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.]


Jan. 10 - On the Tenth of January in the year of our Lord, 1867, I purchased this Book in Forbestown of W. D. C. Gaskill for the purpose of keeping a sort of journal. Nothing worthy of note except the separation of H. Beckham and his wife. Last night had a letter from my friend Adeline who is in San Jose.
Jan. 13 - Today, I took a sleigh ride up to Independence Mill. Took Mrs. Smith up. We dined with her sister and returned to Strawberry, then attended a little singing. Snow is about two feet in depth.
Jan. 16 - Today I go to New York House via Mount Hope [he is delivering meat for Emerson]. I get home about dark. I wrote a letter to my absent friend Adeline, for her husband Charlie.
Jan. 19 - Rainy as usual on the day of our Lodge meeting. Eve., we initiated, Mrs. A. Smith, Mr. Bup and Mr. Goodrich.
Jan. 21 - The rain fall fast all day. I know well how to appreciate it as I am in all the storms of the season. Eve., I return from a trip to N. Y. House.
Jan. 31 - This morn Emerson went to Woodville on business. I remain at home doing chores and making out Bills. Freezing quite hard, which will let me go up country in the sleigh tomorrow.
Feb. 5 - I go up Road again with sleigh. Mrs. Emerson goes up with me. I let all the little folks ride.
Feb. 10 - Sunday - This morn is fine, would go take a sleigh ride if twas not so far to snow. My friend's Elliott have the Degree of Fidelity conferred upon them.
Mar. 3 - I go to Eagleville with beef to supply the hungry people.
Mar. 8 - Mrs. Sanbourn was married to Joshua Stafford yesterday by Youlen, Esq.
Mar. 30 - I start down road with Theodore Bedell. He takes my place peddling beef during my absence in Marysville.
Apr. 2 - Elliots folks and I start for Marysville in their lumber wagon. We find it rough traveling. We get to Marysville about 9 pm.
Apr. 3 - This morn I go to the Appeal Office to have Invitations to the Woodville Ball run. Run about town nearly all day.
Apr. 14 - Eve. I am again at Strawberry Valley. Quite an excitement prevails, regarding the dance at Chamberlains Saloon, by Hurdy-Gurdy girls.
Apr. 17 - Today went Road with beef. Went to the Shingle Mill, Sharrer's folks moved below to Union Mill. Eve., Carrie Fogle rode up with me.
Apr. 29 - I start for N.Y. House. I find Mr. Huscroft ________________ with me - will probably take my place at Emersons _____________ business.
May 1 - Eve., I attend the Ball. Mrs. Elliott is my partner. All the beauty of the neighborhood can be found at Woodville Ball.
May 6 - Today I am at "Home" again, my old home at Elliott Ranch. Hope I shall at least be able to pay my grub.
May 13 - Peeling bark is the order of the day.
May 24 - Anniversary Ball at Forbestown tonight. Charlie goes over to Forbestown, while prepare the team to take Mrs. Cartland, Mrs. Elliott, and Mrs. Kelley to the Ball. Ball goes on finely.
June 9 - Charlie and I go up to meet with members of the Fidelity Degree. Eve., the Excelsior Society Meets. They expel Thomas Larrimer. I read select piece on the "Effects of Gambling."
July 3 - I chore about home. Doc Wolfe got badly hurt by getting entangled in a belt in the tannery machinery.
July 5 - This morn after a fine Ball at Cartland's, Oro Lewa we all feel the effects of dancing.
July 13 - Today we work near the House. Find the trees peel well. Eve., we go up to Lodge. Take tea at Mrs. Bedells.
July 17 - We finish bark peeling.
July 28 - I finish my writing for the Office of Sec. of Alpine Lodge. Adeline sends a correction to her letter to Rescue.
Aug. 3 - Very warm. Packard dined with us.
Aug. 4 to Oct. 29 - no entries.
Oct. 30 - Today I drove from Beaver Ranch to Marysville, where I find myself this evening running about town looking for freight for the mountains.
Oct. 31 - This morn, I make a sale of my load of tallow and then I hunt for freight again, find some for La Porte. Mr. Wimple and I load for that place, but not in time to leave tonight.
Nov. 1 - This morn we leave about 8 o'clock, we make fair time to Laundermans.
Nov. 2 - We make an early start, but progress slowly, as we are heavily loaded. [each has a wagon] Eve., we find ourselves at Beaver Ranch. We dined at Willow Glen, kept by Morse.
Nov.3 - Today we make fair time. Elliott meets me at Kellogg Bend and relieves me of one wagon.
Nov. 4 - Today we start late. Dine at Strawberry Valley, where I call on several of my acquaintances. Eve., we put up at Winthrop House.
Nov. 5 - Looks like rain as we start on our way. About 11 o'clock the rain falling fast. Eve., we are back at Winthrop House, in storm.
Nov. 6 - P.M. we hitch up and drive to Strawberry Valley through a hard storm.
Nov. 7 - This morn I load up some freight at D & D's store for Marysville. Dined at home [Elliott's]. Eve., stopped at Beaver Ranch.
Nov. 17 - This morn I start for Marysville with a load of rosin for S. F. I dine at Brownsville. Eve., I stop at Willow Glen.
Nov. 25 - Today I start for Marysville, with my load of Turpentine. I have the "Blue" the worst way, but hope they will leave me forever soon. I pay Knox $60.00 borrowed of him two weeks ago. Eve., I get to Willow Glen.
Nov. 28 - Thanksgiving Day. Cole and I start for Thomas's Ranch near Chico where we will work at plowing.
Dec. 31 - This is the last day of the year 1867, and a rainy one it is. Here on a ranch near Chico and Butte Creek, are several old Bachelors, lying off from plowing, while the rain falls in torrents and the wind howls. But fortunately for those same old Bach's, they have a good fire place to sit by, filled with plenty of wood, and makes all comfortable as may be. I have been writing to my sister Melinda today and I hope to get an immediate answer. In the year 1868 just coming in, I hope to have better luck and live a temperate life, and live honorable in sight of all mankind.


Jan. 1 - 1869 This New Years morning the snow falls fast. I'm feeling "Smart" having a muster plaster on my side to draw inflamation from my liver. I am spending rather dull holidays. The weather is gloomy, and my being unable to work, contributes wonderfully to the "Blues." I'm at E. A. Emersons [Strawberry Valley] where I'm enjoying the hospitality of the family. They are extremely kind to me, for which I'm sincerely grateful.
Jan. 5 - This morn is clear and cold. I start for Indiana Ranch. P.M. rest a short time at New York House. Arrive at Ranch, find Dr. Allen, return to N.Y. House, very tired.
Jan. 16 - Elliotts Ranch. This morn I start for Strawberry Valley again. I get to Emersons about 12:20. I call on Miss Cassie and attend Lodge in eve.
Jan. 17 - I take leave of my good friends. Cap Emerson family and start down the road for Elliotts, my old home. Prindle came down with me from Clipper.
Jan. 18 - This morn I commence housework. Chas. Elliott been letting things go at loose ends in the kitchen. So much to do out side.
Jan. 21 - I'm feeling tolerably for an invalid. P.M. I visit and take tea with Varney's folks.
Jan. 30 - Chas. works at mining. Too stormy to go to Lodge, 6 miles off.
Feb. 6 - Evening. I'm at Strawberry, where I meet with the Lodge. Rode up from Ives Ranch with Monroe in sleigh. Have good Lodge meeting.
Feb. 7 - I start home, snow overtakes me and I stop at Ives & Bridges Ranch for the night.
Feb. 8 - Still it storms, snow and rain. About 10 a.m. it abates and I start for home - dine at Cartlands. I get home at 2 p.m. I got medicine from Smith's, Forbestown.
Feb 14 - Clear and beautiful this morn. New fallen snow sparkles in the face of Old Sol. Eve., Brown comes home with Chas., stops with us all night and entertains us with his yarns.
Feb. 16 - Pleasant. Heuscroft trades his interest in Claim for a watch.
Feb. 17 - Today, Joe soon satisfies himself that the cash is not in the Claim. Heuscroft vaccinated Goodrich and myself. I trade watches with Heuscroft. Send my Bros. verses to Rescue for publication.
Feb. 22 - Is cold. I pack my things preparatory to moving to Forbestown. This is the Anniversary of the Birth of the Father of this Country. People in Forbestown celebrated it by dancing. Charlie is probably at the dance.
Feb. 25 - Today we load nearly the last load of goods and chattels - dine at Woodville. Eve., we are in Forbestown, where Charlie and his folks are going to live when they come from Vt.
Feb. 26 - Five months today since I was taken with chills. Charlie and I go to Claim - rough looking place. Mr. Russel called here.
Feb. 28 - Sun. Charlie meets with the Lodge of G.L.'s this afternoon. Eve., fine. We attend church - sermon by Rev. Roberts of Oroville.
Mar. 1 - Is cloudy. We haul wood. Charlie starts home to Clipper with team. Eve., he returns. I write letter for him to his wife.
Mar. 4 - There is bunting flying in town, as this is the day set apart for the inauguration of our President elect - Ulysses S. Grant. Charlie trims fruit tree and I work at firewood.
Mar. 5 - Cloudy calm spring day in Forbestown. Joe Brown comes to Forbestown. He loans me $10.00. Eve., I'm at Woodville, on my way to Alpine Lodge #226 at Strawberry.
Mar. 8 - It's fine. I feel old from yesterdays walk home. Charlie gets water in from the pipes into the house.
Mar. 16 - Cool. At 9 o'clock a.m. I start with my household goods for my new home on Carlton Ravine, where I hope to make some money.
Mar. 19 - Rain and wind. Charlie comes over to work. I do the cooking. Eve., I'm alone, but have Brother's Bible to read besides the Sac. Union, which are company.
Mar. 24 - Fair most of the day. Charlie works in the cut again. I work on Reservoir.
Mar. 27 - Is fine. I finish Reservoir. Eve., I go to town.
Apr. 1 - All Fools Day. Weather fair, but high wind. Charlie and I move our pipe this P.M.
Apr. 3 - Is fine. I'm weak - can hardly climb the hill from Claim to Cabin. Charlie cleans up a "pit" - no pay.
Apr. 8 - Is cool. Larkin and Ellis were here. We all went to the Claim. Larkin showed Charlie all he knew about claim.
Apr. 11 - Is beautiful day. Mr. Russel and I walk to Brownsville. Had Sabbath School and pleasant time generally.
Apr. 12 - Is fine. Gaskill and wife and others called on Mrs. Knox who starts east tomorrow.
Apr. 15 - Is fine. Mr. Knox works on the road with his team. I keep house.
Apr. 17 - Is rainy till near noon. I leave Brownsville for Forbestown. I pass thro a part of country that was familiar to me in '56 - Ohio and New York Flats, Odd Fellows Ravine and Jones' Ranch, now owned by Liebhausers.
Apr. 22 - I get my things from Claim on Carlton Ravine and start for Willow Glen. Ride with Safford.
Apr. 24 - Is fine. I ride to Dr. Allens and get medicine and return to W. Glen.
Apr. 26 - Start from Willow Glen for Forbestown. Morse is anxious for me to take the Sharon Valley School. Wetmore says I can have it.
May 5 - Is fine. I go to Brownsville and find Mr. Knox quite sick. I remain with him.
May 6 - Is fine. Knox is better but weak. I was up all night with him. P.M. I go to Forbestown - get letter from Melinda. Charlie Elliot is about to sell everything out to Brown. Eve., I wrote the Board of Supervisors for Knox, in relation to regulating Toll at Willow Glen Gate.
May 8 - I put up the mail for Marysville Stage. Eve., Rummeny sits up with Knox first part of the night. At 12:30 a.m. I get up and watch until morn.
May 11 - Is warm. I hive bees, after making hives ready for them. Mr. Knox is better.
May 15 - Is warmer, but nice breeze. John Beever and I haul hay again. Knox is getting well fast.
May 16 - Is fine. Attend church. Gospel preached by Rev. Roberts - Text - "The wages of sin is Death," Romans 6:23. Wrote Melinda and McClains folks. P.M. we have Sabbath School.
May 18 - Is fine. I haul wood with colts and repair road below Stewart's.
May 19 - Is looking stormy. A wedding takes place at 10 o'clk. Mr. John Roberts and Miss Lucinda Townsend. P.M. after a fine dinner and dispensing the wedding cake, Roberts took leave of the guests for his new home at Greenville.
May 28 - Is fine. We go and survey Dowd's Ranch - Johnson, Surveyor.
June 2 - I go over road with scraper as far as Woodville House. Very warm.
June 8 - Is fine. I have a race after a Bull, finally get him home. Eve., I am tired. I do some writing for Knox.
June 21 - I commence hauling hay from Dowd Ranch to the Willow Glen barn.
June 7 - Am better. Weigh only 127 lbs. Weather warm.
July 9 - Is cool and pleasant. Have settlement with Knox - $49.50 due me.
July 10 - Is cool. I go up to Strawberry Valley, dine at Woodville. Eve., take tea at Gibson's, after which I attend Lodge.
July 11 - Is cool. I breakfast at Columbus House, after staying at Emerson's overnight. Eve., I stop with Ives and Bridges.
July 12 - I go to Yuba River and hire out to Hall and Wallace, to cook for their hands.
July 21 - I still keep cooking. This is the Butcher Day. Ralph comes late with beef. I send letter to J. H. East.
July 22 - Is warm. I'm still cooking. Made pies, first of my pastry work. They are good if I did make them.
Aug. 8 - We have Degree Meeting at Strawberry. I dine at Emerson's. Eve., back to the river - Condemned Bar again.
Aug. 11 - Is still warm. Had chicken dinner. This day ends one month. Hall pays me $40.00.
Aug. 16 - All go to work except Kimball who gets paid off and leaves for the Road.
Sep. 2 - Is rather rainy - plenty water to run the wheel.
Sep. 22 - Is fine. John Cohen is paid off and leaves this morn. P.M. I get paid off. The diggings are not dry enough to work so many men.
Sept. 23 - Is fine. I start for Brandy City, which I reach about noon. Rather pretty mining camp. P.M. I call on and consult Mrs. Van Reusseler a Doctress of Brandy City. She is a very intelligent lady and understands medicine. She prescribes for me and writes explicit directions for taking her medicine.
Sept. 24 - Is fine. I leave B. City at 7 a.m. arrive at Condemned Bar at 11 o'clock and pack my bed for Clipper and go by China Jim. P.M. I think of visiting Pratt at Mississippi Bar. Eve., I'm at Miss. Bar and I stop with Pratt, Acorn and Sidlinger.
Sept. 25 - I go to Clipper Mills in company with Geo. Hall thence to Strawberry with Monroe. Eve., we have good meeting in Lodge.
Sept. 27 - Is pleasant. Visiting Committee, consisting of Bros. Harvey, Twogood, and Berry and Sisters Lucy Beckham and Susan Varney visit Bro. Clippenger in Forbestown, in his affliction - a broken leg. We dined at Dowds, called on Gaskills folks and returned to our respective homes later.
Sept. 30 - Is windy. I slept at Pratt's store at Clipper.
Oct. 4 - Is fine. I start for Forbestown and find that David Clippenger died. I return to Strawberry and give notice of funeral to take place at 2 P.M. tomorrow Oct. 5.
Oct. 11 - Clipper Mills. Peter Cornell starts for Oroville. I stop here to tend business on the outside until he returns.
Oct. 18 - Is cool. I walk to Varneys. Eve., rain falls at 9 o'clock.
Oct. 21 - Is pleasant. Mrs. Varney washes and I have quite a time getting water. Flour came for Varney from Bidwell's Mill.
Oct. 22 - Is beautiful after the hard rain. Eve., we have a dance at Cornell's.
Oct. 23 - Is beautiful. I'm at Varney's yet. Susie came home in the stage from the Party.
Oct. 24 - Is cool and pleasant. Mrs. and Miss Varney and myself call at Pratt's, dine with them - then call at Sharrer's.
Oct. 25 - Is cool. I go to Clipper to make arrangements for team to take folks to Strawberry to a party.
Oct. 26 - Is cool and clear. Eve., Mrs. Varney, Susan, Miss Clara Parlin, Turner and myself attend dance at Columbia House. Have a good time.
Oct. 28 - Is fine. Eve., Ben Berry calls to visit our Susan. I retire early. Susan is serving at Cartlands.
Oct. 29 - Is fine. Miss Susan and myself attend Lodge. Elect Officers.
Oct. 30 - Fine. Susan and I remain at Strawberry until after dinner [lunch]. Return to Varney's - I take Goodrich's horse home.
Nov. 1 - Is fine. Joshua and Mary go to Clipper to work. Eve., am with Susan alone.
Nov. 6 - Is fine. I work for Cartland. Miss Susan and I go to the Lodge. Stop at Columbus House for the night.
Nov. 7 - Is fine. We ride home via Yuba River Road.
Nov. 16 - I work for Cartland, finished the last run.
Nov. 18 - Is beautiful. Thanksgiving Day. I feel like giving thanks for the privilige of enjoying the society of one who seems near and dear to me. Evening we attend a Dance at Bangor, after which we retrace our steps, where we were well cared for at Willow Glen, after such a pleasant "moonlight ride."
Nov. 19 - Is beautiful. We dine at Knoxes on our return to Varney's Ranch. Eve., we sit and talk awhile before retiring.
Nov. 20 - Susan is working too hard (serving at Cartland's) but we go to the Lodge.
Nov. 23 - Is cold. I watch, very reluctantly, the departure of Susan and the folks for Scales Diggings.
Dec. 1 - Very windy. P.M. I get Susan's letter which was delayed at Clipper.
Dec. 3 - Is beautiful. Josh came, brought me a letter from Susan, how good too.
Dec. 5 - Is pleasant. I go to Scales Diggings. Am enjoying a good visit.
Dec. 6 - Is fine. We have a dance this evening. I enjoy it much. Would enjoy a visit more.
Dec. 7 - Looks like a storm. Josh and I come to the ranch. I left very reluctantly.
Dec. 12 - Josh and I ride out toward Empire Hill after hogs. Eve., engaged in writing to Susan.
Dec. 16 - Finished plowing and sow wheat this p.m. First ground I ever sow in Calif.
Dec. 23 - Cold. Snow falls on frozen ground. P.M. I go to Strawberry.
Dec. 25 - Is stormy, took dinner at Peter Cornell's.
Dec. 27 - This is the anniversary of the day on which I was born. Received a dear good letter from Susan, which I will consider a Birthday present.
Dec. 28 - I came to Marysville with Varney's horses.
Dec. 31 - I ride up to Brownsville where I dine, thence to Varney's Ranch.

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler.