TWOGOOD DIARY AND NOTES
1856 - 1858 - - letters - 1867/69 - 1870-72 - 1873-75 - 1876-1878 - 1879 - 1880 - [1881 through 1899 diary missing] - 1900-04 - 1905-07 - 1908-09
[The transcription below is from papers belonging to James Lague, Historian, kindly shared by Rosemarie Mossinger, Challenge, CA.]
Gaylord S. W. & Susan Varney Twogood
Jim Lague & Louis E. & Imogene Edwards
Also arriving on the California scene in 1852, at Placerville (Hangtown) in the back of a wagon, more dead than alive, was a young man of 23; Gaylord Smith Wilsey Twogood.
On the way overland, he had the sad experience of seeing his brother, James, die of some unknown illness, leaving a widow, Melinda, back in Michigan. With the help of a Mr. Healey, Gaylord made it on to California.
He soon regained his health and weight and soon weighed 150 lbs, well over his Michigan weight; and considered it worth coming to California.
For the rest of his life, he kept up a correspondence with his brother James’s widow, Milinda [sic].
At Placerville, he met a lady gold miner, Adeline Scott, who crossed the plains with her brother, Joseph Scott, also in 1852.
In one of his letters to Melinda Twogood, he mentions this lady gold miner, and says a woman that is not above work is for him. From Gaylord’s diaries, one can conclude that he was fond of Adeline, but either was too shy or wanted to make his fortune first.
In 1855, Adeline, married a Charles Elliott at Strawberry Valley. Eventually, the Elliotts move to Olympia, Washington, but Gaylord keeps up a friendship and correspondence with them over the years.
Gaylord S. M. Twogood, was born in New York State on Dec. 27, 1829, one of five children of Sylvester and Matilda Twogood. In 1836 the family moved to Moscow, Michigan, where Gaylord lived until he came west with his brother, James, for California in 1852.
Gaylord mined for a time at Placerville, but soon came to the Forbestown-Strawberry Valley-Brownsville area, where he was to spend most of his life, even though he told Melinda, he would be coming home next year.
He tried placer mining, cooking for mining camps on the rivers, tending store for Emerson, Drake and Knox. But for Emerson, he drove a wagon or sleigh delivering beef. He tried teaming, hauling freight, when he could find it, from Marysville to La Porte. He tried plowing on a large ranch below Chico, near Butte Creek.
In 1858, he joined the gold rush to Frazer River in Canada, but found miners there by the thousands, so he sold his supplies and returned on a Clipper Ship from Seattle, taking twelve days, tacking back and forth against a headwind most of the way.
Still hoping to make a quick fortune in mining, he joined the gold rush to the Salmon River in Idaho, in 1862. He went by steamship up the coast and up the Columbia River to the Dalles, and then 400 miles by pack train over the mountains, going snowblind for a few days.
He soon saw he couldn’t make a fortune there either and decided California was a good country afterall and returned to Strawberry Valley.
He was a member of the Good Templars, the I.O.O.F. and the Masonic Lodge Forbestown #50, serving as Master, 1879, 1885 and 86.
It was probably at the Good Templars Lodge (a temperance group) at Strawberry Valley were he met Susan Varney, who he married at Varney’s Ranch on June 28, 1870; age 40 for him and 29 for Susan.
GAYLORD TWOGOOD DIARY EXCERPTS
[Note by Jim: Milk Ranch was at the barn one can now see to the south of the Forbestown-Oroville where it crosses the Hurlton-Swedes Flat Rd.]
Jan. 1 – Milk Ranch – Clear and cold. I commenced prospecting
and hope to be more successful than in the past year. Cusick and I come to this
Jan. 3 – Still clear and cold. It seems prospecting, without success is to be my lot for sometime.
Jan. 4 – Rain is the cry among the miners. Prospecting still, on the Rocky Hauncut below the Ranch.
Jan. 5 – Took a walk over the mountains to Forbestown today.
Jan. 6 – Today continued my journey to Strawberry Valley. Found a letter from Mother and cousin Em. Coburn.
Jan. 8 – P.M. I find myself in Forbestown again. Lodge with John W. Purdy.
Jan. 10 – I find myself at Milk Ranch again, after a warm walk.
Jan. 11 – Prospecting today in the rain with Joel A. No success. Rains hard this eve.
Jan. 12 – I am on the run again, to Forbestown. This evening on arriving in town found Purdy an Cusick at Saloon.
Jan. 13 – Cusick and myself return to the Ranch.
Jan. 22 – The rain falls fast. Cusick not returned yet, has probably fallen in company with some pretty Spanish Lass.
Jan. 23 – For the sake of getting news from home, I took a trip on foot to Forbestown, where I found a letter from sister Melinda.
Jan. 27 – Walked over to Texas Ravine, Evansville and other places.
Feb. 3 – I find myself in Forbestown today. Weather fair. Saw Hughs at his cabin on Deadwood Creek.
Feb. 6 – Prospecting is the order of the day.
Feb. 9 – Spark, Purdy and myself took up claims for summer work on Forbestown Hill. Purdy and I bought a claim on Deadwood Ravine.
Feb. 13 – We had the pleasure of taking from our claim two ounces of gold, the best days work yet.
Feb. 18 – We hear of the death of Mr. Crowl, one of the miners of Deadwood. He is to be buried this P.M. Bill came from Swedes Flat and we start for Strawberry Valley.
Feb. 22 – The Birthday of Washington the Father of His country. There is to be a Ball at N.Y. Flat, givin by the Militia Co. of Forbestown.
Feb. 23 – Mining is the order of the day. Bweth, Fred Hughs and myself went to Town this evening and sold gold dust. We heard of a shooting at Hansonville.
Feb. 25 – Today is fair. Mr. Webster died last night, from the effects of a wound given him by one of the Gambling fraternity.
Mar. 5 – Today, Purdy, Hughs and myself purchase a house with furniture, chickens, etc. of Barney Wells, who was about starting for the Atlantic States.
Mar. 6 – Today took possession of our new premises, moved all necessary articles. No sign of rain which is much needed by the miners.
Mar. 8 – Today there was a miners’ meeting on Ohio Flat, at which there were new laws made, by which the miners are to be governed.
Mar. 16 – Sunday – Stayed at home. Purdy, having gone to Town and Hughs and wife gone up Deadwood Ravine.
Mar. 19 – Last night Purdy sat up with Mr. Evins, who was injured by his team running away. This evening we hear of the death of Mr. Evins.
Mar. 21 – Warm again. We lowered our Tom and Sluices, had them set by sundown. Sold out our house and chickens to Frank Bweth.
Mar. 22 – Today started for Strawberry Valley. Arrived at sundown.
Mar. 24 – Today called on Wordan’s people at the Eagle Hotel at Oro Lewa and took dinner with them, after which I returned to Forbestown.
Mar. 27 – Today bought Hugh’s interest in the claims. Purdy and Twogood are sole proprietors. Ball this eve at Ohio Flat Store. $3 a couple, whew.
Mar. 29 – Mining is the order of the day. Eve., it rains hard, which all the miners are glad to see. Wrote two letters for Frank Bweth, to his Bro. and Father in Mo.
Mar. 30 – Sunday – Went to Forbestown to mail letters. Returned from Town and called on Rev. McReynolds at the Brooklyn Store.
Apr. 2 – Cusick came from S-Valley and brought me a letter from my esteemed friend Julia Fergerson.
Apr. 7 – Dr. Wilson of Forbestown called on us, and practiced Dentistry upon Hughs and Purdy by extracting several old snags of teeth. Dr. W. and Albert Evans took tea with us.
Apr. 8 – Mrs. Hughs went to Forbestown with Dr. Wilson to get her teeth filled.
Apr. 10 – Today is rainy. Went to Town this evening and met with the Sons of Temprance.
Apr. 12 – Today I travel in company with Cusick, until I find myself at Kentucky Ranch, at noon. Came via Vicksburg, Natchez and Evansville.
Apr. 15 – After a night at Milk Ranch, we returned to Ohio Flat. Commenced a coral for the steers.
Apr. 17 – Wm and Joel took a contract for rolling logs for sawing at the Mill on Deadwood. I expected to return to Ohio Flat, but went to work with the boys.
Apr. 20 – Cusick and I returned to Ohio Flat via Forbestown. Took supper with Bweth and Sparks.
Apr. 21 – Wm. and myself hunted the oxen, which we found at Vicksburg, I found the steers which we intend to break.
Apr. 24 – Training steers is the order of the day. Drove to Forbestown via Brooklyn Store. Heard of the sad fate of those who partook of the wedding cake at Gibson and Gaskills wedding.
Apr. 25 – A man is to be hanged at Ophir, for shooting an inoffensive person, with whom he became angry.
Apr. 27 – Appearance of rain. The man came and took the cattle, at $200.00 in cash.
Apr. 29 – Today sold my share of the house to Hughs, preparatory to a removal to Strawberry Valley. P.M., arrived at the Valley in company with Joel, about 4 o’clock.
May 9 – Warm and pleasant. We are rolling logs as usual. Mince pies are in good demand at the present, as some have been stolen.
May 11 – Joel, Cusick and myself are at my old residence on Ohio Flat. Cusick bought fine oxen which he brought from the Valley.
May 12 – Today, we are all at Strawberry Valley, after a trip from the Flat last night.
May 23 – Weather cooler. After having the nerve of my tooth seer’d it has ceased aching.
May 28 – Fair. Sawing logs for flume lumber. rolling logs, PM.
June 2 – Rolled a few logs into the logway, and sawed a few logs in the woods for sluice lumber, for which there is great call for such.
June 6 – Started for Milk Ranch for the purpose of getting a team to haul lumber from the Mill. Traveled via Forbestown as far as Ohio Flat.
June 8 – Today returned to The Valley in the stage from Forbestown.
June 10 – Went over on Lost Creek after a saw. There found Mr. Potter building a house for himself and family.
June 21 – Mead and myself went over towards Feather River to get a tree for yokes and wagon timber. ( I wonder if this was a Yew tree?)
June 29 – Sunday – Staid at home all day. I had many happy thoughts of home and all the loved ones there. Sabbath is a day of reflection for Californians.
July 2 – Warm. Mr. Blodget, Norris and Hunt went to Oro Lewa. Mead, Basley, Spencer, Cusick and myself got together and held an indignation meeting, for the purpose of contriving to see justice done at the Mill of Low’s.
July 4 – Today is the 80th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the U.S.A. I took dinner at Mr. Sooy’s, Eagleville. Heard the Dec’n. of Ind. read. Rained a few drops about ten am.
July 10 – Lee and Marshall’s Circus in Town tonight. shall attend.
July 11 – After the Circus we all feel rather sleepy. Rolling logs from the hill to the mill. Warm indeed.
July 15 – Today I went to Lost Creek and joined the boys in making a ----for turning the water.
July 21 – Spencer, Pasly and I went to Forbestown. I sat for a picture. Eve., we all went up to Eagleville.
July 22 – McColl and I started for Downieville. Came via Starvation Bar, Slate Range Hotel, Nigger Tent and Mountain House, where we took dinner. P.M. pass through Goodyrs Bar. Arrive at our destination before dark. Put up at the Reis Hotel.
July 23 – Today we came up the East Fork of the Yuba River, where we found Jim Chamberlain and Francis Patridge about 10 am. P.M. we went up to Empire Ranch and found Mr. Hunt and Rube Chamberlain. I stay at Empire Ranch.
July 26 – This morn at 7 o’clock started for Strawberry Valley. Took dinner at Slate Range House about 1 pm. Crossed Yuba up stream from mouth of Slate Creek. Arrived home about 5 o’clock.
July 27 – Today is pleasant and a cool breeze. A man died last night at the house of B? R? Spilman. Is to be buried this P.M. Saw the stranger (James Young) decently buried, all were willing to assist.
July 30 – Today took a trip to N.Y. Flat to see about tire iron. Went on to Ohio Flat where I found the boys taking out the oro. Eve., called on Purdy and Thomas Stephens.
July 31 – Today is very warm again. I called on Sparks – from thence to Forbestown. Took dinner at Watson’s Hotel.
Aug. 9 – Warm as usual. Working on the dam. Bought the oxen for the boys. Concert by Kelly this evening at Columbus House.
Aug. 11 – Commenced building bridge. One of my oxen was taken sick.
Aug. 12 – Pasley and I drew boards with oxen, out of the woods. Attended the Circus at Columbus House tonight.
Aug. 13 – Drawing and piling boards this forenoon. P.M. making bridge. Broke the yoke on Broad and D. The ox died this afternoon.
Aug 19 – Today took lumber from Corys over to Lost Creek for Chas. Fry and Co. Ed. Norris and lady went to Brownsville.
Sept. 13 – Warm. Sawing logs for the mill. Evening attended a meeting for the organization of a Fillmore Club. Elected delegates to convention.
Sept. 21 – Looks like rain. Was obliged to wash some shirts and socks.
Sept. 26 – Cutting logs as usual. The boys are working on the log wagon, having broken it yesterday.
Oct. 1 – Today have discharged the duties of cook in the absence of Palsey, he having gone below.
Oct. 26 – This morn went to S. Valley loaded with provisions for Moore’s diggings. I went with Cusick and Spencer for the purpose of viewing the country.
Oct. 27 – After a night with the Irish Co. at Moore’s diggings, we return home. Went to Town this eve. (Forbestown).
Nov. 4 – This is the great day of the Election of Chief Magistrate of the U.S.A. Fillmore ahead on this Township. J. Lewis and G.S.W. Twogood run about even for Constables.
Nov. 6 – Very frosty and cold this morn. Chopping and sawing lumber for sluice. Purchased Shakespeare’s complete works of Samuel Lorentus Cole for the sum of $8.00.
Nov. 9 – Pasley and myself went to Eagleville and called on Sooy’s people. Went to Strawberry Valley, found that Buchanan was far ahead of Fillmore.
Nov. 23 – Jones Hotel, Bangor – This morn, feeling much better. I continue my journey on foot to Brownsville. Passed through Hansonville, saw Mrs. Hanson’s Sister. Arrive at Brownsville at 11 o’clock.
Nov. 26 – This morn fair after a windy freezing night. Went to Lost Creek. Took dinner at Youlen’s, then served Summons on A. Pollard at his Residence. Took supper at Oro Lewa. Staying overnight at Wordens.
Nov. 29 – Fair after snowing about 12 inches. Dr. Pollard did not appear before the Justice, and judgement was rendered against him.
Dec. 2 – Today, we hear news of the election of James Buchanan for President. Much money will change hands, on bets.
Dec. 3 – Weather fair but cold. Partly agreed to teach school for Spillman. Eve., the Mail came. Rec’d letters from P.P.S., Sister Dilia and my good Mother. They are well.
Dec. 8 – This morn served Summons and Attachments on Mr. Booker of Bamboo Bar on the Yuba River. P.M., called on Mrs. Buck for our shirts.
Dec. 13 – Went to Town at noon. Found Townsend there, open for a trade. Cory and I bought the ranch for $200.00
Dec. 15 – I find myself in Town, preparing for a start to our Ranch, near Beaver Ranch. (below Brownsville).
Dec. 17 – Rained all night. Bartlett and I went to Ranch. Found a man making rails. Cory did not come as expected.
Dec. 18 – We hunted hogs till noon. P.M. butchered two hogs and got them in the house.
Dec. 25 – This morn is fair. Christmas. Todd, Townsend, Bartlett and myself are cutting and splitting rails for fencing. Party at Evins tonight (Frenchtown). We do not attend.
Dec. 27 – This my 28th Birthday and a snowy day it is.
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler.
BACK TO NUGGETS INDEX PAGE