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Thread: Books about the early West

  1. #11
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    I used my Canon Rebel XT on automatic and focused on Whitney---so, no I have no idea what the parameters were.

    William Brewer and Josiah Whitney (first Calif. State Geologist) were the first to climb Santiago Peak (Saddleback) in Orange County on 1-26-1861. Using a barometer, they set the height at 5,675' or 12 feet lower than it is measured today.

    I want to get a copy of that book as well. Thanks Vulture for the tip.

    NJ
    "I got four things to live by: Don't say nothing that will hurt anybody. Don't give advice--nobody will take it anyway. Don't complain. Don't explain." Death Valley Scotty Walter Scott 1872-1954

  2. #12
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    I was just exploring & found "Up & down California" free online at Google books & another site. Google William Brewer California.

    Pretty neat, but I still like books on paper.

    <
    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

  3. #13
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    Mr. Johnson! Excellent work!

    You do me proud!

    Doubling up the image is a fine trick indeed and your composition is just right! doesn't get any better than that.

    Next get yourself a tripod, night time is equally fine for full moon landscapes, star filled skies and not least, bolts from the Gods!

    Oh yeah, the book thing, "On the Border with Crook" is my bible. Required reading for all denizens of the southwest.

    And complete agreement with Sr. Zopilote's recommend "In their own Blood"

    "Once they rode like the wind" is another.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vulture View Post
    I was just exploring & found "Up & down California" free online at Google books & another site. Google William Brewer California.

    Pretty neat, but I still like books on paper.<
    Yea, verily.

    My local library has it in stock, so I'll give it a read.

    Since I can't take a time machine back to the 1860s (when grizzlies still roamed the Santa Ana Mountains near my home), I'll do the next best thing-- read about it.

  5. #15
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    I'm currently reading Gold, Guns and Ghost Towns by W. A. Chalfant (Stanford University Press, 1947).

    It's interesting to read about ghost towns only 50 to 90 years after most of them were started. If one were reading this back in 1947 he could have driven out to visit the fairly well preserved remains of ghost towns (even before Don photographed them-- can you imagine anything that old?!).

    A common theme in the stories of prospectors, surveyors, and other travelers of the Young West was extreme hunger they wrote about. Reading them makes the hunger feel palpable. While it is simple for us now to romanticize about traveling through the mountains and taking placer gold from any number of locations, the writings tell a different story. Some of the would-be prospectors had so little knowledge, money, and supplies that they weren't sure what to do even when they got their claim. Shovels, pans, rockers, and materials for sluices were awfully hard to come by if you had no money and were out in the boonies.

    The stories remind me to be thankful for what I have, and they also give me an appreciation for ghost town sites that have no remaining buildings. Just knowing I'm standing where fascinating events took place makes my imagination race at what it must have been like in the old days.

  6. #16
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    [QUOTE=shirohniichan;44051]

    It's interesting to read about ghost towns only 50 to 90 years after most of them were started. If one were reading this back in 1947 he could have driven out to visit the fairly well preserved remains of ghost towns (even before Don photographed them-- can you imagine anything that old?!).


    Whaaaaaaaat! You calling me old? Man, if you wanna see old, take a look at Vulture. Now that's old.
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    Ghost Town Web site:http://www.donwinslow.net/Ghost%20Towns.html

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    [QUOTE=dwinslow;44053]
    Quote Originally Posted by shirohniichan View Post

    It's interesting to read about ghost towns only 50 to 90 years after most of them were started. If one were reading this back in 1947 he could have driven out to visit the fairly well preserved remains of ghost towns (even before Don photographed them-- can you imagine anything that old?!).


    Whaaaaaaaat! You calling me old? Man, if you wanna see old, take a look at Vulture. Now that's old.
    I reckon Vulture was living in them towns when they was NEW.

  8. #18
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    I have to thank Vulture for recommending Up and Down California. Brewer tells a wonderful tale of the state in the early 1860's. Grizzlies, pronghorn antelope, condors, all widely distributed and plentiful.

    An insane asylum in Stockton with 1,000 people in it---probably mercury poisoning for most of them. Brewer and Whitney climbed Shasta, thinking it the highest peak in the state and found it littered with tin cans, bottles, and old newspapers.

    NJ
    Last edited by Norman Johnson; 10-15-2009 at 02:05 PM.
    "I got four things to live by: Don't say nothing that will hurt anybody. Don't give advice--nobody will take it anyway. Don't complain. Don't explain." Death Valley Scotty Walter Scott 1872-1954

  9. #19
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    Yesterday I finished reading "The man from the cave" by Colin Fletcher.

    Pretty cool stuff.

    In the 1960'sThe author found a cave in Nevada containing belongings from a prospector that had lived there decades earlier.

    The author spent about ten years tracking down information and interviewing old fogies to flesh out this persons life story.

    This had a lot of information regarding one sinner-saint-braggart-hero from the early 1900's and the environment that sustained him.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Johnson View Post
    I have to thank Vulture for recommending Up and Down California. Brewer tells a wonderful tale of the state in the early 1860's. Brewer and Whitney climbed Shasta, thinking it the highest peak in the state and found it littered with tin cans, bottles, and old newspapers.

    NJ
    Well...at least they didn't find any graffiti...

    glad you liked the book.

    <
    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

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