Showing posts with label Calaveras County. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Calaveras County. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The voice said "Get out of here NOW!"

Rail Road Flat, CA : Miners shack -downtown Rail Road Flat, CA
Old Miners Shack in Railroad Flats, CA
Railroad Flat Cemetary
In 1980 I went to Railroad Flat to do some poking 
around and to hunt for the Pillsbury property 
to see where my grandfather had been born 
and where his father had died. 

First I went to the Calaveras County Courthouse 
to get directions and other information. 

I was very excited to go. I was alone 
and had enjoyed my trip so far....
until I got into Railroad Flat. 

There I got a foreboding feeling right away 
that I didn't like and then down one 
of the roads I found 
the graveyard. 

I had been poking around looking at headstones
for a few minutes when a voice said to me 
"Get out of here, 

Maybe I'd better I thought.

Just then a truck load of guys came 
tearing down the dirt road. 
I pretended like I wasn't
paying attention to them 
at all but I was watching 
them with my 

They had gone down to the end of 
the road and I knew they 
would be turning around 
in a few seconds. 

I didn't have far to go to get to my van, 
thank goodness, so when they 
were out of sight I ran 
as fast as I could, 
jumped in the van, 
locked the door and got 
the heck out of there 
before they could 
make it back 
to where 
I was. 

By the time they returned 
I was turned around and 
on my way back 
to town. 

(that is using the term town loosely).


A few days later I went to Sacramento 
to see my dad and I told him that I had been 
snooping around Amador and 
Calaveras County. 

I told him "No way" on the 
"We just grew potato's" 

I told him that I had been spooked
 and was so disappointed because 
I had to leave RR Flat 
without finding my family's 

Guess what he said???

"Your grandfather would never go back to RR Flat 
for hunting or fishing or anything... ever. 
He hated the place and felt like 
it was haunted."

"Good to know just a little too late"
 I said.

So my question dear readers is... 
Was my Papa Pills the one who 
told me to get out of there 
and to be quick about it 
or did I just pick up 
on his vibes?

Or what?

All I know is that it was a 
close call!!

Granny T.

Friday, February 18, 2011

"It Was All Over" ~ Aunt Kate

Chapter 16

Well, it was all over. Jim had passed on. The farm was placed in the hands of a real estate dealer for sale by the boys, the car disposed of, and the time had come for me to return to my school. It wasn't easy to go back to the cabin at Railroad Flat where I had lived. It held too many memories.

I arrived at my hometown on Saturday and once again I stood alone before my empty cabin. Everything all around looked so desolate that it was depressing. I unlocked the door which was chilled by the cold of weeks, made a fire in the stove, put on the tea kettle and rubbed off the steam that was now dimming the windows. 

I took the broom and gave the house a vigorous sweeping. I did everything I could to keep from thinking. The long lonely evening was coming and I dreaded it. I prepare something to eat and planned to bake the next day. "Maybe I'll bake a pie. I know little Charlie will like a piece Monday when school opens. It is lovely that I have cords and cords of nice dry wood and that everything for my meal is ready. I'll not set the table that would make it too lonesome. I'll just sit here by the fire in the big chair and eat out of the kettle. I don't think I'm very hungry, though, but I'll drink the tea. No I don't think I want any tea. I'll just sit here and watch the fire, and maybe take little catnaps. I'll not think of those dark days just passed. I am glad that he is at rest, he suffered so. Never again will he be wracked with that awful cough, nor suffer such pain. I'll not think of him as dead. He is just away."

And so my thoughts wondered on and on. At twelve o'clock I was prepared for bed but hour after hour I lay there awake until night brightened into day, and I arose and began another day. 

Grammy T.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"I Would Kill Every Rattlesnake In The Yard"~Aunt Kate

A. W. Pillsbury at the graves in West Point, CA. 

My dad,  A.W. Pillsbury and his sister 
Patricia Ellen Pillsbury Youmans  
at the Pillsbury graves in Sutter Creek, Ca.

You could see why the rattlesnakes could be a 
problem in that country. 

Chapter 14

I have said that I did not intend to teach. I intended to continue to keep my home running smoothly, work in the garden and among my flowers, look out for the sheep and cattle of which we had a good many, and doctor them when they need such attentions, that the chickens went to roost at the proper time every evening, and if there were no men around, kill every rattlesnake that ventured into the yard. But according to the old adage, "Man proposes and God disposes". The old order of my life passed from my hands that year.

At that time there was a big water project, the construction of a dam, going on high up in the Sierras at Relief, and Jim Jr. and his father, went there to stay until operations should close for the winter. After working for a month or so, the work was stopped, and the men laid off. My men came home, the elder Jim being filled with the idea of building or quartz mill on his own mine and crushing his own quartz. It all sounded very promising. There was rock enough at the dump on the shaft to make a net cleanup of a thousand dollars if it could be crushed in his own mill. 

Well, the mill was built. Timbers had to be taken out, a mortar block furnished, shakes made, lumber and machinery bought, and living expenses for five persons. I couldn't see anything else but that someone had to go out and get a job. I applied for the primary department of the West Point District School and was hired at sixty dollars a month. My board and room at the hotel were ten dollars. I went home every Friday night in the low back-cart behind old Bill, wearing the same hat and shoes that had done me duty in Sonora. On Saturday I laundered my clothes and did the family washing, starched and ironed my one school dress, a gray chambray, and Sunday afternoon went back to West Point. I was at this school eight months and I think I proved satisfactory.

When I went out to teach I thought it would be for one year only. By the time school would be out, the school would be finished, the rock crushed, and we would be on easy street. When all was done and the clean up made, there wasn't enough left to pay the mill man. Just another one of those things that came our way. 

The failure of that rock was a keen disappointment to us all. Jim felt it worse than anyone else, and for that reason I hid my emotions all that I could, in order to keep his spirits from falling. He was anxious to try it again, so the next year I taught at Railroad Flat in the Eureka District. I was here fifteen years. 
(to be continued)

Grammy T. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

"We Rented A Room For Six Dollars."~Aunt Kate

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!

At Rhonda's in Penryn, picture taken by Lori...Gorgeous!

Chapter 13

The examination was to begin on Monday at 9 o'clock, so it behooved us to start early. On Saturday morning, after harnessing old Bill to the buggy, and with twenty dollars, borrowed money, in my purse, we started on our journey and reached Murphy's that evening. 

That old Bill was a character if there ever was one. His driver never knew what he was going to do next. Sunday morning instead of continuing our journey with Bill for our buggy horse, my brother put one of his horses in Bill's place and Kathryn rode Bill. 

We rented a room for the week for six dollars and the next morning entered the examination room, there to find ourselves in company with twenty two or three applicants from the Western Normal in Stockton, all primed for the test. I did not have any expectation of passing. Each applicant had to pay two dollars, and I shall never forget the pang in my heart when I put that money down and whispered "Good-bye" to it. Well, after laying down the dollars, we began the examination, not as I thought, from a printed list, but by copying each question as read by the superintendent. This was the first test I had ever taken in my life and my first thought was, "I can never do it." My second thought was, “and lose the two dollars? No, never. I will do my best."

It was a very difficult test and so long it was tiresome. When Mr. Morgan read an example of a question I knew right away if I could answer it correctly or not. And the greater part of them I could. 

The test was finished on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning we started out on our home journey expecting to reach Murphys that evening but we couldn't make it. Bill had been in one of the best stables in Sonora where I had paid first class rates for his board.  On getting away from town he acted as if he were starved. Every bunch of grass or weed the poor brute saw he would stop and eat and as our journey proceeded he seemed to get weaker and his temper uglier. We had crossed the bridge at Parrot's Ferry and were on that part of the road that had been built up on a level with the bridge,  when like a flash of lightening, that animal whirled half way around and pushed the buggy over to the edge of the wall between the road and the bed of the river. Kathryn by this time was out and grabbed him by the bridle in time to save us from going over a drop of twelve or fifteen feet to the rocks below. We straightened horse and buggy around and looked at the road, all up hill, that was facing us now. By this time Bill's head was almost down between his feet and we realized he was never going to be able to pull us and the buggy up those hills. The only thing to do was for us to walk up the hill and help Bill with the buggy. It was almost sundown when we gained the top of the grade and stopped again for Bill to rest and for us to decide to go down to Angels or up to Murphys. We decided to take the down grade hoping the weight behind him might help to push him along. When we reached Angels it was getting dark and I took a back road instead of the main street. I felt that I would be arrested for cruelty to animals if I dared drive Bill through the main street. The next day Bill acted as if he were going to die. He lay down all day as if every minute was going to be his last.  He was able to make the trip to my brother's after a good rest and from there to home on the following Wednesday.

Two weeks later we heard the results from Sonora. There was a very nice letter to Kathryn from the Board saying that they were sorry to tell her she had failed to make the required number of credits to pass, but not to let that discourage her. In a separate envelope addressed to me, was a certificate giving me lawful permission to enter the schools of California as a teacher. Of course I was glad that I had not failed, even if I did not intend to use the certificate. Kathryn had taken the test in Calaveras County the year before and had a good standing so it was just up to her to work during the summer and take the examination again in August. She did that and got her credentials and commenced to her first school assignment that fall, on the same day that I entered the school room in West Point.(To Be Continued)

Nieces and Nephews of Aunt Kate

Take The Tractor Another Round 
Another Round

Amy and her two oldest boys at our home in Loomis.