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    Museum Tidings
    The official quarterly newsletter of the Tehama County Museum
    (Web Edition)

    Winter Issue 2005
    Tehama County Museum Foundation
    275 C. Street
    P.O. Box 275
    Tehama, CA 96090
    Phone: (530)384-2595
    Email: tcmuse@tehama.net
    Web Site: http//www.tehamacountymuseum.org

    President: Darrell Mullins 384-2305
    Vice-President: Chris Bauer 384-1463
    Secretary: Paul Quinn 384-1285
    Treasurer: Linda Middlebrough 384-2602
    Editor: Karen Bacquet 384-1525


    The invention of the teenager was a mistake. Once you identify a period of life in which people get to stay out late but don't have to pay taxes - naturally, nobody wants to live any other way. --Judith Martin

    Annual Meeting

    The Museum, in accordance with its bylaws, Art. III, Sect.1, hereby gives notice of its Annual Meeting, which will be held on January 8 at 4 p.m. All members are invited to elect new board members and to bring other business to the meeting. Also, Museum members are always welcome to attend the regular board meetings, held on the first Sunday of every month, at 4:00.


    This year's 23rd annual Museum Jubilee had a fine line-up of musical entertainment that included demonstrations by the Swingin' Squares, the vocal talents of Elizabeth Graffel, along with Loosely Strung, the Jewel Tones, Music by Jason, with the day capped off with an evening hoe-down. Our warmest thank you to Michael Patrick, who handled the sound system.

    A fishing game, bean bag toss, tattooing and hairspraying kept the youngster's entertained, thanks to Willie Smith of the Christian Motorcycle Association. We also added a Jumps for Joy, for the first time this year.

    The Antique Car Show, just begun as a new Jubilee feature last year, grew bigger and better this time around. The trophy winners were Roger and Laura Sprickman of Palo Cedro, for their 1939 Ford two-door sedan.

    A special thanks to Patti McFarlin who worked tirelessly on the arrangements for the car show, entertainment, and the children's activities. Believe me, folks, this lady's organizational skills and creative ideas are absolutely amazing!

    Sam Kissee and his team did antique appraisals in the Museum's annex again this year. Dick Chamberlain did double duty as upstairs docent, and weapons appraiser. (Don't miss his entertaining article, in this newsletter, about his appraising experience.)

    An interesting highlight of the day was the archery demonstration by Steve Compton and his merry band of straight shooters.

    The Jubilee Raffle is the single biggest money-maker of all the fundraising projects the Museum organizes. It's no wonder, with fantastic prizes like the 27" color t.v., won by Nancy Schroff, and the vacation package that went to Mary Schneider. A special thanks to all the generous businesses, organizations, and individuals that donated items for this event.

    Likewise, thank you to all those who donated such high-quality home-made goods to Judy's Country Store, which did a brisk business throughout the day.

    The food concession, as always, was very popular, with the tri-tip dinner being so successful, that the last customer had to be regretfully turned away, because the meat had sold out. Thank you to the hardworking guys of the Central Tehama Kiwanis club for cooking breakfast and lunch, and our own Paul Quinn for manning the barbecue at dinnertime - and not forgetting the Key Club kids, who pitched in to help.

    Coming Attractions

    The first major event of the new year will be the Museum's Biennial Quilt Show, titled "A Celebration of Quilts", on February 24 & 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year the show will include not only quilts, but any sort of quilted item, which will compete in categories for prize ribbons, awarded by public vote. A special category for items to represent the upcoming 150th anniversary of the formation of Tehama County will be included. Besides viewing the lovely handiwork of the quilters, guests can participate in opportunity drawings for a variety of prizes, and enjoy refreshments on-site.

    Secretary's Message by Paul Quinn

    We want to thank all of you members for the support you have given to the Museum to keep it operating. Your membership renewals and kind donations put this organization in the black financially, in spite of the tight budget within which we have to operate.

    Also your generous support of the Jubilee through raffle ticket sales, donated prizes, and craft/food sales shows that you value this Museum. It educates and operates at no cost to the public. Now, isn't that a refreshing concept these days!

    We appreciate your memberships and want to remind you that they begin anew in January. Apologies to those who were expecting membership cards. As there are just so many hours available to work here, something had to be cut. Maintenance repairs were constant this year, and fund-raising activities again took priority. It points out the fact that we have a critical need for more volunteer help to run the Museum.

    President's Message

    Well here we are again, another year has come and gone at the museum. I would like to thank my fellow board members and docents for their dedication and help in keeping the doors open for another year. Also the many volunteers and community groups that work behind the scenes.

    I recently attended a conference on grants for community collaboration. The premise is that through collaboration or partnering with other groups we can increase the effectiveness of both groups. The primary participants were Museums, Libraries and Public Broadcaster. The goal was to identify community needs and then seek out partners that have similar goals. To accomplish this we were introduced to a form of "speed dating" where you seek out a person representing another organization and then "date" for 5 minutes. Duringthis "date" you determine what their organizations mission statement or goals are, and determine if you have any mutual interest then decide if you want to have another "date" to explore ways that you might collaborate on a joint venture together.

    Why partner? Because joining forces leverages the assets, the creativity and the expertise of all partners and makes it possible for them to serve communities in powerful ways. The shared mission of this group is to serve America's communities by encouraging and enabling museums, public broadcasters, and libraries to work together to address locally identified lifelong learning needs and opportunities. Working together, they can be catalysts for vibrant, energized communities and build a foundation for an educated and informed citizenry. Sounds like something the museum should be involved in.

    How about a "date?"

    Darrell Mullins, Pres.

    The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a building filled with archaic furniture. Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it. - Dee Hock

    Your Museum at Work

    Well, folks, the Museum comes to the end of another season. The doors close on Sunday, November 27, and won't open again until February. The number of visitors drops off significantly after the Jubilee, and the costs of staying open rise with the heating bill. Fortunately, we've just finished up a very successful fall:

    Dairyville Orchard Festival

    Selling the famous "36 Lady" prune cake at the Orchard Festival is fast becoming a Museum tradition - and very popular. Our booth sold out of booth the Starbucks coffee and the cakes before closing time. Linda Middlebrough, Jim Stephens, Bobby McFarlin, and myself were on the job that day. (Special thanks to Paul Quinn for taking my docent duty at the Museum that Saturday.) Besides the usual crowd of old-timers, Julie Stephens and Alina Walton pitched in to help with the booth and did a fine job. Thank you both!

    Chris Bauer had his own booth at the Festival, selling Museum books.

    Besides being a profitable fundraiser, our participation in the Orchard Festival raises awareness of the Museum and its mission, providing an opportunity for us to talk to local folks about who we are, and what we do.

    Reflections on the Museum's "Antiques Roadshow" by Dick Chamberlain

    For several years now, my self-appointed niche at the Jubilee has been as a docent in the upstairs exhibit hall. Many of the artifacts there have either been acquired or hauled by me. Every year, there is a steady stream of visitors who climb the stairs as urged by the sign at their foot.

    Since the advent of the museum's version of the popular PBS program "Antiques Roadshow", I have identified and appraised any weapons brought in by the public. This year, two were particularly noteworthy specimens: One was a sword presented to a Civil War-era surgeon by the patients in his hospital in 1863, and is so inscribed. Such swords were comparable to the more common gold-headed canes as 19th-century gifts to honor someone.

    The other item of special interest was a large, nickel-plated Colt single-action revolver, having the impressively long 7-1/2" barrel. The visitor's ancestor had gone to Creede, Colorado where the local cowboys elected to "make him dance" by shooting near his feet. He promptly bought this big Colt and the trouble ended. A minor change was made in the frame of this model, at the time of the switch from black to smokeless powder. This was the earlier type, placing it clearly in the 19th century. A close examination of its trigger guard disclosed its chamber to be a ".38."

    The visitor pointed out that it looked larger than a .38 caliber, and he was correct. When Winchester Repeating Arms Company brought out its famous Model 1873 (the subject of a much-later movie title) in .44-40 caliber Colt wasted no time in chambering its big revolver in that caliber, so that one kind of cartridge would do for both rifle and pistol. Soon Winchester made a slightly smaller version, the .38-40, and Colt followed suit. The visitor's revolver was one of these. Oddly, it was really .40 caliber. Almost all other .38's are really .35, so there was a difference in bore diameter of .5" from the usual .38. No wonder it looked large for a .38! I provided my telephone number and urged the visitor to call me at home, where my references would show the actual year of its manufacture.

    While taking my own artifact, a device used by blacksmiths to measure a wagon wheel for a new tire, for appraisal, some people brought in a banjo ukulele. During the "roaring 20s" era, some ukuleles were made with a round banjo head, for a distinctive sound. This one was made by the acclaimed Gipson company, most famous for its guitars, and had an unusually deep body. Like most regular banjos, it had a resonator to enhance volume. The modern nylon strings had been loosened to protect the old calfskin head, but they prevailed upon me to tune it up, and I rendered a few bars of "Five-Foot Two", or maybe "Ain't She Sweet."

    The addition of the antique appraisals at the Jubilee was an excellent move, not only yielding income for the museum, but providing a valuable service for our community. Besides, it is fun!

    If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. --Mark Twain ****************************************

    On the Lassen Trail With J. Goldsborough Bruff Part 8 - Bruff's Camp

    This is the eighth in a series of excerpts from Gold Rush, "The Journals, Drawings and Other Papers of J. Goldsborough Bruff, Captain, Washington and California Mining Association, April 2, 1849-July 20, 1851."

    Since Bruff came to California via the Lassen Trail in 1849, and since the Lassen Trail terminated at Peter Lassen's Rancho near today's small community of Vina at the mouth of Deer Creek in south-east Tehama County, we would like to let you share in some of Bruff's experiences and tribulations through his journal.

    We pick up the story at Bruff's Camp. You will recall that Bruff had volunteered to stay with wagons and possessions of his company while the rest of the men went on in to the settlements, vowing to return in "a few days" for both possessions and Bruff. But Oct.22, 1849 - Apr. 5, 1850, proved to be a very long "few days" for Bruff, and even then, he had to save himself.

    For Part 8 and several parts thereafter, we have selected excerpts from Bruff's journal entries for those five months that representative of the transition from a relatively care-free waiting game to a life and death struggle for survival. We have left much that is interesting out so that this series may be included in a timely manner, but the reader is encouraged to visit the Tehama County Museum for discussion, or the Tehama County Library to explore the Journal itself for more complete information.

    [Oct 22 - cont'd] Grizzly bears and deers are quite abundant close around this hill, A couple of the immigrants camped here, brought in a deer they shot this morning, and sold the meat very readily, to their starving fellow travelers, for 50 cts per lb. Some Illinoisians disposed of their superfluous baggage to charge of the "Shingle men," packed provisions, &c on a pair of weak steers, and their own backs, & left a small wagon in my charge, to be sent for in a few days. Ox wagons, packed oxen, mules, cows, and pedestrians, - Men, women, and children, coming up, halting, nooning, watering, passing on & camping all day. Saw one poor couple with their personal effects, goods & chattel, packed on a poor ox, - the man, with shouldered rifle, led the brute, while the wife, with a stick, followed and urged it ahead. Women and small children seen driving loose cattle, the little ones seem to stand the hardships and exposure well. All, more or less, Men, women, and children, are dirty and tattered - All look alike, one class of rough looking, hairy, ragged jaded men. - No discriminations except by acquaintance. - Preachers, Doctors, Lawyers, Editors, & mountaineer, mechanic, educated or ignorant.

    [Oct.23] - We have, occasionally, to use muddy water here; the vast number of cattle continually at the spring and use up the water and muddys it too. The great inquiry, here, by the Emmigrants is 'how far is it to Lassen's?" "Has Lassen got flour to sell?" "What does he charge?" (or axe) for it?" So old Pete Lassen, the honest old Danish Missourian settler of California, is one of the most celebrated men of the country; in fact, he is the man.

    [Oct. 24] - A small Missouri compy having a large family, of sick women & several little girls. These people condens'd their property, and left 2 wagons, with effects on them, in charge of Messrs. William Grissom, of Mo. and brothers J.P. and C.B. Bohannon of Ky, - the latter, and younger, quite sick, with scurby and consequent debility. 2 cows and 2 oxen disappeared from the hill today, - Shingle-men think the indians stole them. I was sick all day with headache, and some fever, and took rhubarb.

    [Oct. 25] -… my friend Grissom …is an excellent hunter, - a perfect Nimrod, and brings in a deer almost every day. - So we have plenty of the sweetest meat the forrest affords … A Government party, of the relief expedition, of 8 men, passed, going to the rear. Fuel abundant, affording us a fine fire at all times, generally kept a large long fire all night. The dead animals near us, particularly a red ox, near my tent, are becoming rather oderous, during the hot part of the day. It is a queer sight now, to observe the straggling emigrants coming up and going in. Wagons of every kind, oxen, horses, mules, bulls, cows, and people, - men, women, & children, all packed. A few weeks travel has wrought a great change in their circumstances. Our camp is a great convenience to the weary pilgrims, constantly coming up. Here they find a comfortable fire, axes, fuel, cooking utensils, &c. and a comfortable bed in a wagon.

    Tehama County Museum Foundation; P.O. Box 275; Tehama, CA 96090
    (530) 384-2595

    © 2011 David Louis Harter, California Technologies