First Ascent

Week 26: #52 Ancestors – Legend By Eilene Lyon A Man on the Move In researching my Jones relatives for the California gold rush book, I discovered a legendary figure who eventually married into the family. Elias Davidson Pierce was born in Harrison County, Virginia, in 1824. But upon reaching adulthood, he moved on and... Continue Reading →

A Lush Life

Week 25: #52 Ancestors – Earliest By Eilene Lyon James Ransom and Elizabeth Anderson were among the earliest settlers in what would become Blackford County, Indiana, settling at what came to be called Trenton. They arrived in 1836 from Belmont County, Ohio, towing the first five of their twelve children, including a newborn.1 Blackford County... Continue Reading →

Gold Country Tour

By Eilene Lyon After completing my archive research in California (Huntington Library, Bancroft Library, and the California Historical Society), it was time to do some gold rush sight-seeing. My first stop was the Wells Fargo branch on Montgomery in downtown San Francisco. This city owes its explosive growth directly to the gold rush. Wells Fargo... Continue Reading →

Solving a 166-Year-Old Crime (revised)

By Eilene Lyon Introduction I posted the original version of this story on September 13, 2018. Briefly, it involves the 1851 – 1852 partnership between Elias D. Pierce, William S. Good, and Paris S. Pfouts in Siskiyou County, California. Pierce suggested that William Good took off with the company’s assets worth $40,000. I didn’t believe... Continue Reading →

The 15-lb Nugget

Week 38: #52 Ancestors – Unusual Source By Eilene Lyon I’ve written quite a few posts about unusual sources, because I’m always pursuing juicy leads, like a dogged investigative reporter on the trail of the latest Trump scandal. I’ve listed some of these at the end. Please check them out! For this week’s prompt, I... Continue Reading →

Crossing Wyoming

By Eilene Lyon We’re rolling westward on Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming, on our way to do breeding bird surveys along a proposed transmission line route. The rising sun is adding fire to the stratus clouds hanging low in the sky. Our Ford Super Duty truck passes plains and low hills draped in sagebrush and... Continue Reading →

Pay Your Taxes!

Week 15: #52Ancestors - Taxes By Eilene Lyon The moral of this story is written in the title – pay your taxes, or there will be consequences. In this case, I am referring to property taxes, and what could happen if you don’t pay them. One of the more intriguing (and mysterious) people in my... Continue Reading →

Disputing the “Facts”

Week 1: #52Ancestors - Start By Eilene Lyon My favorite pair of jeans is getting so threadbare on the thighs and knees that holes are starting to appear.  It almost certainly is not an attractive garment, so why do I keep wearing it?  Because they are super comfortable.  What does this have to do with... Continue Reading →

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