The Cemetery at Sloughhouse

Jared Sheldon, a carpenter by trade, officially received a Mexican land grant of 22,130 acres along the Cosumnes River in 1844, and divided the grant with his friend and partner William Daylor. The men married sisters Sarah and Catherine Rhoads in 1847, and settled down as husbands, farmers and ranchers. Unfortunately, Continue reading The Cemetery at Sloughhouse

Grave-site Mystery

The brass plaque inscription on the Maiden’s Grave marker is wordy: “Broken dreams and hope, carried 2,000 miles through scorching deserts and over Loft Mountains. At last, the sight of the Promised Land. Those of you who visit this grave carry a torch of love and hope (which this young girl lost), and pass it on, to generations unborn. Rechall Melton was laid to rest here, on a Continue reading Grave-site Mystery

Tragedy in Death Valley

In October 1849, more than 100 wagons left the Salt Lake City region opting to take the Old Spanish Trail to the pueblo of Los Angeles, and from there north to the gold fields. For some of them, their journey became a saga of adversity, loss, extreme hardship, and sheer grit. Twenty-seven wagons unwisely took a Continue reading Tragedy in Death Valley

Death in the High Sierra

The story of the Donner Party—a group of California-bound emigrants who were trapped by early snow storms at an alpine lake in the formidable Sierra Nevada over the winter of 1846-47—is a tale of unfortunate choices, jealousies, despair, extreme hardship, courage and heroism. Their entrapment and rescue made Continue reading Death in the High Sierra