Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Let the Voting Begin!

I received so many fantastic suggestions for the title of the 2014 short-story contest book! It was very hard to choose the Top Twelve. I could not put them all down (especially the long ones, or the Blogger poll would have stretched the entire length of the sidebar)! What I did was choose (or modify) the titles to keep them short. Book titles need to be kept short. The title suggestions could be included as a sub-title at a later date. For instance, Anne's suggestion: "From Mining Gold to Raising Horses" or someone's "From the Ranch to the River" would be a good subtitle, depending on which main title ends up being the name of the book. But by itself, they're too long to be a main title. Does that make sense?

You have two weeks (poll closes August 6) to choose 2 of your favorite titles. Please vote only once, and please do not choose more than 2. After the voting, I will compile the top 4 or 5 and then put up the final voting. Have fun!

Monday, July 21, 2014

July Trivia Quiz: San Francisco Smugglers

July's trivia quiz covers the fourth book of the Circle C Adventures, Andrea Carter and the San Francisco Smugglers.

Remember, you can use any means to find your answers, but rereading the book is probably your best bet. (Don't forget to read the historical note at the end!) As always, Email your answers to me via the "Email Andi Your Questions and Stories" contact form on the right sidebar or by emailing me at susankmarlow [at] gmail [dot] com.  
NOTE: If you do not receive a "Got it!" reply from me, it means I didn't get it and you should try again.
Don't forget: Do NOT post your answers in the comments.

July's prize: notebook, magnet, and CCA pen!
You have through Saturday, July 26, to send me your answers. (Please number them so it is easier to score.) On Sunday, I will post the correct answers and randomly draw ONE WINNER from the correct entries I received. If no one gets 100% right, I will draw from the closest winners. I will announce the winner on the blog. The winner will need to reply via the Contact Form with a mailing address so I can send the prize, which will be when I come across a post office on my travels.

I picked up 2 of these little notebooks at the convention, so I am giving another one away this month, along with a pen and a Circle C Adventures magnet.   

Reminder: Every answer can be found by reading Andrea Carter and the San Francisco Smugglers.  You may look them all up if you want to (the questions are NOT in order). Have fun!

1. Justin and Andi catch the ferry to San Francisco in which city?
2. What 3 creeks usually flooded Fresno every year?
3. What does "Que triste!" mean?
4. What is the name of the Chinese laundryman's son whom Andi knows doesn't attend school?
5. Jenny Grant comes from which part of the country?
6. Lin Mei is a mui tsai. This means she is a ____________________.
7. Andi is the best young rider of which county?
8. What do the Chinese call California?
9. Where do the rich and important people of San Francisco live?
10. What game does Andi teach Lin Mei?
11. What is the stable boy's name?
12. Who captures Andi, Jenny, and the little Chinese girls?
13. Miss Whitaker is upset for 2 reasons. One reason is that Lin Mei is missing. What is the other reason she is upset?
14. Aunt Rebecca lives in a big mansion in what part of San Francisco?
15. Who hides the girls when they are running away from the sailors?
16. Where in China is Lin Mei from?
17. What are the names of the 2 missionaries who rescued girls from the Chinese slave trade in the 19th century?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Anybody Want to Buy a Watch?

Did you ever think about how certain big stores got their start? Ever heard of the old Sears & Roebuck company? I used to love their Christmas Wish Book, and we ordered out of their catalog a lot! 

Read on for a fun history tale . . .  from Andi's point of view. 
Note: The history part is true, but I took some literary license setting the story during Andi's childhood. The real story actually takes place in 1880, and the catalog is an 1897 edition. 
     When I was about eight years old, Mother took me to the train station. "We're not going to see Aunt Rebecca, are we?" I asked in horror. Aunt Rebecca drove me crazy with her "young lady" ideas.
      "No," Mother told me. "It's Chad's birthday next week and I am going to buy him a new pocket watch."
       I crinkled my eyebrows. "But, Mother! Aren't you going to buy the watch at the store?"
       "I could," Mother told me, "but I wanted a watch a little less expensive and of better quality than those I can buy at the mercantile . . . or even at Ross's Jewelry store."
      "Why is the railroad company selling pocket watches?" was my next question. I knew they sold railway tickets, and I knew they even sold candy and peanuts on board, but watches? Uh-uh! That sounded silly to me. So I laughed. 
      "The railroad company isn't selling the watches, not at all," Mother said. "Mr. Owens, the telegraph operator, is."
       This confused me more. I knew Mr. Owens worked for the Central Pacific Railroad . . . right in an office at the railroad depot. It made sense. The telegraph wires followed the railroad tracks from town to town. It was usually the shortest distance to get where you wanted to go, and the railroad already had the right-of-way for the railroad. I liked to count the telegraph poles on those rare occasions when we took the train to San Francisco to visit Aunt Rebecca.
       Mother explained that most of the station agents (who worked for the railroad) were also skilled telegraph operators. That's how they communicated with all the different railroad stations along the line. They always knew when trains left the previous station and when they were due at their next station.  
       "What's that got to do with the watches?" I asked.
       "I'm getting there," Mother said. "It's the telegraph operator who had the watches. And I have heard that these fellows have sold more watches than almost all the regular stores combined.
       "How did that happen?" I asked. It fascinated me that somebody would buy a pocket watch at a train station. If I learned all about it, I'd sure have something to share in school on Monday. 
       Sometimes Miss Hall let us take turns standing up and telling the class interesting things. So far, the most interesting tale came from Johnny Wilson. He'd entered his frog in a frog-jumping contest and won. Then he explained that he poured BBs down the other frogs' throats when nobody was looking, so his frog could jump the farthest. Cheater! He said he read about it in a book called The Celebrated Jumping Frog. Miss Hall didn't believe him, so Johnny brought the book to school, and Miss Hall read it out loud to us. It was a good book!

        "Andrea?" Mother asked. 
        I jumped back to Mother's story. I hoped it would turn out as interesting as Johnny's.
       The first pocket-watch sales were arranged by a man named Richard, who was a telegraph operator. He was on duty in a Minnesota train station one day when a load of watches arrived from back East. It was a huge crate of pocket watches. No one ever came to claim them.
      "Nobody?" I asked, astonished. How could anybody forget to pick up their watches?
       Richard sent a telegram to the manufacturer and asked them what they wanted to do with the watches. The manufacturer didn't want to pay to have them shipped all the way back to their eastern warehouse, so they wired Richard to see if he could sell them. So Richard did. He got an idea to telegraph all the rest of the agents along the line and asked if they wanted to sell watches too.
       "Did they?"
       "Yes," Mother said. "Richard sold the entire case of pocket watches in less than two days, and at a handsome profit." 
       That means he made money.
       Then Richard got a clever idea. He ordered more watches from the watch company and encouraged the telegraph operators to set up a display case in the train station, offering high-quality watches for a cheap price to all the travelers. It worked! The travelers loved the watches. It didn't take long for the word to spread. Before long, people other than travelers came to the train station just to buy watches.
       "Like us!" I said, laughing. 
       Richard became so busy that he had to hire a professional watchmaker to help him with the orders. He hired a man named Alvah. 
       "Alvah? What kind of a name is that?" I asked. "Are you funning me, Mother?" Sometimes my brother Mitch told the tallest tales.
       "No, indeed, Andrea," Mother assured me. 
       Their business took off, and soon they decided to sell other things besides watches. Richard and Alvah left the train station and moved their new company to Chicago. And it's still there.
        "Mother," I said when she had picked out a new pocket watch for Chad and we'd left the station, "what things do that Richard and Alvah fella sell besides watches now?"
        "Why, Andrea!" Mother said, laughing again. "I bought that nice little parlor set for you girls' dollhouse from Richard and Alvah."
        "Huh? Do you know them?" 
        "No, dear, but I am very acquainted with their mail-order catalog. It is called the Sears-Roebuck & company catalog, named for Richard Sears and Alvah Roebuck." 
        When I got home, I pulled the catalog off the shelf and looked at the cover. Yep. Sure enough, their names were on the cover. And to think they got their start selling watches in a train station! 


Friday, July 18, 2014

Contest Question

I need help! The 2014 short-story contest launches in a month and a half. This year I am including the Goldtown Adventures in the mix so everyone will have more variety in creating stories. I have handed out lots of flyers at conventions so I am expecting a great turnout this year!

I am revising the rules to include Goldtown, and I need a TITLE for the new, upcoming contest book, where the winners will find their stories. Last year's title was Circle C Stories, but I need a broader title this year. I also need an idea of what the cover should look like, since I'm now including Goldtown.

Here's where it gets fun. I need title ideas! Write them down in the comments! I will narrow it down to 4 or 5 and then I will put up a poll and see which title you all like best. The winner of the "title contest" (by popular vote) will receive a copy of the contest book next spring, when it comes out (even if they don't enter the contest).

Here's the only criteria: The title needs to be general enough to include any Goldtown winners.
Note: if only CC stories win, I may revise the title, of course, to reflect those winners.


Monday, July 14, 2014

A prayer request from Ira-Grace

One of our loyal blog readers has a prayer request. She's unsure how to comment and she would really like prayer, so she emailed me. Let's pray! Here is her request:

Dear Mrs. Marlow,
            I don't know how to comment, or I would put up a comment about this, but I was wondering if you could put this on your blog for me, in a comment or something.
            I would just appreciate all the prayer we can get for my grandpa, who is being tested to see if he is having heart problems. He was taken to the hospital for chest pain on Sunday. They aren't sure yet what is causing it, but a heart attack is a very possible explanation. The different tests are showing that there might be something going on with his heart.  They are testing him, and trying to figure it all out. God has been helping me/us, and He is SO GOOD!!!!!!!!
            God bless.
Phil. 4:4


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Arizona convention

It was a great convention, and part of the fun was meeting Audrey! Here we are!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I love this new banner

Kregel made me a new little banner to send to the WA homeschool organization's web page (I get a free banner on their site for one year.

Sorry I don't have anything better to post. It has been a very long last couple of weeks for Mrs. M. Her dad's 90th birthday was the week of the trivia contest winners and then the Fourth of July she needed to go back to the west side of the mountains to help watch her 8 grandkids while her daughter and son in law went to the hospital a lot to support his family, while his brother-in-law was unconscious in ICU with complications from his MS (multiple schlorisis). Then Mrs. M went home on Sunday, packed up for the convention in Phoenix, and hit the road this morning. That does not leave much time to create interesting blog posts and she is sorry!

Miss Cluck (AKA "Gracie") and her new babies
Oh, Andi's favorite setting hen, Miss Cluck, hatched out 11 chicks on the Fourth of July! One died, but 10 are happy and healthy.

Her real name is Gracie, and she is Mrs. M's grandson Justan's special araucana hen.

The duck, "Quackers," hatched 4 ducklings the next day. But one died. So, although it was a horribly busy time, it was a lot of fun greeting the new families, going to the Fourth of July parade, and watching the city's fireworks that night! 

"Quackers" and the first 2 ducklings

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Fourth of July Fan Story . . . by Rebekah

Here is a little Fourth of July story I received today. Enjoy and happy fourth!

Andi and the 4th of July
             Andi woke up. “The third of July!” Today was the day they cleaned the house and invited people. The clock struck eight. Oh no! Andi was going to be late for breakfast. Andi quickly brushed and braided her hair. After slipping on a dress she ran downstairs.
            “Sorry I’m late!” Andi hollered running into the kitchen.
            “And thank you for this…..” Justin prayed. 
             Melinda scowled at Andi for interrupting the prayer. Andi blushed and quickly took her seat and folded her hands.
            “Now, as I was saying right before Justin got down here and prayed, it’s Mitch and Melinda’s turn to pick a family to come for tomorrow,” Elizabeth Carter said. 
             Andi piled eggs on her plate and drank her milk.
            “Foster’s!” Melinda shouted.
             At least she isn’t inviting Jeffery Sullivan! Andi said to herself.
            “Wilson’s,” Mitch said.
            “Really, Mitch please, not them!” Andi shouted. 
             Mitch patted her on the back. “Sorry sis. I can’t let you sweet talk to me every time.” Mitch smiled at her.
            “Kate, Aunt Rebecca, Levi, Betsy, and Hannah will be here too,” Mother said.
            “You will need to make sure you play with Johnny, Levi, and Virginia. Betsy might want to play with you too,” Elizabeth said. “Next year can be your turn.”
            “Finally!” Andi grinned. 
             Mother smiled. “You can also have Rosa come over. You two can make some pies and right now you can go get a watermelon each and bring them inside to put in the ice box for tomorrow.” Mother told Andi.  
            At least one friend! Andi happily thought. 
            Mitch, Melinda, and Justin went into town for either work or to invite the families.
            Andi and Rosa got two watermelons and baked some pies. “This will be good!” Andi giggled at the flour on Rosa’s nose.
            “Yes, especially since best friends made them.” Rosa giggled at the flour on Andi’s nose. Then they wiped off the flour on them.
            “I can’t wait until tomorrow!” They both said at the same time.
          That evening all Kate’s family (excluding Troy) came. So did Aunt Rebecca. Levi and Andi had some horse races. Then they had to set up the picnic tables for the next day. That night Levi and Andi played checkers.
            “Morning!” Levi hollered in Andi’s ears at 6:30 in the morning. Betsy and Hannah jumped on the bed, flopping Andi around.
            “I’ll get up and dressed if you get out.” Andi moaned, shooing them out.
            The four early birds made their way down to the table for an extra early breakfast that morning. Then they helped set up the rest of the stuff for the party that night. They all went to the parade in town. Andi waved 'hi' to Cory and Levi hid from Jacob Powers, who happened to be standing next to them while watching the parade.
            “Jacob, do you remember Levi?”
            “Yes!” Jacob said and ran off on a dead run.
            “Thanks, Andi. Now I can watch the rest of the parade in peace.” Levi grinned up at Andi.
            “You!” Andi shoved him, and he almost bumped into aunt Rebecca.
            “Whoops!” They giggled then Elizabeth frowned at them.
            They kept quiet and didn’t push the rest of the parade. Levi horse-raced some of the older town boys. Andi so wanted to but she restrained herself and helped out with Hannah and Betsy and took them to see Cory’s sisters.
            Then they ate a light lunch and finished setting up.
            “Hi, Grace! I haven’t seen you in hours!” Melinda hugged Grace.
            Andi said 'hi' to Virginia and her teacher. Johnny walked in and actually used manners. Andi thought it was probably because his father and the schoolteacher were right next to him. 
            Maybe it is a good thing that Melinda invited the Foster’s, Andi thought. Since Virginia had gotten better at riding, Levi, Andi, Virginia, Rosa, and mean Johnny went riding. 
           Virginia and Rosa both tied the first race with a big head start. Johnny didn’t win a single race because they all got a head start but since Johnny was older he didn’t get a head start. 
           They all ate watermelon. Johnny kept spitting the seeds on the girls until Levi punched him in the nose. All of the girls congratulated Levi while the ladies scolded him. Johnny just turned red and they all laughed at him. 
           Chad let Johnny light the least dangerous firecrackers while everyone watched the sky light up. Andi ate three pieces of pie and lots of ice cream. Everyone agreed that the pies were the best that anyone had ever eaten.
            “Wow! Look at that one.” Everyone shouted when the firecrackers shot through the air.
            “It’s so pretty.”
            “It’s too loud for my delicate ears!” screamed Aunt Rebecca, running more walking to the house with sleepy Hannah.
            When it was time for the Wilson’s to leave Johnny was told to say thank-you.
            “Thanks.” He looked at the ground. Then all of the sudden he jumped on top of Levi. Andi, Virginia, and Rosa, all jumped on top of Johnny and held him down.
            Levi threw his pie in Johnny’s face and then they all ran and hide while Johnny screamed like a girl.
            “Johnny! Tell Mrs. Carter sorry for wasting her pie.”
            “Sorry,” Johnny mumbled.
            “Actually, Andrea made the pie,” Mrs. Carter said.
            “Ew!” Johnny yelled and wiped his face in the grass. 
             All the girls and Levi burst into laughter. Johnny was about to jump on them but Peter Wilson grabbed his arm and led him to their rig.
            “Maybe it was a good evening!” Andi said.
            “Hopefully he doesn’t stay mad at us forever!” Virginia said.
            “If he does we might be the ones with bloody noses,” Rosa said very sincerely. They all frowned.
            “Maybe living with a bossy aunt is better,” Levi said.
            “What did you say?” said a voice from above. It was Aunt Rebecca. They all ran off giggling.              “Andi did you have fun?” asked Mother later.
            “Yes, being mean to Joh--- I mean being with friends and having fun riding horses was great fun!”
            “Good!” Mother said.
Happy Birthday, America!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Calling Cards

It finally happened. Melinda kept telling me a young lady needs her own calling cards when and if she goes visiting (they are also called "visiting cards"). I didn't figure I needed anything so fine and proper, but even Mother said I might want them eventually. So, down to the Fresno Expositor office I trooped. The newspaper office does all the printing in town.  I had high hopes that I could have a calling card with horses printed on them.

No such luck.

A gentleman's visiting card
       Mr. Marshall dragged out a bunch of designs in all sorts of colors. "The more colors, the more it costs," he warned.
      I looked them over and my heart sank to my toes. "No horses?" I tried again.     
Doves. Seriously? Why not horses?
     "Sorry, Miss Carter. Not a lot of call for horses on young ladies' cards, I'm afraid. And the fellas prefer a plain card with just their name. Could I interest you in these nice butterflies? Or some lovely doves?
     The boys' cards were pretty plain, true enough. But the cards for young ladies were all a-swirl with roses and flowers and more flowers and butterflies and . . .  yes . . . even bees! One calling card had the brashness to proclaim: "You have the key to my heart." Yikes! The card read "Herman," and I wondered how he could be bold enough to pass around a card like that! (Come to think of it, Jeffrey Sullivan might be that brash.)
     In case you don't know what calling cards are for, they are an indispensable tool of Victorian etiquette (so Mother and Melinda inform me). I already knew this, but visiting Cory at his father's livery has . . . so far . . . not required a calling card. Thank goodness!
Calling cards actually depend on the home that you are visiting having servants. The servant takes your card and lets the mistress (or master) of the house know you want to visit. Aunt Rebecca is the "queen" of calling cards, let me tell you! While these little cards are not so important in a small town like Fresno, nobody but "nobody" goes visiting in San Francisco (at least in the upper class) without carrying along their visiting cards.

     Back to my tale: I looked the cards over, and I almost started laughing when I saw another young man's card. It said, "Fair lady, May I have the pleasure of seeing you home this evening? If so, keep this card, if not, please return it." Then it added, "If I can't see you home, may I sit on the fence and see you go by?"
      That is the truth. See for yourself. I would prefer somebody (even Cory or Jack) to ask me to my face if they wanted to see me home, rather than play the silly card game. I reckon this shows that most folks out West (at least in small towns and on ranches) are much more practical than the rich city folks who put on "airs" and do everything just right.
      Oh, yes, back to the calling card. I finally landed on one I didn't dislike too much. I actually do like flowers, don't get me wrong. Here's my card. What do you think?


Monday, June 30, 2014

I need your voice!

Greetings and happy Monday! I would like everybody's opinion about this idea I have regarding the upcoming Circle C Milestones series. Each book in the new series features a character "theme" and includes a Bible verse. Instead of just typing it on the first page before the story starts, I have an idea to make it into a fun font with a graphic. Here is what I came up with for the one for Thick as Thieves. What I need to know is does this work for you? Do you like it? (Not what I wrote; that's settled. But the graphic design that surrounds it). I don't want it to look cheesy or anything. But it reminds me a little bit of the "Howdy" page in the front of the CCA books.

Okay, here is your chance to do a thumbs up or thumbs down.
NOTE: If you find a different graphic that would look better, please leave the URL link in the comments. Even if you do like what I have here, you can still leave a link for other ideas! I'm sure I'll be getting the manuscript back for final editing in the next month or two and I would like send ideas back to the publisher. So, help me out here!
   photo MrsM_zpsa9f216b8.png

Sunday, June 29, 2014

June Trivia Answers and Winners

horse mini-notebook and pen
Congratulations to Adahmariyah Kelly. You are the winner of the Family Secret Trivia Contest! Please send me your mailing address either by the Blogger Contact Form or by replying to the email I sent you, so I can send you your prize.

Here are the answers to the June contest. Thanks for playing!
1. What is Betsy's real name? Elizabeth
2. How old is Hannah? 3 years old
3. What is the name of the old "ghost" town on the banks of the San Joaquin River? Millerton
4. How old is Katherine in this book? 25 years old
5. Give the two names Andi's new and unwanted brother-in-law goes by.  T.J. Silver or Troy Swanson
6. How many marbles did Levi steal from Jacob Powers? 3 marbles
7. How old was Katherine when she left home? 15 years old
8. What is the name of Hannah's doll? Tessie
9. What is the name of the foreman of the Circle C ranch? Sid McCoy
10. Who rescues Andi from nearly drowning in the flooding creek?  Troy (T.J.)
11. What did Andi give Hannah to keep her from crying when her father took her away? her locket (necklace)
12. When Andi ran upstairs to change out of her muddy overalls, who caught her and swung her around? her brother Mitch
13. Who goes to San Francisco for 2 weeks? Katherine and Mother (Elizabeth)
14. What is the name of Levi's horse? Patches
15. What are the names of the 2 bear cubs in the story Andi tells Betsy during the thunderstorm? Cuffy and Jasper


Friday, June 27, 2014

A Split Skirt for Riding

Audrey wants to see a picture of the type of split skirt I might have worn in the late 1800s to go riding. Here are a few of my favorites: When they are worn, you can't hardly tell that they are NOT a real skirt. It's a mystery to me why some folks (like Aunt Rebecca) call them "shockingly immodest." They aren't immodest at all!

I got Melinda to model her split riding skirt for you! If you didn't know it was a split skirt, you'd probably think it was a skirt! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I made a banner!

I made a banner for my Facebook page, announcing the new book. If anybody wants to use it on your blogs or Pinterest or Facebook or anything, feel free to save it and use it! It was fun to create! Oh, and I am now on Pinterest. Check it out:

Monday, June 23, 2014

June's Trivia Quiz: Family Secret

Here we go again!
June's trivia quiz covers the third book of the Circle C Adventures, Andrea Carter and the Family Secret. By coincidence, I am reading it right now to refresh my memory about Levi (because he is making an encore appearance in book 2 of the Circle C Milestones, Danger Trail (the working title). I want to make sure I remember the character so he is realistic (but matured) in this second book.

So, Family Secret is fresh on my mind and hopefully I can come up with some good trivia questions for you. As always, Email your answers to me via the "Email Andi Your Questions and Stories" contact form on the right sidebar or by emailing me at susankmarlow [at] gmail [dot] com.  
NOTE: If you do not receive a "Got it!" reply from me, it means I didn't get it and you should try again.
Don't forget: Do NOT post your answers in the comments.

You have through next Saturday, June 28, to send me your answers. (Please number them so it is easier to score.) On Sunday, I will post the correct answers and randomly draw ONE WINNER from the correct entries I received. If no one gets 100% right, I will draw from the closest winners. I will announce the winner on the blog. The winner will need to reply via the Contact Form with a mailing address so I can send the prize, which will be when I come across a post office on my travels.

Prize: mini-notebook and pen
This month's prize is something I bought at Miller Pad and Paper at the homeschool convention in Virginia. It is a small, cute, horse NOTEBOOK, about 3"x 3". I knew right away I wanted to use it for a trivia prize! I apologize for the photo. I took it with my cell phone and the room was kind of dark. I will also include a Circle C Adventures PEN so you can write in your mini-journal.  

Reminder: Every answer can be found by reading Andrea Carter and the Family Secret. You may look them all up if you want to (the questions are NOT in order). Have fun!

1. What is Betsy's real name?
2. How old is Hannah?
3. What is the name of the old "ghost" town on the banks of the San Joaquin River?
4. How old is Katherine in this book?
5. Give the two names Andi's new and unwanted brother-in-law goes by.
6. How many marbles did Levi steal from Jacob Powers?
7. How old was Katherine when she left home?
8. What is the name of Hannah's doll?
9. What is the name of the foreman of the Circle C ranch?
10. Who rescues Andi from nearly drowning in the flooding creek?
11. What did Andi give Hannah to keep her from crying when her father took her away?
12. When Andi ran upstairs to change out of her muddy overalls, who caught her and swung her around?
13. Who goes to San Francisco for 2 weeks?
14. What is the name of Levi's horse?
15. What are the names of the 2 bear cubs in the story Andi tells Betsy during the thunderstorm? 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Meeting More Andi Fans

This weekend at the WHO convention, I got to meet two more Andi fans and they were also two winners of the Circle C Story-Writing Contest. How fun to meet you, Kara and Anna!

They also have a shelf dedicated to the Circle C Adventures. Thanks for being so supportive, ladies!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Fresno Flood

You all know what happened to me the last time Fresno flooded, right? Instead of getting a holiday, I was railroaded into attending Miss Whitaker's Academy while everybody back home cleaned up the mess and got the schoolhouse ready. I thought maybe you would like to read the REAL account of the flood and see some real pictures of when this happened. (pictures courtesy Fresno Co. library, history and geneology room.)
Levee at the RR depot

This first picture is the railroad depot. See the freight cars? Cory and I were going to watch the flood from the top of the SPRR terminal, but as you know we never made it that far. Do you see the wall of dirt with the men and some horses? That is a levee they built. Chad and Mitch helped out and boy did they get muddy!

 Look at the flooded street in the picture on the right. You can float a boat down that street, and that's what we did to escape the flood waters.

And now . . . the actual account of the flood from 1884 (I tweaked the date for the San Francisco Smugglers book).
Quiz: can you find the actual parts of this newspaper article I used in the story?

Fresno Flooded
Fresno Expositor—February 20, 1884

         Sunday about noon word was bruited about town that a flood of water was coming which would probably envelope the greater part of town. By the time our reporter reached Kern street the flood had already begun to pour into the easterly limit of town. A survey of the field made it apparent to all that some means must be found to convey the water through town or the main portion of it would soon be flooded. 
         Fortunately a low swale was found and men and teams procured and work commenced in earnest. A levee was thrown up commencing at the intersection of J and Kern street to the alley between J and I streets, and then diagonally across the vacant lots to I street, and from thence to H street, and opening was cut though I street and this permitted the surging waters to pass on to the railroad reservation. By this course the major part of the business portion of town was saved from the waters flowing in from the east, but it was done at a sacrifice to those located south and west of Tulare and I street. 
         Thos. E. Hughes and Sons had a heavy force of men building levees to protect their stable from the flood, and succeeded for a time but about ten o’clock the water began flowing down Kern street and made its way through the stable and drove the men from their position. This caused Madary’s Planing Mill, the Starr Hotel, the Stanislaus Brewery, Depot, Frank Rolle’s saloon and other property in that portion of town to be flooded—the water standing from three to five feet over that part of town.         
        H street and the railroad reservation east of the track was transformed into a huge river which rushed along in a northerly direction until it met the waters of Big Dry Creek, and those flowing through Mill ditch. This caused the water to backup Canal Street and flood a large portion of the town lying north of it, in which is located most of the family dwellings, and it also began to flow southerly down J street toward Mariposa in a strong stream.
         Although a break had occurred in the railroad north of the station the roadbed served as an embankment to throw the water back against town. Communication was had with Mr. Swayne, the station agent and he communicated with the Division Superintendent at Tulare and instructions were sent to have the Section Master, Luke Shelly, cut the track north of the water tank, and this caused an easement and the waters soon began to recede. 
         Chinatown turned out in force when the great flood of water began to make its way through the railroad, and built a levee around their quarter, and saved their property from destruction and injury. The water reached its highest point about half-past 12 o’ clock, at which time it formed a compact stream, where it passed Hughes’ Stables, fully two hundred feet wide and an average of four feet deep, running with a rapid current.         
Can you see the courthouse in the upper left?
        Thos. E. Hughes & Sons are probably the heaviest losers, next to the railroad company, but the injury to furniture, carpets, etc., in private houses will run up to a pretty round figure.
A man who was probably very full of bug juice was fished up in Donahoo’s lumberyard in a drowning condition. He had evidently gone to sleep in the yard, and woke up afloat. Dr. Pedlar took charge of the man and rolled the water out of him and got him in navigating condition again.
Women and children were carried out of several houses that were standing in the water, and several narrow escapes from drowning occurred.
         S.W. Henry and John Funk, and the Bentley brothers were out early with teams, and did yeoman’s service in the water ditch and levee building. They were subsequently reinforced by M. L. Williams, who with team and plow assisted to the extent of his power. Many men, without a dollar’s worth of property at stake, worked manfully on, in the mud and slush, to keep the water off the large brick houses in town, as so soon as it broke through J street, Mariposa street would have been the outlet for the turbulent waters. 
         In contradistinction of those noble fellows were a number of heavy property holders, who stood by with their hands in their pockets and never even offered to hire a man or share the expense of protecting the whole town from flood. 
         The flood was caused by the overflow of Big Dry Creek, Fancher, and Dog Creek. It has taught the people a lesson, though, and that is that the streets of town must all be graded sufficiently high to force the water by the town. 
          Today the water has stood at about the same point, and it is probable that the worst will be over by midnight tonight. In the meantime, however, great attention must be paid to the levees that have been built, seeing that they are properly strengthened so as to prevent a break, as the banks are very soft, and seeping a considerable water. 
         Rasmussen’s big adobe building, in the southern limit of town, is surrounded by water, and will very probably be irreparably damaged. Reports at the hour of our going to press state that the water is falling slightly to the east of Fresno.