James Haun Diary, April 1856

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Tuesday 1 – Still cloudy. Bill is hauling rails. I continued up all day. Late in the P.M. it rained and snowed considerable after dark.

Wednesday 2 – Cleared off. I am still getting better; I went up to town today. Bill hauling rails and hauled one load of sluice boxes for Dickinson and company to Niger Ravine.

Thursday 3 – Still clear. Bill went up to Illinois Ranch and got Frank Goble to come and help us to plow. Bill hauled rails the rest of the day.

Friday 4 – Cloudy this morning and rained some. Bill and Frank was plowing all day. I am still improving. John came over this morning and returned this afternoon to the diggins. I have not done well this week.

Saturday 5 – Foggy this morning. Bill and Frank broke the handle of the plow. It was mended by noon, and they were plowing again in the P.M. I was raking the trash off the ground for a garden and burning it.
Dave came over this afternoon. I got him to set a log heap afire. Rains set fire to the dead grass where we want to plow and the fence caught fire and burned up some of the rails about dark.

Sunday 6 – Cloudy and rained some today. John came over today and brought $500 he borrowed of John Ritchy at 3 per cent per month. $61.25 was taken out of the diggins last week. I had to drive out a lot of stock and put up the fence.

Monday 7 – John and Dave prepared early to go over to the diggins. Dave gave me $28 of the money taken out of the diggins the week before last. Bill got 619 pounds wheat of Judkins & Co. and 228 pounds screening at 5 cents per pound.
Lem Compton came up to to work for me, I was about town all day and did no work.

Tuesday 8 – Bill and Frank were plowing, harrowing and putting up fence. I and Len put up a fence in part around the garden. The sheriff has served a garnish on me for all I owed to I. and F. Jennings. Jennings made me a deed early the same morning. I had it put to record.

Wednesday 9 – I paid Linton $24 last month for four days work by him and one yoke of oxen, and I gave Rains $5 on Monday last. Also $2 to Crop for fixing Elliot’s wagon.
We finished sewing wheat and barley over all the ground that is plowed by noon. Lem split stakes. Bill and Frank continued plowing. I raked in the garden.
In the afternoon I received a letter from  John H. Haun dated February 28th 18561 and one from H.P. Haun from the first April 18562 – all well.

Thursday 10 – Rained a little today. Lem split stakes till noon. Bill and Frank were ploughing, and Lem hauled two loads of stakes. I was in town all day. I paid Hosselcuth $75 for a cook stove and gave H.I. Bradley $40 for his chickens on the American Ranch. A ball was given tonight by Ward Price; $4 a ticket, with dancing in the courthouse.

Friday 11 – Breakfast over, I gave directions about what was to be done on the Ranch. I gave Isaac Jennings up his mortgage and paid the county clerk $.50 to write the satisfaction of the same. I paid Cross $4 for blacksmithing, then I and Kayler started on foot for the diggins, my old home. We arrived at noon. After dinner we went out to the diggins, the upper as well as the lower. We walked around till night. It rain all day, and not much gold was got.

Saturday 12 – I and Kyler slept together in my old bunk. After breakfast I took down the cook stove and packed up its furniture to send over to the American Ranch, but no mules came. Bray was up to see me and we talked of our lawsuit and went back home after dinner.
I and Kyler was all evening looking out a locality for a ditch to carry water from Rocky Bar across the middle fork of the Feather River, rather a difficult job. John and Shults got gold this week out of the upper diggins $124. Dave and Joe got gold out of lower diggins $16 all week—no good.
Mostly clear weather today.

Sunday 13 – Kyler stopped at the Point last night. I slept in my old bunk and was up before day. I mended my pants and read the 14th and 15th chapters of Matthew, then called up the boys. I had to fix up my fire place this morning.
I and Shults went to the Point where we met Kline with two pack mules to carry the cook stove over to the ranch at a cost of $10 paid to Thompson. Shults is going down to Rocky Bar. I paid Frank Fox $50 borrowed last fall; paid I.C. Lewis $48 for potatoes; paid A. Moorehead $10.25 for a store bill; and collected $44.75 of I.S. Root as security for Lloyd.
I, John, Dave and Kyler bought Dutch Charlie’s claims on Rocky Bar for $2,500 payable in six months with 3 percent interest per month, with I.W. Thompson as security. We then went to my cabin.

Monday 14 – I went down to the Point. John and Joe at work at the upper diggins and Dave at the lower. I waited for Kyler to come up from the Rocky Bar claims after taking possession. We and Duesler then started for the valley. I and Kyler went by the cabins, got my gun and some other notions, and set out. It rained on us all the way. I borrowed a crosscut saw from Terwilliger.

Tuesday 15 – I paid James Conat $500 that was due on the ranch last evening took Hagans rent as agent for Mrs. Jennings.
Early this morning I, Baloo and Duesler went up to Massack diggins to see about the ditch, and tools and provisions. It was late when we got back. I rode Firman’s mule.
I then walked up to Betsy Town and borrowed $300 of Dr. Cate at three per cent per month and bought a check of Buckholder in favor of H.P. Haun for $282.50 payable in Marysville. I then got some garden seeds at the cost of $7.50, and went home.

Wednesday 16 – We did but little today. We finished plowing for grain and are not able to plow the garden with the plows we have, as they have been broke and will break again.
I paid Judkins $75 for seed wheat and so forth. I was cleaning up the trash, with Lem to help me to saw off logs. Frank is harrowing. Stinson put on one coat of plastering. Bill did not get a plow.
I wrote a letter to H.P. and sent him the check for $282.50.

Thursday 17 – I bought 415 pounds of potatoes of I. Conant at 7 cents per pound. I sent Bill to Alford’s for a load of fencing planks and posts. I finished sewing grain. I sent Bill to Judkins’ after 240 pounds more of wheat. Some harrowing to do yet.
Dave came over. I paid a digger $3 for trimming six pine trees. I got $2 of Dave.

Friday 18 – I bought 50 pounds nails for $6 and got Tod to help me make a plank fence. The boys were piling up logs to burn. We finished harrowing in grain.

Saturday 19 – I finished fencing up the garden. The rest were sawing and putting up log heaps. O’Neal sent me a keg of nails and 100 pounds of flour.

Sunday 20 – We all mended up the log heaps. John and Joe came over yesterday evening.
I paid Allford $10; Frank Goble $25; Cross $1.50; and Elliott $2. I collected $3 from Dickinson and got $3 from John.
After dinner I, John, Joe, and Kyler started for my old cabins. We arrived before sunset. My wife gave me $12 and I gave her $5—I think it was on Friday.

Monday 21 – I slept in my old bunk with John. Breakfast over I, Dave, and Kyler went down to Rocky Bar and took dinner with the Sterlings.

P.M. Sherwin came down and proposed to extend his flume if the miners on the bar would agree to pay him $1,200 when the water was ready for mining, and he would pay two per cent per month until we got in water, and then we were to pledge ourselves to take $1,300 worth of water and lumber to secure him from loss. We went up to Fox’s, supped, and stayed all night.

Tuesday 22 – We breakfasted and went down to the bar again. We talked with the miners and all concluded to accept Sherwin’s proposition. Dined at Fox’s.

P.M. Closed the bargain. Paid my bill $2.50 to Fox and started for home. Stopped a while at the diggins with John and got home at sunset. All’s well, or nearly so.

Wednesday 23 – Set a log heap on fire in the barn lot and raked up a lot of trash and burned it. I and Frank was building a plank fence in front of the barn. Rains hauled one load of fencing planks and posts, then hauled rails for a partition fence in the front pasture. I sent Lem over to Rocky Bar to fill my place and gave him $10, partial pay for work done on the Ranch.

Thursday 24 – We was building fence. The nights are very cold. Bill is hauling rails.
I paid the butcher George $12 on account for beef. I collected $.50 from Ray for ranching a mule one night, and $1.50 for ranching three pack mules.

Friday 25 – Last night was very cold. I and Frank put up all the plank we had. Rains went up to the Illinois Ranch and got a plow. He came by the mill but got no plank. We put on strips and capped the fence we had put up. Later I and Duesler went down the valley to Chapman’s to see his cows, but did not buy. We was late getting home, took supper.

Saturday 26 – Cold last night again. Rains and Frank were plowing the garden in the A.M. I was attending to getting Kelly’s evidence and paid O’Neal $28.50 for nails and flour.

P.M. I laid a fence across the pasture to divide it.

Sunday 27 – Cloudy this morning and somewhat windy raining about noon. I paid Kelly $3 fee as witness yesterday $1 for Rhubarb seed, two packs. I paid Judkins $50 more for seed wheat that I’ve sown. I gave my wife $.50.

P.M. I and Kyler started for the Rocky Bar diggins. We stopped at the old Haun diggins. John gave me $113.50 in the gold dust. We arrived after dark at the bar.

Monday 28 – Cold last night and today. I and Lem went up to help Sherwin on his flume, but it rained very hard in the morning, causing us to stop a while.

P.M. We were at it again until night. Kyler and Dave were at work on the house. I gave Frank Goble $10 yesterday.

Tuesday 29 – Cold and snowed last night. We were at work all day on Sherwin’s flume, but unpleasantly cold all day. Kyler and Dave are at work on the house.

Wednesday 30 – Snowed last night and rained all day. We did no work on the flume. Later in the afternoon John and Joe came down to the Rocky Bar. Stayed all night. Still raining.

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  1. Not included in this collection.
  2. Not included in this collection.