Miscellaneous Alpine County News

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From the Richard N. Schellens Collection of Historical Materials Vol. 71 – Section 16, Other Counties (Alpine-Vol. 6)
Donated by Walter Castor
Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben

From the Sacramento Daily Union
Monday, October 13, 1862

“Silver Mountain. From a Sacramentan who recently visited Nevada Territory, we learn that at Silver Mountain located between the forks of Carson River, and some thirty or forty miles south of Gold Hill and Virginia, about ten miles of the mountain is staked off, and is being energetically prospected. The mines, as has been stated by us, were first struck about a year ago by Norwegians and the various districts of the mountain are now to a great extent occupied by that class of citizens, among whom is Thompson, the expressman, who, but a few years ago, used to carry on his back, by the aid of snow shoes, all the letters and all newspapers, if not all the provisions which the territory required. He seems to have come to the conclusion that supplying the territory by that process is "played out", and has gone to work in earnest, digging for silver. Wherever the miners have penetrated to any depth into the hill, they find ore which they are satisfied will in time rival any other mining district of the eastern slope.”

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From the Alpine Miner
July 6, 1867

Grand Ball at Crystal Falls House (Stephen's Station), Hope Valley, on Thursday Evening, July 18, 1867. All are invited. Tickets, including supper, four dollars. Elex. G. Folger.

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From the Sacramento Daily Union
Thursday, July 14, 1870

Tobacco in Alpine County. The Chronicle of July 9th thus refers to one of its products:

"It is not generally known that we have a tobacco plantation in Alpine, but such is the case, although the tract is set apart for the purpose is not very extensive We are informed by our pioneer friend, Daniel Woodford that he has considerable tobacco growing on his place at Fredericksburg. Last year he raised a small quantity of a very good article, sufficient for his own consumption but this year he has gone into the cultivation of the 'filthy weed’ more extensively, and is well satisfied that he can raise a large crop next year. Alpine may yet be able to raise all the tobacco she requires for home consumption."

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From the San Francisco Chronicle
February 9, 1893
(as quoted by the Genoa Courier)

“For the past three months, Carson Valley and vicinity has work a deserted look, owing to the absence of the Indians, who have been in the mountains industriously gathering pine nuts. They are now flocking into their winter quarters loaded down with the fruits of their toil. The weather has been unusually favorable and the season a long one. Added to this, the crop was the heaviest since 1872. Having such an enormous yield, they were unable to pack all down and were compelled to call on the ranchers for assistance. Harrison Berry went to Barney Riley’s with a four-horse team, returned with 1800 pounds of pine nuts. James Stuart, William Thornbug of Markleeville, and J. E. Wells of Diamond Valley, hauled big loads during the past week while the Indian ponies have been kept busy packing. The nuts, when roasted, are delicious and are highly appreciate by the whites. To celebrate the close of the harvest season, a grand pow-wow will take place in the wigwam at Woodfords, on which occasion Pete Mayo, the orator of the Washoes, will ‘heap talk’.”

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The Daily Palo Alto Times of Fri. April 27, 1928 brings a cute little story about a county that "dared to tell the truth about itself."

“Alpine alone, like amorous Juliet, not stepping o'er the bounds of modesty, will hew to the line of veracity, and let the quips fall where they may. Second smallest county in the whole state, Alpine casually will admit that it has the smallest population in the United States as its introductory to a statement of disadvantages which the blue book will carry. In fact, according to Alpine's statement, its population has declined steadily since 1900. Today, the county boasts but 216 residents, 117 of whom are native whites (no paved roads, very little agriculture, lots of cold and cool weather, little mineral wealth being mined, no railroad). However, Alpine is not without its urban advantages. Markleeville, the county seat, has a population of 50 (estimated) and a post office. Also, it has a telephone connection with the rest of the world, and every now and then a stage heaves in sight.

There was one item, however, which Secretary of State Jordan refused to enter into the State Blue Book, and that was a poem, author unknown, which the Alpinists desired to have included with tongue in cheek:

I live on Roundtop Mountain;
My name is Alpine Jane.
My charms they ain't so very much,
But, I'm truthful, just the same.”


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