Category Archives: family

Throwback Thursday: Miss Schieser 1925

This is a follow up to my last Throwback Thursday post. I’m sincerely hoping someone will recognize some more children in these photos. As someone who loves family history, I get a real kick when I can return family memories and memorabilia to their rightful owners.

I think this is a candid photo Ella Byrd took and not an official school photo. I think this because these photos are mixed in and look the same as the other photos of ranch life she had taken. I’d imagine it must have been a big deal to have a camera back in the 1920’s.

This photo has written on the back:

“Class in 1925
Miss Schieser
teacher”

Class in 1925 Miss Schieser teacher

Class in 1925 Miss Schieser teacher

 

It’s interesting to note they had a new teacher this year! Ella Byrd is in the back to the left of the right window. Miss Mary is in the front row in the white dress. I think this school is in Crescent Mills, because of the wood siding, and the fact our family ranch was just a few miles away. As much as I wanted it to be in front of the 1864 Taylorsville schoolhouse, later pictures I have of the class, don’t confirm that. I’ll try and sneak a photo of the old schoolhouse to compare for next week’s blog.

When I start posting these photos I start falling down the rabbit hole of research. I started retracing Sam and Hazel’s (Ella Byrd and Mary’s Parents), steps again. Pulling out notes and emails my friend Erin helped me with years ago, talking to my Dad about what he knows. My Dad said Fletcher (Ella Byrd and Mary’s brother), was born in the big house on the Pony Hill Ranch. That means the family had to be living there in 1921. I think they were renting that ranch before they bought it.

Does anyone recognize their family in this photo? Have a memory of the school? I’m always interested in learning more….

 

 

 

 

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Throwback Thursday: Mrs. Eldred 1924

Slowly, I am making progress through my family photos. There is one album among them that belonged to Ella Byrd Brown as a teen. It has some pretty amazing photos. I think I need to get through it first in case there is anyone, still alive, who remembers any of these people. This album has notes and pictures drawn onto some of the photos, which is an interesting look into her life. The first photo I’m going to share has this written on the back:

“Class in ’24 Mrs. Eldred teacher”

written in childish handwriting I am not familiar with. I think it is Ella Byrd‘s, but her child style. Ella Byrd would have been about 11/12 in this photo. She is the tall girl, second from left. Her sister,  Mary Brown (later Mcintyre) would have been around 6/7. I can’t tell if she appears in this photo. The girl in the front row, with the bob, and white collar, looking toward Ella Bryd, does resemble her.

 

 Class in '24 Mrs. Eldred teacher

Class in ’24 Mrs. Eldred teacher

 

I know, because of the 1920’s census, Ella Byrd and Mary’s Parents were still in Lassen County, California. But by 1924, I believe Sam had bought and moved our family to the Pony Hill Ranch in Indian Valley, Plumas County. The photos in this album tend to confirm that. However,  since there are no buildings in the background, it is hard to say where this was taken.

I know many of the same families who lived in Indian Valley in 1924 are still there today. So readers, do any of these kids look familiar? Do you remember any tidbit about Mrs. Eldred?

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Throwback Thursday: September 3, 1945

I spent last Thursday driving around North Eastern California with my Dad. This is interesting because this is the first time we’ve done this in my adult life. The Brown side my my family has history in this area of California. Driving around this area prompted my Dad to tell some family lore, which I love. This got me thinking about all the pictures I inherited and how I need to continue to Throwback Thursday them before I lose all the people who have memories of this time.

On the back of this photo, in perfect script, are the names of these fine folk. They are family members of mine, one I actually met. Many of the people in this photo appear in other photos I have. Hopefully this winter I’ll post all the ones I can find. In the meantime please enjoy…

Paul

 

Paul Bagley is the gentleman on the horse.  From left to right we have Ella Bryd Lutz, Nell Smith, May Brown and Alice Bagley. September 3, 1945

I think this photo is taken  in front of the Doherty Ranch on Stampfli Lane in Indian Valley.

Do you remember these people? Have a memory you’d like to share? Feel free to leave a comment.

 

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Throwback Thursday: Etta Grant and Sammie Brown

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll remember I started searching for people in an old family photo album of mine. These photos cover an interesting time span for my family, from the late 1800’s to the 1980’s. I had fairly good luck finding the family of the people in these photos and most of them have loved getting a memory back. In an effort to continue this I give you the latest in the series:

July 4,1946

July 4,1946

Written on the back is “Etta Grant on Golden Torch, Sammie Brown on Lucky Johnson July 4, 1945″. By the looks of the trees and the fact it is summer, I believe this was photo was taken in Plumas County. I know the horse Golden Torch because his stories have been passed down through the generations. He was a jumping horse back in his day and apparently a really good one. I remember trophies he had won still adorned my Great Aunt’s office when I was a small child.
I have no idea who Ms. Grant is or was. The name doesn’t ring any bells. But I love her cowboy hat and her hair! It’d be kinda fun to have those hair styles back in fashion. So Internet, does this ring any bells for you? Do you know her? Please let me know.

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The Saga of Sam Brown’s Wedding Table

When I was a very little girl, I used to ride my horse over to my grandfather’s ranch from our house. At that point our families ranches reached from one end of Indian Valley to the other. It was still a big deal to be allowed to ride alone that far, at least it felt like it to little me. Little did I know I was carefully watched the whole time by my Parents and Grandfather.

Pre-ride over to my Grandpa's ranch. Notice I didn't use stirrups. I didn't like them.

Pre-ride over to my Grandpa’s ranch. Notice I didn’t use stirrups. I didn’t like them.

I was my Grandfather’s favorite grandchild, and he had many. He made sure I knew it. He purchased my first 4-H pig. That was remarkable because he was not known for going out of his way, in this case to a fair, for his grandchildren. He gave me my first bottle calf that ended up being a reserve grand champion. He always kept candy hidden in his unused dishwasher for when I would come over and secretly sneak it to me. He threw a fit when I got my horse Dusty D, said it was too much horse for me. He was right, of course, but I couldn’t be stopped.

So it was a treat when I was allowed to make the mile trek through the valley, I had to open and close big gates, and jump ditches on my trusty steed, all alone. When I would arrive at my Grandpa’s house he would make a huge deal of it! He would always act like I had just completed a huge day’s work. It would make me pleased as punch to have him be proud and make a big deal over me. When I got off my horse, and put him in the horse pasture, Grandpa would have a big slice of cold watermelon with salt on it waiting for me. We would sit on the porch and visit for a while, waiting for my Dad to come get me. During these visits he would tall me stories about the family.

My Great Uncle Sam, my Great Aunt Ella, my great grandpa (who built the table) Sam, and my Grandpa Fletcher.

My Great Uncle Sam, my Great Aunt Ella, my great grandpa (who built the table) Sam, and my Grandpa Fletcher. Behind them is the big house.

He would talk about his Dad, his Mom, the ranch. These are very cherished memories to me. I felt very connected to people who died years before I was even a thought. One story in particular was my favorite. Probably because there was a gift attached to it. One day he asked me to come on in the big house and look at this table. He told me it was a special table because his Daddy made it long ago, by hand! His Daddy, Sam F. Brown, was born in 1883, right after his parents moved from Tennessee (when I asked my Dad about his grandfather now, he said he talked funny, so I am assuming he had some sort of Southern Drawl left from his parents. This tickles me to no end. Pretty much all I want in life is a southern accent. He also said the Great Grandpa was fond of saying “if you can’t make it, you can’t have it”).

The porch where my Grandpa and I would sit and eat melon. Right inside and to the left was where my table lived.

The porch where my Grandpa and I would sit and eat melon. Right inside and to the left was where my table lived.

My Grandpa showed me this table, it was right against the front door, covered with tools of our trade, buckets, cattle medicine paraphernalia, jackets, etc. He told me that one day this table would be at my wedding, it would be mine. I think he already knew at this point I was going to be the only child and the one that was to be heir to the bulk his estate someday. After my Grandpa died when I was 12, we moved into the big house. The table was left where it was, safe.

We moved out of that home when I was around 20, but that is for another blog. We left some furniture there mainly because at the time we had a travel trailer, then a mini home with no room for a large table. During my mid to late 20’s, I had a falling out with my Dad, and got an off the ranch job. According my to research almost everyone, for generations, have done this, even my Dad! During this time my wedding table was lent out without my knowledge or permission. Since I made it a point not to go into the old home except once in all those years, I didn’t notice until this summer, that my table was gone! The horror!

I immediately asked who had it. I felt relief when I learned a neighbor that watched me grow up had it, mere miles from our ranch! In fact, I can see their house from ours! They borrowed it for their daughter’s birthday party. I wrote a letter explaining I wanted my table back. They responded that as soon as they saw the document that granted me power of attorney over the ranch trust, they would “gladly comply”. The document was sent that day, and I was ecstatic that my table would soon be mine again, as I now have my own home and a place for it! I’m not quite ready for it to be at my wedding, lol. 

If you let your half naked kid ride someone like a horse, you probably trust them with your kid's wedding table.

If you let your half naked kid ride someone like a horse, you probably trust them with your kid’s wedding table.

Family history and heirlooms are incredibly important to me. I live in my Great Aunt’s old home. My coffee table was made by my Great Grandfather. My cast iron pans are from my Grandpa. I traveled back to Tennessee to see the plantation where we came from. I work and live on the same ranches as my ancestors, I’ve spent days and days researching them. This is something I will fight for, because it’s my history.

My Great Grandpa Sam, Great Great Aunt Brydie and Great, Great Uncle Albert, 1892.

My Great Grandpa Sam, Great Great Aunt Brydie and Great, Great Uncle Albert, 1892.


Sadly, despite a polite letter asking for it back, and subsequent daily check in’s, my table is still being held hostage. I think we are on day 10 or 11. I’m heartbroken over this. The worst thing about it is I don’t know why, they are completely ignoring me. I didn’t even get a wave when I drove by them on the road, and everyone in Indian Valley waves when you drive by, it’s good manners!

Here is the thing, instead of being heartbroken and wallowing, I am being proactive. I am going to do my best to get it back or at least find out what happened to it. The people who have it, were considered family at one point, I’m sure that’s why my Dad felt like it was ok to let them borrow my table. They are friends with me on social media. They drive by our ranch everyday. In fact I’m even a partial owner of their ranch. So this makes no sense at all. Even, baby Oprah forbid, if I don’t get my table back, I’m leaving a digital diary for my future ancestors. They will know I tried. Hard.

Hopefully this is just a big misunderstand or miscommunication and my next blog will be me showing off my wedding table! Stay tuned!

 

On a related note.

 

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The “Farm Wife”

I used to think I wanted to be a farm wife. I always thought I would follow my Mom’s example. Working unpaid for the ranch. Doing the same work as the men, plus the books, the cooking, cleaning and taking care of me, the kid AND having a full-time off the ranch job for health insurance and financial security. I thought I’d marry, and my husband would take over for my Dad and I would continue my Mom’s role.

See the woman in the center. That "farm wife" is the reason there is a farm in the first place.

See the woman in the center? That “farm wife” is the reason there is a farm in the first place.

Then I grew up. I realized just how much work it was to be a farm wife. I realized they did the heavy lifting. They were the unappreciated glue that held everything together. I finally understood I am not tough or smart enough for the “farm wife” label. Nope. I can handle being a rancHER. That’s easy. But farm wife? I simply don’t have the balls for it. Major props to you Farm Wives! Thank you for running this industry we call agriculture! We all know what you do, but we don’t vocally ever recognize and appreciate you in a way where you get to hear or see it. I hope that starts to change, and after what I’ve witnessed over the past few days, I think it will. We need to respect, praise and appreciate the women that keep us going.

 

Probably the most important read out of all of this. 

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Throwback Thursday: Margie

This photo is going to be a hard one, I’m skeptical if I’ll ever know more about it then I already do. But then, my readers have surprised me again and again with who they know.

Margie

Margie

This photo comes from the Sammie’s Friends envelope. There is writing on it, but it is hard to make out. It looks like at one point this photo was pasted into an album, when they did that the writing was bleached. This is what I could make out:

“To Sammie, With lots of lite Love, Margie”

I thought perhaps she wrote, with lots of love. But the two words don’t match up when I compared them. I can clearly see a ‘t’ in lite. So who knows, really? But there is no date or last name.

Since most of these photos seem to be from the 1940’s and Margie’s hair and make-up, which are swoon worthy, seem to reflect the style of the 40’s, I think we can safely assume, this was taken in the 40’s. This leads me to believe Margie was probably a friend from school. Which means she probably went to Greenville High School.

Here is my question to you Indian Valley historians – do you know who this is? Do you remember Margie that would have been in her late teens/early 20’s in the 1940’s? Does her photo ring a bell? Please leave me a comment if you have any leads!

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Throwback Thursday: May 4, 1947 “Shirley”

This is another photo from the envelope labeled “Sammie’s Friends”. This photo has “To Sammie, A swell guy, Sincerely, Shirley May 4, 1947” written on the back of it, no last name, no place.

Shirley

Shirley

This looks like a high school prom or graduation picture. Look at her beautiful hair and dress and the corsage. Also how badass is that car? Also I can tell by the trees it’s in Plumas County. I went ahead and looked up all the “Shirley’s” that could have gone to school with Sammie.  This lead me to a Shirley Benson (class of 1947).

The back of the photo

The back of the photo

 Ms. Benson’s trail has gone cold. If anyone has anything to add or offer with this photo, I’d really appreciate your help! Thanks!

Attention: The family of this woman has been found and the photo returned to them. Thanks for all your help.

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Throwback Thursday: Sammie Brown Jr & Jinks Retzlaff

This is yet another photo from the envelope marked “Sammie’s Friends“. Unfortunately, there is no date or writing on the back of this photo so I don’t know much. I do know who this beautiful woman is now! It’s Jinks from last week’s Throwback Thursday. From what I gather, Sammie and Jinks went to high school together and were close friends. Sammie Brown is on the left.  I wonder what they were doing? It looks like they are dressed up in their fancy clothes and I see what looks like a theater marquee behind them. Look at Jinks’ beautiful corsage. I think we should bring those back as a fashion accessory and hats too. She looks so classy and elegant. The men too.

Sammie Brown, Jinks Retzlaff

Thanks to last week’s post and help from a local community group on Facebook, I was able to find Jinks’ family. Both of the pictures I featured on this blog are being sent to her family. These will be the third and fourth pictures from my collection that I was able to get to the families. I’ve enjoyed this project so much and have started learning more about my community. Stayed tuned, I have more to come.

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Throwback Thursday: March 27, 1935

I have a good one for this week’s Throwback Thursday. When I found these pictures I got a serious kick out of them. I can remember back when I was in high school and what a big deal it was getting a good couple picture with your boyfriend. You always had that one friend tasked with trying to take the perfect candid shot, but subtly, you know? And it was a big deal because this was back before smart phones, we actually had to get pictures developed to see how they turned out!

Mary and Floyd holdig hands
Anyway this photo is of my Great Aunt Mary Allison Brown and our neighbor’s Dad, Floyd Neer. The back of the picture says they are at the Greenville High School.
I’ve had the honor of meeting both of these people. And the families are still friends! However, apparently back in high school they were a couple. I had no clue. To be honest, I don’t know that much about Aunt Mary. I actually spent quite a lot of time with her. But we never talked of her past very much that I can remember. I find myself learning more about her and the rest of the family as I go through my box of photos and glean bits from history books.

mary and floyd
Aunt Mary ended up marrying Cecil McIntyre. And Floyd married Margaret. Both couples were married for their lifetimes.

"Mary Brown and Floyd Neer at the G.H.S. Mar. 27, 1935"

“Mary Brown and Floyd Neer at the G.H.S.
Mar. 27, 1935”

These photos are among my favorite I have found so far because I can imagine this happening. I’m betting Mary had her sister take these photos. I almost feel like these would have been a whisper scandalous for 1935 high school kids! I wonder if they were at a dance? I wonder why the couple didn’t work out?
Could you just imagine how different Indian Valley would be if it did? These are the times I wish the older generations were still around because I would love to hear the details of this story. If any of my Neer friends would like a good quality digital copy, please let me know and I will shoot one right over. Till next week!

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