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Archive for February, 2012

Here are some more pictures i like, from various sources as credited.

The J.A. Dudley place, two miles upstream from Petrolia. From the Hum. Co. Dept. of Public Works, possibly donated by Lyn Chambers

Jacob Allen Dudley, a son of James Newton Dudley (who had the sawmill at the mouth of East Mill Creek) owned land in the SE quarter of Section 11, T2S, R2W… that is, across the river, roughly, from where Alex Cockburn now lives and perhaps on the spot once called “the Raiches place” where Sterling now has a trailer. George Cummings had the land by 1911, and later it was marked Sam Adams. Probably this was Samuel F., or Frank, Adams, who was married to Addie Maud Burgess. Her brother was the photographer who took this photo. It’s a good one to zoom in on. I love the detail… how very tidy the buildings are, and how much work must’ve gone into felling those trees.

The Petrolia Hotel after the 1906 earthquake. Photo, by Eakle, from the online Bancroft Museum collection

There were other pictures of a “Petrolia Hotel” on the Bancroft site, but it turns out they were taken down south, not in a town named Petrolia, but maybe in the Coalinga area. However, i am pretty sure this is our hotel, the one that was on the path south from the square toward the cemetery. This back (west) wing is an addition since some of the earlier photos, but must have been rebuilt after the earthquake damage, for in the photo below, eight years later, it is a full-on two-story extension.

Downtown Petrolia looking south-southwest, 1914. Courtesy Dave Stockton

You can see the Reynolds place (later the Maude and Gib Langdon place, up near Mary Etter’s/now Jim Groeling’s), the bright white hotel with its back “ell” off toward the west (right), the corner saloon, the old Rudolph, then Hunter, store; the Hart and Johnson store, which burned down in the 1992 earthquake; and the livery stable on the site of today’s Fire Department.

Honeydew School in 1915, courtesy Tom Slack, son of Janice Peers Slack

Another beautiful old building that went down. Janice Peers’ mother, Verna Hawley Peers, was a teacher there in 1915 (see previous post about Shinn house). It was on what’s Alex Moore’s place now, the old Shinn home… or at least, the schoolbuilding’s ashes are. I heard that when he learned that we knew it was there, Mr. Moore torched it immediately lest the Preservation Police came and took away his rights. Pretty unlikely considering it was already just a pile of rotten wood…

And speaking of schools:

Mattole Union School Chorus, 1934, courtesy Velma Hunter Childs Titus


Front row: Bernardine Hunter, Gwen Fox, Dora Mae Clark, Carmen Davis (Gill), Velma Hunter.
Back row: Barbara Albee, Doris Johnston (Clark Loudermilk), Ellen Reynolds, Elaine Albee, Virginia Hunter.
I would like not just a picture, but a recording of their voices raised in song!

Cape Mendocino, from an old postcard print. Courtesy Hum. Co. Dept. of Public Works

An oldie but goodie. Note the wooden fences following the winding road up “the Wall.”

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An Upper Mattole mill, by George Post, 1936. Courtesy of Carlin Christensen

Carlin Christensen emailed me this bright picture today. He says he is not sure of the location, but it’s somewhere between Roscoes’ and the Grange… perhaps it was the Willings Mill, at the Trout Farm (recently the Hoyles’)? Carl expressed hope that someone seeing this photo might recognize the place. (On second thought, the Willingses were there in the 1950s logging boom… though perhaps the place had held a lumber mill before they became the owners.)

George Post, 1906-1997, was a well-known California watercolorist. He was born and died in Oakland. Here is more information if you are interested: http://www.calart.com/Data/featured/George_Post.asp

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Regular members of the MVHS received Issue #34 of Now… and Then, our print journal, in December of 2011. The main article was an enumeration, with random additions of occasional anecdotes and/or photographs, of each of the 186 known or strongly suspected burials in the Petrolia Pioneer Cemetery. I have since been alerted to a few corrections. There may well be more, but for now, i wanted everyone who had read that issue, and who cares about genealogical accuracy, to have these changes.

If you would like to see the full Guide and are not a member, you can either wait a year or so (at which time i will post the entire document here), or send $2 (includes 64 cents postage) to the MVHS at PO Box 144, Petrolia, CA 95558, and i will mail you a print copy.

Change #1: “*FARNSWORTH, Frederick Marcellous- b. 1833 NY, d. 8/26/1897. Son of Zachens and Salome Lyons Farnsworth, bro. of Lucy Ann Wright, et. al. Farmer. Arrived in Mattole 1860, returned to WI to fetch his mother, wife Minerva, infant son Marshall, and sister Julia, arriving back at Mattole by 1866.”
This is what was printed. Wrong! Correct info is:
“Died 12 Jun 1915 at Petrolia and buried there. Born 10 Jun 1833 in New York. Came to Calif in 1853 and to Mattole in 1866. Sister: Mrs. Stevens in Canada. Niece: Lestina Wright.” This is the quote from Marilyn Keach Milota’s book of Humboldt obituary extracts. She is correct that Frederick Marcellous died in 1915. It was his son, Frederick Marshall Farnsworth, who died in 1897, and that is correctly noted in the Cemetery Guide. Thanks to Larry Allen for catching this mistake.

Change #2: Add information: “JOHNSTON, Catharine [Smith]- 1814-1900 Born at Belmont, OH, 11/30/1814, died 5/28/1900 of TB, age 85. Mother of Francis C., Cavie Ann Miner, Laura S., Mary Ellen Smith Witten, Charles A., William C., Richard Cozzine Johnston (husband of Clara Runyon), Samuel S. Johnston, et. al.; bore at least ten children including those lost in childhood.”
Note that Catharine was married to Charles B.S. Johnston, and to this list of the Johnstons’ children, add Eliza Catherine. She was b. 1852, Iowa, married John W. Ball, 9/12/1870; d. 1893. (John was from the Ball family for whom Ball Flat, near the mouth of the Mattole, was named.)

Change #3: “*PATRICK, Esther- 1900-4/20/1901, age 10 mos. Daughter of Eva Elizabeth (Titus) Patrick, who was daughter of LaFayette Titus.” Again, WRONG. Here is the correct info:
“Ester, 10 months old, died 20 Apr 1901 of tubercular meningitis.” (Marilyn Keach Milota). She was the daughter of Elizabeth Titus and John Patrick, and had an older sister, May E. Patrick. Again, thanks to Larry Allen.

In looking into this Titus matter, i found further information that may be of interest: Eva Elizabeth (the one i mistakenly claimed Esther was daughter of) was born 1894 at Petrolia, to Lafayette and Lucy Bowman Titus. On the 1900 Mattole census she is listed with parents and… Maybel, 20; George, 17; Vivian [Susan, later Mrs. Jack Wright], 15; Mary, 11; Eugene, 9; herself, Eva, 6; Hattie, 2; and Maynard, 1/12. According to Rudy McKee’s Petrolia Cemetery file, Eva Elizabeth Titus married George R. Wilbur on 6/18/1913. I did find on the ancestry.com trees that her name at death in 1988 was Eva Wilbur.

Elizabeth or Lizzie Titus, dau. of George Moore Gary (Garry or Geary) Titus and Rosemond (variously spelled) Smith Titus, was born June 1862 (she was sister of Lafayette). Lizzie married John Patrick 12/19/1885 in Rohnerville. She (Elizabeth Titus Patrick) died in Watsonville, Santa Cruz Co., according to a family tree on ancestry.com. I couldn’t find out anything about Mr. Patrick.

Lizzie Titus Patrick, mother of Esther Patrick. Photo from ancestry.com

So Esther Patrick was a later child of Lizzie and John Patrick. There was a daughter, May E. Patrick, born soon after the 1885 marriage. Then, 15 years later, little Esther, who didn’t make it to her first birthday.

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Please let me know whenever you see errors, in the newsletter or here on the blog! I will keep adding to this list as the corrections come to me.

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Change #4: Under the section on Native burials, i left out an important word in Isaac Duncan’s entry. Where it says he “was the (some say nephew) of Joe Duncan” it should say he “was the son (some say nephew)…” I had read nephew somewhere, but most reports show Isaac, or Ike, being the son of Joseph Duncan.

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