During the early Gold Rush years, the fever to find riches was too hot for most gold miners to take time out to relax and celebrate New Year’s Day, although some of them did spend a few hours visiting friends in other camps. If their claims were below the snow line, many just fired their pistols in tribute and went on prospecting.
In the last decade of the 19th century Californians celebrated the coming of a new year much like we do today, with parties, games, and resolutions to better themselves. Churches drew the faithful for services with choirs and special sermons on New Year’s Eve; masquerade balls promised to usher out the old and usher in the Continue reading New Year 2019
John Sutter, the first pioneer settler in the Sacramento Valley, built a large, walled trading post which included a blacksmith forge, a crude gristmill, a carpenter’s shop, a blanket weaving room, and a tannery. Inside the walls was a kitchen large enough to feed the dozens of tradesmen, craftsmen, fur trappers, gardeners, and Continue reading Frontier Feast 12/25/1847
When Christmas came during the early Gold Rush years, thousands of predominantly male, mostly young gold-seekers were far away from ordinary comforts and the familiar faces back home. A number of preachers in the gold camps or town saloons offered short holiday services, and some miners dodged the pain of Continue reading Christmas in the Mines