Josephine J. Crawford

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Letters are addressed to Josephine's aunt, Calista. Early letters describe Marysville, Strawberry Valley and San Jose in some detail. Later letters concentrate on the family, giving news of her sister, Alphonsine Saunders (Mrs. Charles Saunders) who lived nearby, her brothers, Durlin and Julian Pond and asking news of various relatives in Vermont. ** Please note that historical materials in the Gold Rush Collections may include viewpoints and values that are not consistent with the values of the California State Library or the State of California and may be considered offensive. Materials must be viewed in the context of the relevant time period, but views are in no way endorsed by the State Library. The California State Library’s mission is to provide credible information services to all Californians and, as such, the content of historical materials should be transcribed as it appears in the original document.

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Sister Allie is a most excellent woman a number One housekeeper, a pattern of neatness perseverance, and energy and last though not least possessed of a kind noble heart. She is a great comfort to me. We never meet that we do not talk of you both, and other dear friends east. We remember the old Black-hawk horse Uncle Asahel used to own –

Does the old Elm tree that used to stand just back of the old School house still stand or has it gone too. Do you ever visit old Pond Hill? I suppose nearly everything is gone or changed (except the Hill) that I would remember – Are any of John Farwell's family living, and where? Is cousin Julia Ann still in Castleton? Where is Flora? Did she ever recover and live with him again? I could fill sheets asking questions but I must stop – by asking you to write about all the old neighbors & friends.

We are having charming weather – fresh ripe tomatoes from the vines, Strawberries, and roses, heliotrope geraniums and other flowers in bloom, with fresh bright green grass growing. This Election has been very exciting, Intense enthusiasm on both sides. Business for a time came to a stand still, but is moving on now.

I will send you some sprays of Sea Moss from the beach at Santa Cruz, and Skeleton leaves I gathered in the vicinity of Mt. Hamilton. Where the Lick Observatory is located where the largest telescope ever made is to be placed. Seven hundred fifty thousand dollars were donated by Mr Lick for the purpose – It is within Sight of us, only 27 miles to the Summit – I have not written half I wish – if I get an answer to this will write more – Do wish Cousin Oscor would write if he is with you – Love, much love to all

From your Aff [affectionate] niece Josephine. J. Crawford

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California

Sept 3d 1887_

Much Loved Uncle & Aunt,

As I write this date I am reminded that again the wheel of time has rolled around and added another year to my earthly existence. As I pause to take a backward look I find fifty-nine of them have past, since I first saw the light of day and in my retrospective tour, memory brings before my vision the scenes of early child-hood days. How utterly impossible it is for me to express what I would say, for words are too feeble to portray the feelings and emotions of the soul. In memory, most vividly I see you and dear Uncle, and each one of our dear kindred that I used to know, old friends, my school-mates, and familiar places pass in review

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before one. Where are they now? great grand-parents grand parents [grandparents], father, mother, sisters, brothers, Uncles, Aunts, cousins, friends, and School mates, nearly all gone the way of all the Earth, but very few remain, and their feet are laving in the ebbing tide that will soon take them over to those gone before. All! All is changed. Think I might possibly recognize old Bird's Eye Mt [Mountain] -- but do not think there are many places I would know. How could I endure the thought of all this, if I did not hope to soon join them in the better world. How much I long to see you and dear Uncle Asahel once more, but I do not expect to -- When I rec'd [received] your letter I thought should write a reply without delay, but soon Sister Allie came here sick -- to be treated by physicians here, and for me to take care of her. Soon after she got able to return home my husband got a fall from the building he was working on that dislocated one shoulder and strained the other so he was laid up three months, and has but just got able to attend to business again.

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I got so worn out from loss of sleep and over work that I too, have been down quite ill for a few days. Am so I sit up the greater part of the time, but I am still weak and feeling badly. Have just received letters from Sister & brothers She writes she is able to attend to her domestic duties, but her health is not very good. She has wished to write you but has so much to attend to that she does not get at it. They have a very wild romantic place at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mts. They raise fruit of different kinds, berries and vegetables, and hay sufficientt for their horses and cattle. They have a lovely grove of red-wood [redwood] and madrone trees near the house with crystal cold Spring water right at hand. In the grove they have seats, tables, hammocks swings, and when they find it too warm for comfort at the house a short distance through the grape arbor, and you are in this cool inviting grove, with a little Mt [mountain] stream rippling along close-by. Allie is one of the neatest and best of housekeepers. Her rustic home is fixed up neat with taste -- and is indeed very cosy and inviting.

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Bro Gulian lives in Belmond the Co seat of Wright Co. Iowa. Has only three children living The two sons are married and living near him, the daughter is at home. Think he has an excellent woman for his wife They both belong to the Methodist Church & take a very active part in the Church work. Bro. Broyton is now living in the Suburb of Chicago, Ill. (Address. D. B. Pond, Providence Cotton Batting Mills. Cor of Wentworth Avenue and Maple St -- Englewood Ill. His oldest son L. C - is in business with him -- Broyton has 4 children two, sons and two daughters. I hear he has a very interesting smart wife and family. Aunt Sarah Fuller Savage, and only son and family, have just made them, a visit. She is seventy-three years of age, but they write me she is a smart well-preserved old lady. Her son is a minister living at Clinton Iowa. San Jose is called the Garden City of Cala. [California] and is indeed a lovely place. We are having a new Electric Rail Road to Santa Clara, new iron bridges over two Streams running through the city. (Already have a beautiful symmetrical Electric tower by which the city is lighted) a new City Hall a large fine Structure, with artistic fountain in the Surroundings -- an immense Suburbon [suburban] Hotel "Vendome" -- built in a park that cost $60,000 is just commenced -- 'Tis to be built with all the modern improvements regardless of expense and fitted up to please the eye of even the most fastidious taste. 'Tis expressly for the wealthy people fitted up by ten of our wealthy capitalists these and many more improvements are under way, and more are Spoken of as being soon began -- Real Estate has risen in value of late and much property has been sold within a few weeks past.

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