Monday, June 16, 2008

Pioneer Spirit

As I mentioned, we were off at a family reunion last weekend that took place close to Murphy's in the Gold Country in California. On the side of one of the downtown buildings is a collection of ceramic plaques commemorating significant people, places or things tied to the founding and development of this area during the gold rush.

The particular man shown here commemorated in this way was Jedediah Strong Smith, and I quote:

"A great mountain man and trail blazer. He was the first white man to cross the Sierra Nevada range. In 1827 he and his men trapped in the general Mother Lode area - along Lone Tree Creek, the Calaveras, the Mokelumne and the Consumnes Rivers."

Hard now to imagine what that must have really been like ... except that there remain great areas of wilderness up there, and every year hikers get lost, and sometimes perish still, out in these mountains. To therefore have been the first non-Native American to cross the Sierras from the East, to have survived that ordeal and indeed to have flourished once reaching the other side is a truly impressive feat. Never was a man better labelled than to be given the middle name of Strong.

1 comment:

Jonny said...

your blog is very interesting,
i like it though.
well feel free to read/comment my blog,
i'd greatly appreciate it.