View of Rogue Valley from Wagner Butte

1859 Diary of Charles J. Cummings (1839-1911)

Charles J. Cummings
Sep 19th

Gassburg, Ogn.
Dec 18th, 1859
Charles J. Cummings -courtesy of Richard Johnston
The crossing the plains portion of this diary is at the Yale Beineke Library . The diary here on this page starts when Charles got to Wagner Creek, (now Talent) in Southern Oregon to visit with his friend, Welborn Beeson. Beeson and Cummings both came from LaSalle county, Illinois and were friends there before coming to Oregon. 
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A few minutes writing every day Leaves our lives, when we have passed away.

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Monday 19th 1859
Started from the camp about daylight on foot to find where Mrs Beeson lived after traveling about ten miles and inquiring several times I found the house about a mile from the road. it was about 10 oclock when I got there I found Mrs Beeson at home and well and a man living with her by the name of Wallace Baldwin Welborn had gone to the Willamette on a visit. I was soon provided with a breakfast which made me think that I was once more in a land that flowed with milk & honey. few minutes were spent in visiting and then Mr Baldwin accompanied me to the road to wait the arrival of the train, it came up in half an hour. Thinking it best for me to stop here I took my things from the wagons I bid them good bye and let them pass on. Baldwin & I returned to the house dinner was soon served up and I wrote a letter home. It was soon night and I was once more permitted to spend a night without the fear of Indians stampeeds or anything of the kind. bless God for such a privelege
Tuesday 20th
The day has been warm and beautiful very much such a day as yesterday. Wallace & I went to the sawmill got a load of lumber took it to Wallaces ranch then returned to the house. In the afternoon we picked some tomatoes and other vegetables to take to Jackson tomorrow I then went to Gassburg to put my letter in the office. Gassburg is a small place it has a copple of stores one hotel 2 restaurants one grist mill &cs it is quite lively
Wednesday 21st
It has been a chilly cloudy day sprinkled some but no rain Wallace & I have been to Jackson Ville it about 10 miles. We staid in town 2 or 3 hours it being about night when we got home Jackson is quite a small contracted town built for the accomodation of the mines I made some small purchases a pair of boots and a Seat each 4.00
Tuesday 22nd
This morning I haved choped a little wood but being out of practice I soon weakened. Towards night I drove some tacks into my new boots the rest of the day I spent leasurely and a a pleasant day it has been.
Fryday 23rd
There was a light frost last night but not hard enough to do harm. The day has been beautiful. I finished tacking my boots and undertook to fix the ram rod to my gun but did not make it out I have been picking cherries eating water & mashmelon tomatoes and the like all day. this evening I milked a cow the first since leaving home this evening the thermostat stands 60 degrees above zero.
Saturday 24th
It has been a warm pleasant day Wallace has been hunting his mare but cannot find here we have come to the conclusion that she is stolen I have done nothing today worth speaking about. I have picked some cherries for Mrs Beeson to make a coblar feasted on watermelons and the like.
Sunday 25th
Very pleasant day indeed & very warm at noon the thermostat stood 76 degrees. I have written two letters today Miss Hattie Arnold & Miss Martha Wybern In the afternoon Mrs Beeson Wallace and myself went up to Mr Sternses stayed an hour or two had some apples & peaches.
Monday 26th
The morning pleasant but some cloudy we washed in the forenoon I had five shirts in the wash in the afternoon I went up to Cardwells to see about some pants that he was going to make for me he had not made them & I told him he need not. I did not get home till nearly dark. it is quite cloudy this evening and has the appearance of rain.
Tuesday 27th
The morning very cloudy and after breakfast it began to sprinkle lightly and kept increasing till it rained quite hard and continued till half past five. This morning it churned for Mrs Beeson and then wrote a cupple of letters one to Allie and the other to A C Whiting after it stoped raining took my letters to the postoffice did not get back till some time after dark.
Wednesday 28th
The weather through the day has been changeable clear & cloudy & at some time it sprinkled This morning I went to Gassburg after the mail in the after noon I helped Wallice pick tomatoes to cary to Jackson & I picked some cherries for Mrs. Beeson to make a coblar.
Thursday 29th The day has been cloudy and cold. Wallise and I have been to Jackson not much stirring in town today Wallice took some butter which brought 75 cts per lb.
Fryday 30th The day has been warm quite foggy in the forenoon. this morning I have been over to Mr. Mirses to see if he wanted to hire found he did not. reading occupied the most of any time in the afternoon.
Saturday Oct 1st It has been a beautiful day. I churned for Mrs. Beeson in the morning and in the afternoon I went up to Sternses helped Oscar hew some timber for his shop he paid me one dollar I staid at Sternses all night had all the apples & peaches I wanted.
Tuesday 2nd
It has been a very warm day. have spent the most of the day in riding horseback with Oscar & John Robberson We visited the rocks on the north peck a spir of the Siskiyou mountains we came home by Gassburg. I have again visited the peach orchard The thermometer tonight stands at 70 [degrees]
Monday 3rd
It has been a pleasant day. I helped Oscar make shingles Mr Sterns & wife went to Jackson stayed all night no person at home but the boys after supper I went down to Beesons found them all a bed
Tuesday 4th
Another pleasant day I helped Oscar make shingles and sort broom corn The most of the folks have gone to the Agricultural fair held at Jackson Mrs. Beeson & Wallice have also gone and I expect to go tomorrow The folks were late home and Mrs. Sterns has [s]taid all night
Wednesday 5th
This day has certainly been one of the pleasantest. Oscar & Orson Sterns John Robberson & myself went to the fair in the carriage. It is the first fair ever held in this county It would not be expected that it would be as great an exhibition as an older State but I think it done very well for a place which has been settled but about seven years. The show of stock was limited but fruit was very good some of the apples weighed 1 1/2 lbs and sold for 250 per couple. during the sale there was 21 apples sold for 15.00 eleven of them for 12.00 and three of them sold for 7.00 $. Grapes sold for 1.00 per stem. I stayed till the exercises were nearly through heard a very good address given by James OMeara Editor of the Sentinal. I then started home reached there about dark I stoped at the post offace and brought Mrs. Beeson a letter from Welborn, heard it read then had supper.
Thursday 6th
I worked for Oscar made shingles broch handles and so on It has been a pleasant day.
Fryday 7th
This is my 20th birthday and a beautiful day it is . I have been turning broom handles, sewing broom & I stayed at Sternses all night
Saturday 8th This has again been a lovely day. In the forenoon worked on the shop and in the afternoon we raised it had a good time after dark or rathar by moonlight I went down to Beesons spent the evening in reading we retired early. Had not been a bed but half an hour or more when I was woke up by a nois which soon told me that Welborn had come and had gone to the barn to put up his horses. he soon made his apearence I had got up and was waiting for him to come in when he came Mrs. Beeson introduced me as Charles Johnson he did not know at first but soon recognized me & was very much surprised we sat up till about 12 oclock and then went to bed and talked the res of the night.
Sunday 9th
Its a beautiful day and I have done nothing but talk talk all day Oscar & Orson & John Robberson have been here to dinner. In this evening I wrote a letter to Bill Copeland.
Monday 10th
And another pleasant day. today I have been to work on the shop after supper I came down to Beesons. Mr Wagoner was there I I had not been there long before Oscar & John Roberson came in and I shall have to go home with them.
Tuesday 11th
The day was pleasant but it began to cloud up before night. I have been sawing shingle blocks I now am makeing my home at Sternes.
Wednesday 12th
On geting up found it sprinking on but did not continue long. but remained cloudy all day. This days work has been shingle makeing.
Thursday 13th
The weather is again pleasant. We have been sawing shingle blocks Th saw is more like a board than it is like a saw. Prof Rogers is here to night is visiting the neighbors to see what he can do about geting up a school.
Fryday 14th
This has also been a pleasant day Mr Rogers went away this morning We have been hewing timber this forenoon and this after noon sawing shingle blocks. In the evening we all wet down to Robbersons Oscar & I went on to Beesons stayed a little while then came back to Robbersons. We ate peaches and spent the evening in all sorts of ways.
Saturday 15th
The morning cloudy it drizzled towards night. We sawed shingles blocks in the forenoon. Old Tailor came and we had to dig him some potatoes the rest of the day made shingles at evening went down to stay with Welborn
Sunday 16th
After breakfast I went up to Sternes to dress. soon Welborn called for me to go with him his mother & Wallice to Mr Nailers. I went with them we had a very good time We got home about sundown. Welborn & I spent the evening Writing I wrote to Eliza Jo Rice & S. J. Hayes. The day has been pleasant but this evening is quite cold, and last night we had quite a frost so that it killed tomatoes and froze ice as thick a window glass.
Monday 17th
On geting up this morning found it quite cold and a white frost. I went up to Sternses to breakfast It commenced sprinkling on before breakfast and increased slowly till it rained quite hard and continued all day and most all night we made shingles in the barn. Tuesday 18th
It has rained nearly all day. Oscar and I went down to Beesons before breakfast Oscar went after papers and I went after to prepare my letters for the mail I also sent a paper to Miss Maria We went back ate breakfast and went to work at schingles in the barn
Wednesday 15th 1859
very foggy till noon the remainder of the day very pleasant. The three boys and myself went down on to the farm Orson & I plowed Orson with the oxen- & I with the horses. Oscar & Newell cut broom corn we took our dinner with us.
Thursday 20th
We had quite a shower last night and has been very cloudy all the forenoon the afternoon pleasant. We have been down to the farm Oscar killed a wild goose. This eveiing I have been studying arithmatic a little
Fryday 20th
It has been a pleasant day Orson & I have been plowing we took down the desk and at noon took a game of genshire. This evening I have again taken a lesson in arithmatic
Saturday 22nd
This has been a beautiful day. Orson and I have again been following the plow this noon we feasted upon a game of seven up. this eveing John & Bob have been up here and we had been sitting fire into the pitch pine trees.
Sunday 23rd
It has been a beautiful day & I have been to Church for the first time since I left home. I rode Welborns horse Welborn his mother Mr & Mrs Sterns went in the carriage. we come back to Beesons had dinner and I stayed all night wrote a letter to Sam & Sofa.
Monday 24th
The day pleasant. Oscar & I have been sawing shingle blocks. just at night turned a bath.