Tag Archives: Plumas County
It has been a few months since I have posted a Throwback blog. It’s time for a good one.
When my Grandfather died, and the rest of the family was fighting, I quietly slipped away with all the pictures I could find (and the cast iron cookware). I ended up with a rather big box of family and ranch photos. Before I donate them to my local University, I’m scanning them into my computer for safe keeping. As I do this I try and learn the story of the photo if I can. It’s my ultimate goal to write a book or two about this family – we have such a rich history, I think it’d be great.
For today’s Throwback post, I selected a very interesting picture indeed. This photo is one of the very oldest I have of the Brown side. It shows the first few years of my family’s time in the Plumas/Lassen area. It was taken in Coppervale, a now abandoned town in Lassen County. It would be around 1880. My Great, Great, Grandparents, Samuel A. and Mary Priscilla (fun fact: my pet pig Silly is named after Mary), came from Washington County, Tennessee. According to records they spent time in both Lassen County and Glenn County, California. I’m assuming they were the family inventors of summering in the Sierra Nevada’s and wintering in the Sacramento Valley – our family STILL does this.
I don’t know if this is true or not because no names are written on this picture, but according to my research the three children in the picture look to be about the same ages as Albert, Clara, and Birdy, Samuel and Mary’s three eldest children. They would go on to have one more son, Samuel F.,who would become my Great Grandfather. This side of the family tends to get very confusing because they all named their children after each other. In fact, if I was born a boy, I would have been named Samuel as well.
The Brown’s ultimately ended up in Indian Valley, which is in Plumas County. However before we explore that ranch, I still have several more photos from this time that I need to research. Stay tuned!
I’m excited about this Throwback Thursday. It’s one of the few photo’s that have names on the back and comes from my direct line of relatives. This is Sammie Jr., Hazel, Samuel and Fletcher Brown. My Great Uncle, Great Grandparents and Grandfather, respectively. They are standing in front of the family home on Stampfli Lane in Indian Valley. I would say this photo was probably taken in the late 1930’s or early 1940’s, based on Sammie Jr.’s age here.
After my Grandfather’s death, we briefly lived in this home for a few summers. I can safely tell you it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Between the family history and the varmints living in it, I screamed like a girl often. In addition to that, the water was from a hand-dug well – so it smelled like sulfur and turned my hair and nails red if I showered in it. I either had to bribe neighbors with food or go down to the campground to find a decent shower where I would actually smell better after.
Sadly, everyone in this photo has died. I was lucky enough to know my Grandfather and my Dad does have memories of his Grandparents, so stay tuned for some future blogs about them. This whole family is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery, Oroville, Butte County, CA, 5646 Lincoln Blvd, CA 95966.
- Hazel (Lucas) Brown born Feb 2 1890 died May 18 1967
- Samuel F. Brown born Mar 14 1883 died Oct 21 1960
- Samuel F. Brown born Sep 3 1926 died Aug 21 1954
- Fletcher Lucas Brown born 1921 died Nov 9 1995
A few weeks ago, my Dad was reminiscing with me about family history and family members long dead and gone. I was lucky enough to meet some of these people when I was small. I have some hazy memories of certain encounters. I am constantly trying to strengthen these memories by pestering people who remember more than I do, or connecting by recipes, because taste and smell seem to bring memories galloping back.
My Dad was telling me about cutting firewood for his Aunties and doing various “chores” for them like picking fruit, killing wild game, etc. Dad mentioned he used to pick a lot of chokecherries and gooseberries for jelly making. Immediately I perked up and demanded to know more.
I had vague memories of riding my horse and picking something for jelly when I was very small. I was little, therefore, super short, and couldn’t reach the fruit. But, like any enterprising young ranch kid, you found ways around that. I can’t remember much about this memory, like what berry, how old I was, or who we were picking them for, but I do remember riding my horse Sequoia.
I spent so much time on our mountain ranch this summer I was unable to devote as much time to my passions of gardening and canning. However when Dad taught me what a chokecherry bush looked like, I knew I had the opportunity to make up for lost canning time! During the middle of the afternoon, when it was too hot to do much else, I picked chokecherries, lots and lots.
- 3 cups chokecherry juice
- 6 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 box (2 pouches) liquid pectin
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon butter (to prevent foaming)
Pour juice, sugar and butter into large heavy saucepan and stir to mix. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Bring to a full, rolling boil and boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir and skim off foam. Add almond extract. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal with two-piece canning lids. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
This jelly is delicious. The almond extract really adds a lovely layer of flavor. Since I picked so many chokecherries I am attempting to make wine. Stay tuned as I am just a few more weeks from trying it, and if it’s good, I’ll show you how I did it!