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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There are many eastern visitors here now and more coming to spend the winter here That lady from Vt [Vermont] who came here last year to visit her brother Capt Winchell, who lives here – came in time to see his wife alive – she has died this season after a long painful illness. She was a niece of Uncle Otis Wood. A very fine worthy woman, She leaves a husband and two daughters.

I wish you could see the great variety of fruit we have here – The canneries and drying houses have done, and are still, doing an immense business. They have the capacity of drying from 25 to 75 tons per day, and some more than this. It would astonish you to see the acres & acres of orchard for miles across this large valley extending even up on to the Mts. top, where we find some fruit orchards and vineyards. The largest most luscious grapes are raised here. The Lick Telescope on Mt Hamilton near here, of which I have made mention in former letters is nearly completed It is the largest in the world, and in a very favorable locality for astronomical observations I wish my dear Aunt C – that you would write as soon as you can find it convenient to do so and tell me all about all our friends that I know. Is Julia Ann – still living in Castleton? How many children has Cousin Oscar – How is Oramel and family? Where is Cousin Floralia. T – What has become of her husband and children Does Asahel Thornton live there, and how much of a family has he. Does the Otis Wood family still live on the hill. O! when I get to thinking about it and the dear friends there it does seem that I can't wait to see them, and those dear old Hills once more before I die – If you and

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Uncle were younger I should urge you to take a trip here. I would so love to make you have a good visit. I shall never forget your kindness to me, not alone on my last visit to your home, but in years gone-by. I know we children must have severely taxed your patience – but you both bore it with true christian fortitude. I can now see what trying youngsters we were. Hope this will find you all well & happy. I would like to have Cousin Oscar's wife write me so we can get acquainted.

You mentioned in your letter your sugar orchard that is Some thing we do not have in this country. no sugar maple – Often think I would enjoy Some of that good Sugar. That we buy here is generally adulterated, mixed with other Sugar until it has but little of the maple flavor. Sept 6. Have had to-day [today] quite a shower the first since last Spring – We do not generally have much until Nov or Dec. This will doubtless do some harm to the grape crop and also the prunes may crack open in consequence but there may not enough rain fallen for that.

With much love to you and Uncle and all your family and friends when you met them. I am always made glad when I get one of your letters – I am weak and tired and I think you will be, by the time you read this

Lovingly your niece

Josephine. J. Crawford

[written sideways in left margin] Will send Some of our papers to Cous. [Cousin] Oscar.

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San Jose, Santa Clara. Co. [County] Cala. [Calilornia]

No. 196 Montgomery St. – Mar. 1 – 1888.

Much loved Aunt C.

Since I wrote you last have had a severe illness that confined me for two months. Had an attack of congestion of the lungs and fever. For a time they thought I could not recover, but my time had not come to go, and I am now able to go on with my daily duties. Sister Allie came and spent five weeks with me, to help take care of me – and has just made us another visit. She and family are well and doing well. Their Mt home, is becoming quite a resort for Campers, and people from San Francisco Oakland, San Jose, and other towns, who wish to go to the country for a change during vacation So every season, she has all she can accommodate with board and lodging – She is a good cook and No. 1. housekeeper besides.

[written vertically in left margin] It has been a long time since I have heard from you – if you are not able to write I wish Cousin Oscar or his wife would –

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Her husband is a kind good man. The children, all grown now, are very interesting lovable young people – Alphonsine and I, always talk of you and childhood days when we meet.

This has been one of the coldest winters we have ever known in Cala [California] – The day before Christmas we went to Allie's, the day was perfect and the roads could not been better, and we had a most delightful trip. Roses, geraniums, violets, and many other plants were in bloom. Three days later it commenced raining and did not clear off until we had a little snow-storm It came all one day but melted nearly as fast as it came, however that night it was cooler so the next morning found three inches of snow. It most forcibly reminded us of days gone by. Had not seen the like for years – We see snow on the Mt tops skirting this Valley every Season, but seldom have any in the Valley. We were storm-bound and did not come home for two weeks. Had a very pleasant visit. that does one good to think of, even now,

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At present the weather is fine. Almond trees peach and Apricot are in bloom and in a few days all the fruit trees will be in blossom, and and the air sweet with the perfume.

Our garden is looking well. Have cucumbers beets, peas, lettuce, radishes &c [etc.] – up growing.

This City is making many substantial improvements – in the way of new City Hall, an immense "Hotel Vendome" bridges over both the Streams, new Electric Rail-Road to Santa Clara – Side-walks – Streets – improving the parks, and many private residences are being built. The Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton is nearly completed.

There are many places of interest in this, vicinity Mineral and Alum Rock Springs New Almaden Snick-silver mines besides Mts. Valleys, and the grand old Pacific is only thirty miles by the best road, much nearer across the Mt. I wish you and dear Uncle Asahel, could visit some of these places. I think you would enjoy the beach and the many wonders seen there.

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