Archive for February, 2011

Irene Wallace’s watercolors

This is one of my favorites for the variety of form. The photos are not titled, so i just call this one "Seagulls." Courtesy Irene Wallace.

A local resident since 1991, Irene Wallace has quietly enriched our community in many ways. She lives at the top of a ridge overlooking the beach at the mouth of the Mattole, and the view from that spot has strengthened her connection to the beauty of the ocean. I know Irene through the Mattole Valley Women’s Club, and Grange meetings which she attends with her husband, Joe. She wrote an excellent history of the exciting events of April, 1992, in her book Earthquake Chronicles of the Lost Coast (2009), in which she introduced herself as follows: “I was born and grew up in Burlingame on the peninsula south of San Francisco. I attended St. Luke’s Nursing School in San Francisco, married and raised five children. During that time I worked as a nurse part time in hospitals, in obstetrics. Pursuing my love of art, I have delved into drawing, ceramics, sculpture, leaded glass, wood carving, and finally settled into painting watercolors, which is a joy for me. I have called the Mattole Valley home since 1991, surrounded by the beauty of nature– a feast for the eyes.”

I think you will agree that these paintings are just such a feast, as well.

This image is a familiar one to lovers of the Mattole, as Irene has made greeting cards with it. The old store was built around the turn of the last century, and known for many years as the Hart and Johnson store, later as Louis Adams, DaSilva's, etc., until at the time of the earthquake it belonged to George and Delores Roscoe. It burned on April 25, 1992, in the first, and largest, of the triple-quake onslaught.

All of these pictures are courtesy of Irene Wallace. She gave the Mattole Valley Historical Society a disc with much of her artwork on it. I have chosen several of my own favorites to post here, but there are many more– not all landscapes, and not all necessarily of the Mattole. I will put up more another time.

View south from Seven-mile Beach.

Anyone living off a dirt road in the Valley knows this kind of enchanting morning scene.

This looks like the entry to the Little Windy ranch, formerly the Trout Farm,
near Upper Mattole

Irene has done many a fine still-life of beach treasures and other subjects.

Irene is an active artist. She does not advertise as a painter for commission, but if you had a scene you wanted remembered in this way, she just might be interested in doing something for you. I myself think her work is as worthy of history’s note as Sammons’. I want to protect her privacy, so if you would like to contact Irene, please let me know and i will pass on your comments or contact information to her.

I am very grateful to Irene for allowing me to share her paintings here.

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“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”
~Matthew 6:19-20, King James Version

Some words of wisdom there. Of course, there are a few beautiful old houses from a hundred thirty years ago or more still standing in the Mattole Valley; but every time i get frustrated at my failures in getting my place together into an earthly paradise, i remember these old places, and how much time, sweat, and money went into building them, and how much living and loving went on in them. All gone. I hope they brought their people great joy– they were beautiful works.

Charles A. and Evaline Langdon Johnston home, built c. 1870, on site of present Cogswell home on Conklin Creek Rd. From the Humboldt Historian.

In center of photo, John Rudolph home, downtown Petrolia. Roughly on the site of present Gail and Phil Franklin home. 1888 photo from Mary Rackliff Etter collection.

The two images above are both of the Charles A. Doe home, on the Lower North Fork, a short distance above the present Mattole Road bridge. Charles and Mary Jane Clark Rackliff lived there after the Doe family moved to Ferndale. Top view is a pencil sketch from Elliott's 1882 History of Humboldt County; photograph is from Mary Rackliff Etter collection.

View showing location of Charles A. Doe home, on the lower reaches of the lower North Fork. If i’m not mistaken, Fourth of July parties used to occur here or nearby, in this curve of the river. See Kalin’s comment below for more ideas. The house in the background–one of those square, Italianate structures similar to the hotel that was once south of the Petrolia Square– is the Giacomini place, later the site of the Geo. Cook, more recently Johnny/June Chambers homes.

Minnie Shallard Etter and Emil J. Etter in front of their Honeydew home. Photo from Mary Rackliff Etter.

Jesse Walker home, called "Sunset View Ranch." Up on the hills near present Scientology place. Sorry about the tilt. Photo courtesy Ben Walker.

William and Dora Hunter Clark home, lower North Fork. Location was down Clark Road toward the river, on the right. Courtesy Ben Walker.

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I have changed a couple of things in this post since i first put it up, so if you are concerned about the details of Goff family genealogy, or of the ranch down Chambers Rd., please re-read. –L.W.C. 3-13-2011

Mid-1930s. Patricia and Leslyn Swall, their father Leslie Cyril Swall, and what looks like a Mattole breakfast. Photo courtesy Jen Hayes, Leslyn's granddaughter.

Checking out the threshing at the Mackey place, down Chambers Rd. Photo from Mary Rackliff Etter collection.

William Reynolds, his brother-in-law, Arthur O'Leary, and William (and Grace O'Leary) Reynolds' daughter Zelma, c. 1920. This photo and the next courtesy of Marian Barney and Diane Massoni.

Helen Reynolds, another daughter of William and Grace, on the farm down Chambers Rd. Boy on far right may be Wm. T. Reynolds, Helen and Zelma's brother.

The following four pictures were taken at the old Cook place, northwest of Petrolia on the road out of town.

From the "Farming in the Twenties" page of Mary Rackliff Etter's scrapbook.

This set of pictures seems to have been taken out on the old Cook home place on the road northwest to the ocean and town, more recently known as Villeggiatura.

Henry O'Leary taking a roller home to Domingo Zanone's.

Sorry about the damage, but it seemed worth posting for the detail in this threshing equipment. Click etc. to zoom in.

There are plenty of connections between the people in these photos, as there were plenty between pretty much everyone in the Valley at that time.

Jen Hayes, a young woman who came here a few years ago to work for the Mattole Restoration Council, is granddaughter of Leslyn Swall Lyons, the younger child in the first picture, and great-granddaughter of Leslie Cyril Swall, the good-looking father, and Alice Luella Crippen. Alice’s parents were Chloe Deborah Goff and John Eldon Crippen. Chloe’s parents were Stephen Taylor (known as Taylor) and Clara Patterson Goff. And his parents were pioneers Stephen J. and Mary Deborah Hinton Goff, from North Carolina and Ohio, respectively. Mary was a Valley midwife who kept good records of the scores of births she attended here; the Ferndale Enterprise published her list of 155 babies on March 5, 1970.

Jen shared with us her great-grandmother’s birth certificate. It mentions the people whose affidavits allowed the issuing of this document. Maude M. Langdon, cousin, appears here; Jen’s grandmother Leslyn called her “Aunt Maude,” and remembered her as living in the big old white house that used to sit on the present Community Center location. However, to be technically correct, Maude Goff Langdon was a first cousin of Chloe Goff Crippen (being the daughter of Charles F. Goff, Taylor’s brother); cousin once removed of Alice Luella Crippen Swall; and twice removed of Leslyn Swall Lyons. Older enough to be an aunt!

The other person certifying Alice’s birth is Grace Reynolds. She is identified on the certificate as “Friend at time of birth.” Grace is the sister of “Hen,” or Henry O’Leary, seen riding in the seemingly airborne seat driving a piece of equipment home, above; and is the mother of Zelma Reynolds, seen in the third photo, and of Helen and William T. Reynolds, in the fourth picture. As an O’Leary, she was also sister of Daisy (Mrs. George) Cook, who was mother to Jim Cook of Bear River and to Francie Cook of Rio Dell, father of our mailman, Tom! (Out of a dozen children born to Patrick and Margaret O’Leary, nine survived to adulthood: John; Grace– the mother of Zelma, and thereby grandmother of Diane Massoni, who visited the MVHS with her cousin once removed and left us these photos, among several more; Art; Daisy; Frank– father of Marian Barney, the lovely lady who first contacted me and arranged the visit; Hen; Blanche; Lena; and Harold.)

The photo of the Mackeys threshing is tied in in two ways. Patrick O’Leary’s sister, Honorah or Hannah, married John A. Mackey. Their place down Chambers Road, around where Upper Mill Creek passes under the road, may have been the same as the Reynolds place, where that other harvesting work is going on in the third and fourth pictures. The Reynolds Barn is where Dave and Becky Grant are currently living. (Or perhaps not; it is also known as the Daugherty Barn, possibly built by Isaac N. Daugherty; but there is a connection to the Reynolds that i hope to iron out!) All i know is that the Mackey place was also down Chambers Road (the eucalyptus lot where Jerry Johnson used to get firewood was always known as “the Mackey Lot”), and that on pre-1900 maps (um, let me get those when i am over at the office!) the Mackeys are shown as property owners right there in the same area as where the Grants are now. Perhaps the Reynolds leased or rented from the Mackeys.

Okay, one more connection. The house on the site of the Mattole Valley Community Center, which Leslyn Lyons remembers as Maude Goff and Charles Gilbert “Gib” Langdon’s home, had been moved up from its original Chambers Road location (see “Imposing house moved in 1880s“). It was either the same house as, or right next to, the William Reynolds’ family home, identified in a 1914 photo. The picture was not clear enough to see if it was that building or the one next to it, later the Rackliff, then Mary Etter, place.

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The eldest man in the picture from my last post on here (Jan. 29, 2011) is George Hindley. His direct descendant, Laurence Hindley of Fortuna, donated to the MVHS a typed and xeroxed copy of this solid year of daily entries.

Bob Stansberry, who is most knowledgeable about Southern Humboldt and upriver history, made the notes to these journal entries. I have italicized his statements and questions. Anything you see in brackets is my own comment. Please keep in mind that these words were transcribed to typewriter from Geo. Hindley’s own hand, and that the transcriber did not necessarily know the locals or the spellings of their names and the places. I am adding only enough punctuation and spelling correction to make for ease and clarity; otherwise I will try to keep the original style.

So here you go, 131 years ago (to the week), above the Mattole Valley…

George Hindley kept this diary while living on the original home place approximately one mile northwest of Windy Nip [between Honeydew and Panther Gap].

THURSDAY, JAN. 1, 1880—Came home from Bull Creek danc [?] throo the Rain with Gilespie and Wife. It fogged and rained all Day. Found Wm Cathey and the children all well.
Gillespie was Allen Gillespie’s grandfather; his wife was Eliza (Hunter), daughter of John Hunter, Sr., whose ranch was downstream one and a half miles from Honeydew.

JAN. 2—Rained in the morning. Cloudy all day. Gilespie and wife went home with two pack mules. Gave Wm Cathey an order to Rudolph for $4 dolars. Started to write a letter to Wm Sloss.
Did Gillespie live at his in-laws? Where did Wm Cathey live? Rudolph had the store in Petrolia?
[It almost seems the Wm. Cathey family lived on the Hindley property, he is mentioned so often as being right there. John Rudolph did have the Petrolia Store until 1881. His brother Morgan was an early postmaster at Upper Mattole.]

JAN. 3—Cloudy all day. Stayed at home all day, poterd round and finished letter to Wm Sloss. Rained a little after noon. No body came or went today.

JAN. 4—Sun shown in the fore part of the day. Cloudy the rest and raining at night. Fixed the woodshed and cleaned it out. Wm Cathey came from Petrolia.

JAN. 5—Rained all day. Put ax handle in and grained calf skin. Stay at home all day. CC Fitzgerld was hear and we settled our accounts for which I took his Note.
[Cyrus Calvin Fitzgerald, 1846-1894, who later shot Hindley in the face.]

JAN. 6—Rained all day and blew hard, wind from south east. Stayed in the house all day and cut out rawhide and Braded on Reins for a riding bridal. Wind blowing very hard.

JAN. 7—Blowed down all the fences and rained hard all day and snowed in the evening. Earth quake last night about eleven oclock. Staid in the house and Braded Bridle rains.

JAN. 8—Cloudy all day with hale, rain and snow. Stayed in the house all day and tinkerd at Bridal rains till eavning and then got in wood for fire in the morning.

JAN. 9—Raind hard all day and blew a hericane. Stayed in the house and traded my watch boots and vest to Wm Cathey for his yellow mare. Went out in the eavning and kild a spike Buck.

JAN. 10—Sun shined at times with snowing thro the day at times. Stayed at home and cleand out woodshed. Wm Singley and Wm Weeks was heare to dinner. Cathey went for flour.

JAN. 11—A clear day with the exception of a few flying clouds. Went out to bring in a deer and kild three more. Brought them home and drest them. I [or T?] Amens was heare and we seen the Eclips of the sun.
Tom Amen lived at what later became the Mann Ranch in the Panther Gap area. Tom had at least one brother; this could be a brother or still another of that large family (see Bull Creek cemetery).

JAN. 12—Cloudy and rainy. Our darling Berty got scalded at qtr. Past ten and died half past nine pm. Parkhurst, Hurlbutt and Cathey, Gillespie and wife, Florence and Minnie Hunter and Millsap were heare. Wm Cathey went for relief.
Florence (age 19) was a cousin and Minnie (age 15) was a sister to Mrs. Gillespie. Millsap was probably William Millsap.

JAN. 13—Cloudy with a light rain or mist. Our friends were heare with our little pet. Mr. and Mrs. Singley, T Cathey, Bill (?) and Mrs. Millsap and two sons of Singley. The men dug a grave. The above friends in addition to yesterday.
William Millsap lived in the Panther Gap area at one time. He was the father of Henry Millsap and the great-grandfather of John Hower and Ross Millsap of Pepperwood. He was buried at Bull Creek.

JAN. 14—Clear all day. Buried our little Bertie. All the friends of the two preceding days were hear, also Netty (?) and Carry Parkhurst. To the buriul at twelve oclock. Alsow Hurlbutt’s two sons were heare. Willie Cathey got back.
Bertie was buried on a ridge northwest of Windy Nip. A place known as “The Graves.”

JAN. 15—Clear all day. Wm Singley stayed heare last night and left This morning. Fayet brought some flour up from Hurlbutts. I fixed up the corall gates and the Graves railings and etc.
Hurlbutt’s field is just west of Honeydew by the county road (Etter Ranch). Where was Hurlbutt’s house? Did he have a flour mill?

JAN. 16—Clear all day. Went to Petrolia and paid off Russ and stayed at AA Godwin’s. Seen Lemdale and Frost. Bought a bill of Goods from Macy [Mackey?] and a bill from Rudolph, got some pick irons from Leary.
Was Leary the blacksmith in Petrolia—Patrick O’Leary?
[Probably. Absalom Godwin had a place on the northwest corner of the Petrolia Square, later spot of the K of P hall and Johnson’s store. Not the old Petrolia Hotel, on the southwest corner. Ab Ridge in Honeydew is named for Ab Godwin. Russ was paid off; hmmm, Albert Russ was running the Petrolia Hotel in 1882 for sure, and perhaps he was already doing so in 1880.]

JAN. 17—Clear all day. Came up home from Petrolia with Gillespie. Minnie Huntyer came up with us from their place to stay on a visit. I lent Gillespie one dollar and fifty cts. Wm Weeks past heare today.

JAN. 18—Clear all day. Gillespie went down to Hurlbutts and got 500 lbs. of flour up. Fronia Hunter came up with Fayet(?) to stay on a visit. I doctord sheep all day and fixed up the Barn.
Fronia or Frona Hunter was another sister of Eliza Gillespie’s. Also known as Sophronia.
[Fayet is likely Fayette, or Lafayette, Titus of Petrolia.]

JAN. 19—Clear all day. Gillispie packed up thirteen sacks of flour from Hurlbutt. Minnie Hunter went home. Wm Cathey brought up my horse I traded for. I doctored sheep all day. Miss Hunter is here.

JAN. 20—Clear all day with a few flying clouds, some indication of a storm in the atsmerfear. Gillespie felt sick and laid over. Docterd sheep all day. Phronia, Cathey, and Gillespie & I corralled all the sheep.

JAN. 21—Clear all day with considerable wind and turned hazy with signs of a storm. I ran throo my sheep and counted 575 head and finished doctoring. Wm Millsap is with us.

JAN. 22—Cloudy with cold wind blowing from the north west and misting in the eavning. Liddy Hunter came up with Gillespie. Mrs. Johnson and Miss Hanlon came over on a visit. Worked at home.
Liddy or Lidia Hunter (age 17) was yet another sister, also spelled as Lydia.

JAN. 23—Clear all day with indications of a storm. Started to Rhonervill. Mrs. Johnston went to Fitzgerlds place with me. Fits came and we staid at Howards all knight.

JAN. 24—Cloudy all day with rain at night. We left Howards and went to Rhonerville by 4 oclock. Went to the lodge at night, bought $3 worth of Fagumbaum and stayed at Hotell.
[Mr. Feigenbaum was a prominent Jewish merchant of the Rohnerville area. For more info on the subject of the few but noteworthy Jews in early Humboldt history, see Nan Abrams’ article in the blog http://jewsofthegoldrush.blogspot.com/ ]

JAN. 25—Stormy with snow. Gave Mr. Rob Shearer 20 days to close a bargain at Rhonerville. I start home today with CC Fitsjarld and we stay at Oscar Hindley’s all night.

JAN. 26—Stormy all day with snow and frost. We crossed Eel river and ate dinner at Painters and we came on home. Ate supper at Fits and I came on home in the night.
Fits or C.C. Fitzgerald lived in the Rainbow Ridge area near the overland trail between the Eel and Mattole valleys.

JAN. 27—Snowing all day with wind and frost. Stayed in the house all day with Gillespie and Cathey and Leiddie Hunter who are with us at night. The wind is blowing and freesing hard.

JAN. 28—Clear all day with a thaw of snow which was four inches deep. Hauled wood all day. W Cathey helping me. Liddie Hunter went home. Gillespie going with her. Freesing.

JAN. 29—Clear all day and clouding up in the eavning. Hauled up wood in the forenoon and hauled posts for garden fence. Phronia Hunter came up with the mail and horse load of salt.

JAN. 30—Clear all day. Frose hard last night. Hauled fence posts and wood most all day. Cathey setting them around garden. Toards eavning I fined [fixed?] up the fence or started it so.

JAN. 31—Clear all day and very warm. Worked on garden fence most all day. Gillespie and wife came up alsow Minnie Hunter came with them. I alsow fixed the front door.

SUNDAY, FEB. 1, 1880—Clear all day and very pleasant. Worked on porch and fixed up fence around garden. Gillespie and wife Minnie Hunter with them. Went to Bull creek. A. Cathey came up on a visit.
Where did A. Cathey live? Andrew Cathey lived where Hindley Ranch is now [at bottom of hill, in Honeydew].

FEB. 2—Clear all day and very pleasant. Worked on fence till noon. Millsap came over and went to plowing. I Howard and Mrs. Fitsgerld came over and Howard and me came over to Merifields.
Where did the Merifields live? [In the 1880 census, Daniel Merrifield and family are listed amongst these neighbors: George Hindley and family; William Millsap and family; then come Daniel Merrifield with two children and boarder Thomas Cathey; next Siras Fitzgerald and wife plus adopted child and boarders; next the Paschal Hunter family.]

FEB. 3—Clear all day and pleasant. Howard and I left Merifields, came over to home and ate dinner then started and came over to Howard’s. There we found Lawson and young Toliday. Sold steer to Howard for fifteen dollars.

FEB. 4—Clear all day and very pleasant. Still at Howard. We went out Hunting but did not Kill anything. Charlet Young is at Howard’s, and young Tolladay.

FEB. 5—Clear all day and very pleasant warm and sunny. Went out with Howard on a hunt after varments but could not find anything. Came home after dinner my horse fell over and hirt me.

* * * * * * * * * *

[….stay tuned for more in a few weeks… will try to keep up with Hindley’s seasons.]

Postscript: Here is the map section from the Stanley N. Forbes 1886 map, mentioned by olmanriver in the Comments, below.

There it is in 2S, 1E-- the Hindley house! Thanks to Richard "Rob" Roberts for making this, and other, maps available to the MVHS.

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