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. 1 - Is raining on about 4 inches of snow. We have a quiet New Year. This is the Day commencing the Centienial, so much talked about the last two years. It is hopeful there will be, in the next hundred years, an improvement in the state of Society, especially as regards Temperance.
Jan. 13 - I am quite lame - I go to Clipper. Eve. I have the Needles applied by my Wife. I got them of Mrs. Parsons.
Jan. 15 - The neddles has some effect upon me, but the punctures did not come out in every shot with the instrument. Eve, my wife puts mustard on my leg, which warms up.
Jan. 16 - I am quite sore and lame, but think I am on the mend. James Doherty milks the cow for me and brings water for my wife, which kindness is duly appreciated by us both.
Jan. 20 - Is cold and snow falls by fits and starts. I walked to the old barn down to the old Barker (Elliot) place.
Jan. 24 - Josh Varney went to meet Morse (the Stage). There is no road through the snow till Josh passed down on his way to Forbestown. Eve., the stage gets to Woodville about dark, and Morse stops here all night. The hog drovers stop here, Woodville, all night with 200 hogs.
Jan. 29 - The stage went up today, when it should have gone down. Mr. Butterfield and Miss Ida Pratt called on us. Miss Caddie Pratt also. I hurt my nose very severely with a stick of stove-wood. I read from the Life of Christ, which I have been reading of late, during the storm.
Feb. 19 - Is plesant - I go to Strawberry - took my first trip on snowshoes. Harvey Clark loaned me his. Eve., we meet in Lodge.
Mar. 10 - Is snowing while the sun shines. I get to Oro Lewa and find there is a girl baby in the Adams family. I return home with the handsled, which Mr. Worden and I have been repairing. Kimball came down with Stage-sleigh and Hileman came up with Stage wagon.
Mar. 19 - Sleigh got to Strawberry - could not get to La Porte, this trip. Snow has been 9 - 10 feet deep here in Strawberry. Wife and boy and I dine at Emerson's.
Apr. 13 - Is cool. I make brakeblocks - 8 pair. The Wilsons left the neighborhood and Gus Bean followed his wife to get his child.
Apr. 15 - Wife and I with our child, walk over to Mt. Hope (now Sam Grubbs place) on our way to Forbestown. We get to Cartlands about noon.
Apr. 17 - I write up the Records of the Cartland family in a beautiful fifteen dollar bible. P.m. I bid adeau to my folks and return to Woodville.
Apr. 30 - Pat Cunningham informed me that "Puss" the cow I took to Beever Ranch has a calf, but they can not find it.
May 1 - I start for Beever Ranch after the cow. I got to the Picnic ground near the Monitor Mill where I find many Willow Glen neighbors. P.M. I start for Brownsville with cow and no calf. Eve., after many sore trials driving the beast I reach Brownsville very tired.
May 2 - I take the cow home. P.M. I am very tired. Eve. when I go to milk the cow I find she is gone.
May 3 - I take a thorough hunt for the cow, but do not find her. P.M. I go to Brownsville, and on my way back find her within a mile of home. Eve I'm very tired.
May 8 - Toll collecting commences - wife tends the gate while I work at my blocks south of the house.
May 23 - Is windy. Eve, I go up to see Mr. Worden, who got hurt by the running away with him of his horses. Probably, owing to his advanced age, it will be the cause of his death.
May 25 - Today is fine. Eve I watch with Mr. Worden - he is very seriously hurt. Wife went to Sharrer's to do some dress fitting.
Jun. 3 - Mr. Worden is some better. Mrs. Cartland has been with him. She is a good friend and a No. 1 nurse.
Jun. 9 - People in Forbestown and vicinity are going to the Circus at Oroville by the wagon-load.
Jun. 30 - We clean house. Very warm. We sleep on the floor.
Jul. 1 - Very warm again. We are putting things right again in the house.
Jul. 4 - The Centennial Year of our Lord 1876. Eve, we are celebrating at Schultz's Hotel in Clipper Mills, by dancing.
Jul. 24 - I attend the funeral of John Johnson of Forbestown. A large attendance was there. Sermon by Rev. Rhodes.
Jul. 27 - We attend the Centennial Entertainment at Brownsville, for the benefit of the Parsonage of that place.
Aug. 28 - We hear that "Cap" Smith is dead. P.M. we hold an inquest on the case. I. E. Brown, J. P. acting Coroner. I act in the capacity as clerk. Deceased has probably been dead over a week. He has no relatives in this State. He is supposed to have been 65 years of age.
Sept. 18 - I make blocks till noon - then I put in 5 pairs for different teamsters.
Oct. 30 - Frost this morning. We hear of the drowning of Mr. Ramsdell on Feather River last Friday. Peace to his ashes - he was a good man and neighbor. We sympatize with the bereave wife and son.
Nov. 8 - My Wife and boy go up to Strawberry with Horton. Wife goes to sew for Mrs. Emerson on her new machine. I commence laying tongue and groove lumber for floor.
Nov. 29 - Is fine. Got my Beef for the winter, yesterday.
End of 1876 Diary.


Woodville Toll Gate
Jan. 4 - Is fine. I get lumber for building a decent privy. Lyman Howes, is helping me some.
Jan. 7 - Is warm. Wife, Eddie and myself go to the funeral of little Ralph Schultz. Eve, we are visiting at Mrs. Parsons, Clipper Mills.
Jan. 12 - Is very windy all day, nearly a gale, and the dust flies; no rain having fallen for about two months.
Jan. 17 - Is snowing quite fast. Octavia Pratt called on us this morn. McIntosh came down with cattle - paid me $10.00 interest on mony loaned him last Dec., a year ago.
Jan. 25 - Is pleasant. I approach the Death-bed of father Varney the first time and I find him considerably emaciated. Mary (J. A. Varney's wife) is doing all she can for the poor old man. He has lived over his allotted time - three score years and ten.
Jan. 28 - Has appearance of an approaching storm. Rain has been falling slowly ever since my return from Forbestown, where I took the first Degree in Masonry.
Jan. 29 - P.M., we have all witnessed the final dissolution - father Varney is no more. He expired at 11 1/2 o'clock a.m. today - passed away very easily to the realms above. I offer terms in regard to the settlement of our past difficulties, between the Twogood and the Varney families which I hope may be accepted at this solemn time.
Feb. 21 - Clear again. Eve., I go up to Josh's and do the chores, first in a long while. Susie and Eddie go with me. Dr. Mansfield left here this morn. Sat up with Lillie Wetmore who had a severe spell yesterday.
Mar. 13 - I work at my blocks (making brake-blocks for wagons). Eve., I milk cows for Mary. Josh is gone to haul lumber for chinaman.
Mar. 19 - Is warm. The Schultz's baby was buried at the Strawberry burying ground. Eve., fine. The Emersons, Prindles and Twogoods call at the Columbus House. Miss Myra is suffering from a toothache and could not play for us.
Mar. 25 - Is fine. My wife and Eddie are at her Brother's where she is keeping house while Mary is away. We slept at J. A. Varney's all night - first time since the reconciliation.
Mar. 27 - I work for Josh in forenoon. About 1 o'clock we hear that "Old Dick" Richard Tennyson, Kelly's cook has kill himself by cutting his throat with a razor. Eve is all excitement with Maggie Kelly. I. E. Brown the J. P. was sent for but was absent from home. Yowler was sent for, who came, and the following men were chosen as Jury to sit on the case of Old Dick; J. D. Worden, Edwin Adams, Samuel Thurston, Joseph Kirby, John Willy and G. S. W. Twogood.
Mar. 28 - Is cooler. We put the suicide in his coffin and the acting Coroner takes charge of it for burial in the Strawberry Valley cemetery.
April 1 - Is Easter and "All Fool's Day". Josh's wife, Miss Wetmore and Lyman Howes were here to dine, and we had a good visit.
Apr. 23 - Cold and disagreeable north wind. This afternoon wife made a barrel of soft soap from concentrated Lye and grease. Eve. Eddie has severe cold.
Apr. 30 - Josh goes up to D. S. Mill for lumber to haul to the River for J. Pratt. I am gardening or getting ready. P.M. I went to Clipper. I subscribed $10.00 to the construction of a Telegraph line from Oroville to La Porte. Boyce Bros. came out from Scales with their gold dust for the S.F. Mint. I rode home with Leach.
May 6 - Is cool. Wind blows from the south for the first time in many days. Al Horton, Mrs. Emerson and Lizzie Beckham went to Forbestown. I got a hat there by them. I went to church but the minister did not come to fill his appointment. Toney Leibhauser was buried today in Forbestown.
May 14 - Is cloudy. I chore about. About 4 p.m. Charlie Adams comes down and informs us of the injury of his Grandfather Worden by the running away of his team. Eve., Packard and I stop with Mr. Worden, to do what we can to alleviate his sufferings.
May 15 - About 5 o'clock Packard and I carried the old gentleman over to Adams. Eight o'clock the old gentleman died as easy as possible for any person to do. He is at rest from all worldly care and toil. Peace to his ashes. He was over four score years old.
May 28 - Is raining. I drove to Challenge Mill and Souths, for Horton, with beef, he not being well. Eve. still stormy.
Jun. 5 - Is warm. Mr. Knox was up to Strawberry; and Mrs. Peter Knox, who accompanied, called with him.
June 11 - The Sun scorching hot and the wind northerly.
June 14 - Is pleasant. My Insurance Company, the St. Louis Mutual, has become insolvent and is in the hands of the Receivers.
July 2 - I make brake-blocks and do the chores for Mary, as her girls are both gone.
July 4 - Is cool and cloudy. Boyce and family came out from Scales yesterday. Lyman Howes came and dined with us and goes to attend a dance at Columbus House tonight. We have enjoyed the day in a quiet way at home.
July 10 - Tuesday, wash day with us this week.
July 21 - Is showery. Eve., Capt. Emerson and myself ride over to Forbestown to Lodge. Return about one o'clock.
Aug. 3 - Quite a number go to the Ball at Feeney's.
Aug. 20 - Is warm. Eddie is very feverish. Eve., I get uneasy and send for Dr. Mansfield. Mary is sick too. Eleven o'clock Mansfield arrives. We did nothing out of the way in the treatment of Eddie's case, so the Dr. says.
Sept. 2 - Is very warm. Eve., Mary came down to stay with us for the night. Eddie rests very nicely.
Sept. 7 - Is warm again. We are nearly worn out, but its alright if ----------[cut off] are well.
Sept. 10 - I send for the Doctor for my wife, as she has a clear case of Erysipelas. Mary comes down and stops with us, is very kind.
Sept. 14 - Is rather warm. Eddie is dressed for the first time in about 4 weeks. Wife is more comfortable today.
Sept. 24 - Pleasant. I send a blanket to LaPorte for Ice to be used on the occasion of a little affair which comes off at Madison House. We wash and air some of the bed clothing used while Eddie was sick.
Oct. 13 - I return home, leaving wife and boy at Strawberry. The Concert and Ball was no humbug, on the contrary it was well worth all it cost.
Oct. 16 - Is fine. The day on which Mr. Butterfield and Miss Ida Pratt are to be made one. Eve., my wife burned her hand severely with hot lard.
Oct. 24 - Is pleasant. I am informed of my Policy of Insurance being at Clipper Mills. Expected sooner but there was some delay on account of my examination by a Physician who had no diploma; Dr. Mansfield.
Oct. 28 - Is cold and windy. My wife and boy and Lizzie Beckham have gone to dine at Varney's Ranch. I stay at home to collect tolls.
Nov. 4 - I go to Clipper after fixing the fence against hogs. I get a new hat for Eddie and myself of Harvey Clark, the new Merchant.
Dec. 22 - Snow falls enough to make the roofs of buildings white. Toll collecting ceases today for the season. Eve. we are getting all our presents in readiness for the Christmas Tree at Pine Grove House. We have over 50 presents all told.
Dec. 24 - Is cloudy with some snow. Eve. I am at the Pine Grove House, where I see the first Christmas Tree with the presents on, during my life.
Dec. 25 - Is cloudy. We feel sleepy after a good time at Santa Claus' Entertainment last night, where the old fellow dealt out presents quite lavishly; and he did not slight the Twogood family as we had 41 presents all told. Pretty good for one family of three.

1878  Woodville Toll Gate

Jan. 2 - Is fine. I go to the pounding barrel and help wash. Eve. cold.
Jan. 10 - Is fine after a stormy night of wind and rain. I go to the Challenge Mill with J. A. Varney after Hay.
Jan. 12 - I go to Challenge Mill according to an agreement with Mr. Hankins made on Thursday. I dine at Challenge, where I take a good look at the immense quantities of lumber by the side of a Balloon shaped railroad track one third of a mile in length. P.M. I return home on foot having left my horse for Mr. Hankins to ride up.
Feb. 14 - Storming very fast and snow accumulating. McClain came up from Forbestown via Challenge Mill. P.M. J. Varney came to Kelly's after hay with sleigh.
Mar. 6 - Is rainy after a rainy night. I work at ceiling with Varney. Eve., I return home. While we are eating supper the rain ceases and it is starry, and the moon, now three days old lies on its back.
Apr. 11 - Is pleasant. I feel rather better but not well. Morse brought me hair dressing from Oroville. I hear of the burning of Chinatown in Clipper Mills.
Apr. 21 - Is cloudy in morn, but pleasant toward noon. P.M. we consign to the Tomb all that is mortal of Samuel Thurston Jr., at the age of 16 yrs. 6 mos. and 9 days. He was a promising young man to die of Pneumonia.
Apr. 30 - Tomorrow is the first of May, a day many are looking forward to with anticipation of a gay time; at the Ball at the Challenge Mill. I commence the toll collecting today, but my receipts are blank.
May 1 - The day comes in beautiful, and our little boy is very anxious to go to his Aunt Mary's, where he will spend the time while we are at the Ball. P.M. Horton and Mrs. Prindle and daughter come down to go in company with us to the Ball.
May 3 - Is beautiful. Wife is feeling better after a good nights sleep. Mrs. Perry and Stickum go below. Welcome Snow came along after a thief who robbed him of his clothes, money and other things.
May 20 - Is rainy. We hear of the death of Miss Maggie McCarty - to be buried in the Forbestown Cemetery tomorrow. The Faus family were also visited by the grive Messenger and Mrs. Charlie Faus who has been blind for 2 or 3 years died suddenly on Saturday last.
June 11 - Is pleasant summer weather. Washing is the order. Joe Payton married to Miss Falkner last night in Forbestown.
June 12 - Is fine but warm. Stage driver brot me a hat.
July 1 - Is quite warm. P.M. I go to Clipper. I bring Lizzie Sharrer's canary-bird, hoping it may improve the song of Mrs. Twogood's. Mr. McGinty is here, I put in brake blocks for him.
July 3 - Is a fine cool day. Tomorrow the great 4th of July, is to be appropriately observed by the people of Forbestown, where there is to be a Pic-Nic in the afternoon and two dances at night. There is to be a Ball at Feeney's and one at Kingdon's, Dry Creek.
July 18 - We hear the sad news of Sierra McNair's death. How sad for the aged parents, who lose their only child. But we must submit to the call when ever it comes.
July 30 - Is warm again. Stage was robbed near American House. D. E. Berry, driver. Amount taken supposed to be $3000.
Aug. 6 - Is fine. We wash. The Robbers of Chinamen and the Stage have been sent to Quincy for trial.
Aug. 11 - Is very warm. I attend the funeral of an old and esteemed friend - father Albert of Brownsville. He was in his 76 year.
Sept. 6 - Is warm during the day. Eve we all go to the Exhibition and Ball at Schultz's Pine Grove House.
Sept. 10 - My wife received hair switch from LaPorte - Mrs. Rixon. Horton went to Brownsville to get a tooth extracted - he took two ladies with him to hold his head, I suppose, and why not?
Sept. 21 - Pleasant. Emanuel Gomez who was killed by a saw-log Thursday was buried today at Brownsville. Mrs. Shroder died near Ryant's Mill night before last.
Sept. 22 - Is fine. We hear of the death of Mrs. Taylor at Sugar Loaf, on the night of the 20th inst. Death is doing its work.
Sept. 28 - Clear and frosty in the morn. P.M. is rainy and prevents our attending a surprise party at Adams', gotten up for Gulick the teacher, as he leaves this school, just closed, for one on the Honcut.
Oct. 2 - Is pleasant. Mrs. Prindle came down with Horton on her way to Brownsville to see Mrs. Knox regarding her daughters living with Mrs. Knox while going to the Knoxdale Institute.
Oct. 7 - Is fine. I made blocks. Mr. Falck is to be the Proprietor of the Woodville House - the purchase is made.
Oct. 8 - Is warm but pleasant. Mr. & Mrs. Knox and Mr. and Mrs. Birmingham go over to Jamison City to see the new road - to accept the job.
Oct. 24 - Is rather windy. Mr. Falck left here for Sawpit Flat this morn. We are anxiously waiting for him to assume command of the big Brick (Ship).
Nov. 21 - Is the day we long have sang. Mr. Falck has peaceable possession of the Woodville property. We were invited and accepted an invitation to dine at the Woodville House and we had a fine dinner.
Nov. 30 - Cloudy part of the time. I go to Lodge at Strawberry Valley. We initiate Miss Lizzie Sharrer and she is a Templar worth having too.
Dec. 4 - Signs of rain in the near future. The Surprise Party for Falcks at Woodville has come and we have a nice time. All Strawberry, Clipper and Mt. Hope are present.
Dec. 12 - Is clear and cold. We hear of the terrible fate of Mrs. Alzina Jones, wife of Wm. Jones of Empire Hill. She was burned in the house which was reduced to ashes.
Dec. 15-31 - missing.

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler.