You might be wondering why the postings here focus on California’s past. That’s because I’ve learned a lot about it and love to share true stories about the state’s early days — there are so many events and stalwart pioneers and titillating scoundrels. I hope you find them interesting enough to delve into some historical research yourself, because “happenings” weren’t always as simple as I’m presenting in these short snapshots.
Personally, I came late to an appreciation of history, odd because I grew up in Sacramento, a city just filled with nineteenth century treasures: the State Capitol building, Sutter’s Fort, Victorian-era mansions, and museums displaying artifacts from by-gone days. (I blame this girlish lack of interest on school history classes, where we were given too many dry, disjointed dates to memorize instead of learning more about the people who made history.) Then I chanced upon Joseph Henry Jackson’s Anybody’s Gold, a witty, vibrant tale of the California Gold Rush. I was hooked. I had to know more!
At the time, I was living in Los Angeles, where I graduated from California State University, Northridge, and was a contributing editor to Working World, an LA regional magazine. I returned to Sacramento in 2000, when I married a great guy I’d known since high school. Back home in the city that once swarmed with tens of thousands of gold-fevered fortune-seekers, I devoured more Gold Rush histories and developed a passion for California’s tumultuous olden times.
Well . . . histories of California’s “City of the Plains” or “Second City” (San Francisco undisputedly held first place), are mainly about men’s lives and accomplishments—or spectacular failures. What about the women? Some fascinating books about pioneer women have been published in recent years, but none of them focus on the ladies who lived in Sacramento, California’s capital since 1854. For two years I researched, and scribbled. Disaster & Triumph: Sacramento Women, Gold Rush Through the Civil War presents the true stories of women who survived catastrophes galore to lend their talents and energies to building an enduring city.
At long last, it’s available on Amazon.com. Get comfortable when you read it . . . so you can hear the echoes of women’s voices telling you how it really was–from their point of view.