to service should cause some feelings of compassion and respect. Most women would not even entertain the thought of touching these men with a 10-foot pole, a Haz-Mat suit and a gallon of Lysol! These women provide a valuable community service in many beneficial ways, but sadly too many narrow-minded groups and individuals cannot, or will not, view it with a more common sense outlook. Women fear it as something that might threaten their relationships, and religious groups condemn it as a moral outrage against decent society. The irony is this… the very old term of “Get thee to a nunnery!” is actually a command to go work in a brothel. Why, you might ask? Well, because during the Elizabethan era, and probably before, the Catholic Church owned and controlled the houses of prostitution throughout England, making a tidy sum of money for the Pope’s coffers from the “oldest” profession. Those very same upstanding Christians who condemned the profession have also been its biggest promoters. These sanctified “men of the cloth” were only too happy to condemn these women to damnation and the fires of Hell, while using the money the women earned on their backs to pave their own tarnished path to Heaven and glory. Okay, digression over. As I was saying, these women actually provide some valuable benefits to our society and in many ways could do a lot to save a faltering marriage or relationship. Not only do they provide sexual release, but they also serve to act as healing therapists, especially when sexual dysfunction comes (no pun intended!) into the mix. On a very personal level, if my husband were to develop impotency, due to stress, natural aging, or for whatever other reason, I would far prefer to have him seek the services of a professional, legalized prostitute over an unregulated streetwalker or a mistress any day! A streetwalker brings the high risk of violence, arrest and communicable diseases, while a mistress becomes an emotional entanglement with its own set of problems, and is more of a threat to a relationship than a professional prostitute could ever be. The truth is, your husband/significant other could be completely, totally and absolutely in love with you, but boredom and a lack of “spice” or variety can play havoc with his self-esteem and libido. Impotency can lead to serious depression, anger, embarrassment, feelings of lost youth, and is a real ego killer, all of which in the end could toll the death knell to even the strongest relationship. If the temporary services of a legalized and regulated prostitute can help to prevent such heartache I am all for it. For the more curious and adventurous women out there, yes, many of these brothels are “couples” friendly. In the end, we ALL prostitute ourselves in some way, shape, or form, whether it be through marriage, a job or in some other way that helps us to live and survive. The only difference is that these forms of prostitution are socially acceptable and encouraged. This leads me to the history of prostitution in Nevada, which has been a long standing, generally accepted institution in that state, which, I believe, has helped to keep the economy going in those counties, which allow it to continue as a legal and regulated taxpaying business. There are currently eleven counties in Nevada where prostitution is legal, but so far brothels are found in only eight of those counties. One of the oldest brothels still running in Nevada, since the 1860’s, is the Pussycat Ranch, also known as the Pussycat Saloon & Brothel, located in the area known as “The Line” in Winnemucca. “The Line” has been Winnemucca’s red-light district since the 1800’s. However, it gained its nickname as “The Line” back in the 1970’s due to the Pussycat having strict rules governing how many men at a time could be in the brothel, which led to a long line outside of waiting customers. The Pussycat has not changed much since the days when lonely cowboys, fresh off the dusty trail, tethered their horses to the hitching post and wandered in for some feminine comfort. This place is a real authentic piece (again with the unintended pun!) of Old West history that continues to flourish in modern times. The ladies here have modern names like Lindsey and Heather, exotic ones like Essence and Jasmine, and then there is Red Diamonds, conjuring up an image of a real old-fashioned Wild West madam! The address, appropriately enough, is at 139 Baud Street. For those unfamiliar with Old English terms, “baud” or “bawds” were other names for prostitutes. Mona’s, located in Elko, is another hold over from the more wild days of Nevada’s past, which has been in operation since 1902. Interior photos show that the owner has gone to great lengths to give this establishment a touch of old-fashioned brothel decadence and flamboyance. Here you will meet ladies named Marissa, Angelina and Tatiana, just to name a few. Donna’s Ranch, located in Wells, Nevada, is far older than the two listed above, having come into existence back when the transcontinental railroad was first being built through the area. The main purpose of the house was to service the needs of the men working on the railroad. Donna’s has expanded and now has a house under the same name at Battle Mountain, Nevada. These are just a few examples of how Nevada’s early history with prostitution continues to thrive in our time. Collecting “cat house” tokens has become big business for some, with the more historic coins selling for hundreds of dollars. Here is just an example from one site selling these items… http://brothelcollectors.com/cgi-bin/p/awtp-product-category.cgi?d=the-money-company&pc=3084 For those who would like to learn more, from a very human view, Marc McAndrews has written a fascinating book, which includes photos of many of the ladies working in the legal brothels of Nevada. The book is called “Nevada Rose: Inside the American Brothel,” and can be purchased through Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1884167152/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1884167152&linkCode=as2&tag=SLATMAGA-20 . What is your opinion on the legalization and regulation of prostitution? Jump in and share your thoughts. @ 2013 Cindy Nunn. All Rights Reserved.
  14. The People Who Built the Ghost Towns: or, How to bring your explorations to life Exploring old ghost towns is an exciting adventure, where we can catch glimpses of a populated place that once was bustling with life and activity, but now sits in eerie silence, peopled only by the ghosts of the past. There is a certain feeling of awe and wonder, as well as a bit of sadness, that one experiences when tentatively reaching forward to stroke the graying texture of weatherworn wood, as if trying to find the gentle echo of a heartbeat beating somewhere in the fabric of an old abandoned building. Finding a lost button or discarded antique bottle, we pick it up and inspect it with curiosity, then slowly close our eyes and try to conjure up an image of how it got there and of whom it may have once belonged to. We see visions of a dusty miner, fresh out of the diggings, chugging down a cold beer, and then tossing the bottle aside as he heads back to the dreary drudgery of trying to strike it rich, or at least eke out enough gold for one more beer. The brass button, filigreed with delicate swirls, brings to mind the town madam, in all her flashy finery of feathers and silks. So tightly encased in her embroidered walking vest that one good, hearty laugh, straining her ample bosom, pops off a single button, launching it into the loose dirt of the main street, where it lies buried and forgotten, waiting for discovery over 100 years later. With a little shake of your head, and a small wistful smile, you pull yourself out of your daydreams, feeling a bit silly for trying to imagine something that is forever lost to time. But wait! Put on the breaks! Forever lost? Well, maybe to some, but not to all. If you have the tenacity and willingness to do a little digging, you CAN resurrect the original inhabitants, even if only on paper, and sometimes, you can get very lucky and find a few old photographs. The first place to start is with a very basic history of the town, such as the year of its settlement. This will help us to determine the type of records to search for and where they would be located. The census, enumerated every ten years since 1790, is the first record to search. The only census you will not be able to utilize is the 1890 enumeration, badly destroyed by a fire in 1921. You will also sometimes come across a State census, which would have been taken in odd numbered years, like 1875 and 1885. One thing to keep in mind when dealing with some of the people who came West is that for one reason or another they changed their name, so you might find them in the census for the year 1900, and other years after that, in the ghost town you are researching, but you won’t find them in any census previous to their arrival in the town. For those who did not change their names, but are still elusive in other census records, keep in mind that even though the name doesn’t change, their other information, such as age, place of birth, etc… can, and quite frequently, does change. Always add and subtract an extra two to five years to your subject’s age. Sometimes another person in the family or household provided the enumerator with the information, and guesswork played a large part in the answers provided. A number of western states had the Great Register, or a registration of those able to vote. These records help to more closely pinpoint just when someone arrived in the area, and will often give a date and place of birth, as well as occupation. Tax records provide a clue into how much someone was worth financially, as well as an address of where they were residing at the time. These records and the amount of information provided can vary from state to state. Another valuable resource is old newspapers, which give us a clearer image of what was going on than any history book could do. You can find everything from births, deaths and marriages to lawsuits, arrests, executions, accidents, business transactions, advertisements, and just plain nosiness! Back in those days anything and everything, including that which was embarrassing, ended up submitted to the news hounds. Fell off your ladder and broke your big toe? Expect to read about it the next day! Aunt Minnie decided to come for a visit from Kentucky? You can bet that within 24 hours every resident would know about it, and many would be knocking at your door seeking news from “back east.” Wife caught you down at the local brothel, did she? The gossipmongers and tongue wagers will be having a field day with it by morning. Truth is, back then you couldn’t fart in a noisy wind without someone reporting about it. Here are a few resources to get you started in your newspaper searches… http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ (Free) http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cdnc (Free) http://www.genealogybank.com/ (Fee Based) http://newspaperarchive.com/ (Fee Based) http://guides.library.upenn.edu/historicalnewspapersonline (Free and Fee Based) The CLAN system posted for Nevada has since changed their link to this... http://www.clan.lib.nv.us/nvdigital.htm Ignore all the criteria you can choose from. Just type in your search words in the box and click "Search All Collections." The local, or closest, cemetery is another good place to gather information. Sadly, many old graveyards are now nothing more than a few dirt mounds with some rocks scattered on them, but quite a few still have headstones or markers. Reading legible dates also provides clues to a possible epidemic, disaster or massacre in the town. Some headstones and markers might also have initials carved into them, providing evidence of religious affiliation, membership in a fraternal organization, social group or professional trade. There are a couple of excellent, free online resources for locating cemeteries and those buried in them. Please remember that the databases are created by unpaid volunteers, so they are far from being complete. So, if you don’t find someone in a cemetery it doesn’t mean they aren’t there, they just have not been recorded by the transcriber. http://www.interment.net/ http://www.findagrave.com/ If you want to have a hand in helping to preserve the carving in old headstones and markers, but find many hard to read, you can try this technique to safely copy the information… http://www.ancestryprinting.com/headstone.html Vital records, which include birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates, are a great resource if you can locate the records. Not everyone officially recorded these events, or, if they did, the information was lost by the official doing the recording. Some itinerant preachers visited the more distant settlements and kept journals or log books of vital information, but any number of things could have prevented them from giving this information to a county or local clerk, such as death or natural disasters. Other people simply never sent the information in to a recording clerk, but may have entered it into a family Bible or with the local church. Many vital records have been digitized and are offered online through various sites, with Ancestry.com being one of the main ones, with a huge price tag attached to access these records. Many libraries offer their card-holding patrons free access to the Ancestry database, but you must use the library computer to utilize the service. However, there is another site, just as good, if not better, where you can find a lot of these same records for free. https://familysearch.org/ Many of the men who settled the western territories also did military service in the Indian Wars, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, and other military expeditions. There are a number of sites where you can locate this information, such as Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org (Free) and Fold3.com. There is also the free Soldiers and Sailors database, where you can find Civil War participants. http://www.nps.gov/civilwar/soldiers-and-sailors-database.htm There are also some old photographic databases that you can search or browse. http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/233_cwsoldiers.html http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/sets/72157625520211184/ http://www.civilwarphotos.net/ Maps are a great way to get a good idea of the layout of the town before its abandonment. To find out where a business was, or maybe someone’s home, look for plat maps and Sanborn Insurance maps. Here is a good example. http://www.loc.gov/rr/geogmap/sanborn/index.php One final resource that I highly recommend, which is free, is Google Books. http://books.google.com/ Type in your search criteria, and then hit the Search Books button. Once in you can customize your search to only show entire books that are free, which you can then read online or download. There are many other resources out there, so if you get stuck and need some help, just give me a shout or send me a message. @ 2013 Cindy Nunn. All Rights Reserved.
  15. Life and work in the Ryan District, Death Valley, California, 1914-1930: a historic context for a borax mining community By Mary Ringhoff Life_and_Work_in_the_Ryan_District.pdf
  16. More info here... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wingo,_California
  17. Twenty-five Years a Parson in the Wild West: Being the Experience of Parson Ralph Riley By John Brown, Ralph Riley (pseud.) Twenty_five_Years_a_Parson_in_the_Wild_W.pdf
  18. Buffalo Bill's Wild West, America's National Entertainment By Buffalo Bill's Wild West Company Buffalo_Bill_s_Wild_West_America_s_Natio.pdf
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