Tag Archives: Sam Brown Jr

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.



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.



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: December 6, 1946

This week’s throwback post is fascinating to me because I love this woman’s nickname! Jinks!!

Jinks Retzlaff

Jinks Retzlaff

I found this picture among Sammie Brown Jr’s pictures. I can tell by the corral and mountains this was taken on the Pony Hill Ranch, in Indian Valley.  The writing on the back says this is:

Silvergold Dick

March 31, 1944

Jinks Retzlaff

January 14, 1926

December 6, 1946

The back of the photo

The back of the photo

Most of Sammie’s pictures are of horses. I have over a hundred black and white photos of beautiful horses from this time. I know he was very well know for his horsemanship and taught many, many people lessons. In fact, I occasionally get emails from people that knew him back in the day. I love it because they often have interesting stories and tidbits for me.
I did a little digging and found out that indeed Jinks Retzlaff, aka, Frances Marion “Jinks” Retzlaff Velasco was a local Indian Valley girl. It appears that she and Sammie went to high school together. Jinks sounded like a really fascinating woman and according to her obituary it sounds like she had an interesting  and fulfilling life. I know she still has family living, so if any of my readers know how I could contact them to get them this picture, that would be great!


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Throwback Thursday: The Browns

"Sammie Hazel Samuel & Fletcher Brown

“Sammie Hazel Samuel & Fletcher Brown

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.

Look at the beautiful penmanship!

Look at the beautiful penmanship on the back of the photo!

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.

The Brown Family Home today. The window on the left is the background from the top photo.

The Brown Family Home today. The window on the right is the background from the top photo.

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

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Wordless Wednesday: August 15, 1944

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Wordless Wednesday: Horse Power

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Wordless Wednesday: A Thousand Words

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Wordless Wednesday: Living and Working in the Times of My Grandma

Great Grandma, Hazel Brown with the day’s milk. “Pony Hill” Ranch, Plumas County

Cattle drive from Greenville, CA (Plumas County) to Chico, CA (Butte County). Legend has it, it took 2 weeks.

Sam Brown Jr and the chuck wagon – cattle drive. Plumas County.

Making Hay on the “Pony Hill Ranch” Greenville, CA

Making hay “Pony Hill” Ranch Plumas County

Harry Lutz plowing for SF Brown Nov 29, 1934. “Pony Hill” Ranch, Plumas County.

A mule team in the snow. Lassen County 1904