James Haun Diary, October 1856

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Wednesday 1 – I and Rains are hauling out manure on the wheat stubble at least—what little work we do. Dave went home.

Thursday 2 – We are still at the same.

Friday 3
– No change of work.

Saturday 4
– We did a good days hauling of manure, but did not finish.

Sunday 5
– The boys took out near $1,000 over the past week at Rocky Bar. I think it was on Friday last that I and Rains cut away some drifts and willows in Spanish Creek so that water could pass.

Monday 6
– We made two log heaps—one in the field, the other in the garden. I cut down a dead tree in the lot that helped to make the heap in the garden.

Tuesday 7
– Cloudy this morning. I and Rains heaped logs in the back of the garden.

P.M. It commenced raining. I set fire to the log heap and continued piling up till we were quite wet and cold. I had dug some potatoes in the mean time, two sacks, which we had to gather up, bad as we felt.

Wednesday 8
– Clear this morning. Once more the mountains are covered with the new fallen snow. J. Russell came with his threshing machine to get out Hall’s wheat. I and Rains kept the straw away for it, &c.

Thursday 9
– Finished threshing this forenoon.

P.M. Rains hauled a load of slabs. I did nothing.

Friday 10
– We were fixing up the root house. We were at it all day.

Saturday 11
– We commenced racking up the straw. My wife, Liz and other ladies went over to Nelson Creek. Rains went with them.

P.M. I continued putting up my straw.

Sunday 12
– All alone. I’ve breakfasted, shaved and shirted and am about to sally forth in the open air and sunshine, as the frost is fast disappearing. Later my wife and Liz came home, but Rains did not come. Him and John went up to the old mountain cabin.

Monday 13
– I received a letter from John that our double cabins had been set on fire and burned down with all of our mining tools, John’s trunk and our gum suits, pipes and hose. I set a dead pine tree on fire yesterday. It burned down in two hours. I was hauling the limbs to the house for wood.

Tuesday 14
– Cut and hauled the rest of the tree to large logs to help burn it up.

Wednesday 15
– I went over to Rocky Bar and found them all at work. I took dinner after the boys had dined. I continued there there the rest of the day.

Thursday 16
– I slept with John, and a hard sleep it was. John and Rains went with me up to the burnt cabins. We picked up some of the burnt tools and put them in the cabin that was not burnt. We then went down to the Point again. I bought a pair of pants. $2.50 and boots $6.50, each pair being the 4th that I had bought since arriving in California. I gave $1 for stabling my horse at the Point, then went home and cut off some four logs.

Friday 17
– Rained some today. I did nothing on account.

Saturday 18
– I was setting up my plank fence that was blown down on last Wednesday, also Barnett’s fence that divides our land —

Sunday 19
– John and Rains came over last evening. I and John finished the fence. The mountains are again covered with snow —

Monday 20
– I dug a sack of potatoes for Willmans—115 pounds at $8 per cwt. Rains is hauling 8,000 feet of lumber from Judkins to Soda Bar for Lovejoy and others for a flume.
I bought a pair of gloves at the cost of $2.25 to dig potatoes and save my fingers.

Tuesday 21
– Cold and freezing of nights. I am digging Potatoes. I hired a man name Moore at $50 per month. He came this P.M. Rather heavy for on an old back to dig potatoes.

Wednesday 22
– Rains did not get home last night. Cold last night, the ground froze so hard that we had to use a pick to get through crust.

Thursday 23
– Still colder last night. We are digging potatoes as usual.

Friday 24
– I’ve no changes to make.

Saturday 25
– Still digging potatoes.

Sunday 26
– I cleaned up a little. Late in the P.M. Dave and Kyler came over from Rocky Bar. They did but little this week taking out gold, as the bank caved in on Thursday last and stopped them from cleaning up.

Monday 27
– I was engaged all day doing nothing, but I settled with the Wards and collected $50 for H.P., and settled $18 for Rains. They still owe me $19.

Tuesday 28
– I and Moore are at the potatoes again. The weather is warm and pleasant, the nights a little cool.

Wednesday 29
– Our cook left us one day last week, so my wife and Liz has to do their own work. Dave is getting tickets printed to raffle off his claim at Rocky Bar at $3,000. Tickets are $10 each. The raffle is to come off on the 22nd of November by Thompson. The highest throw gets it.
My wife slapped Liz for her bad conduct to her.

Thursday 30
– I am still digging. Sherwin was here last night and paid off Lovejoy for printing the Plumas Democrat.1 I paid $24 for a subscription.

Friday 31
– Nothing new with us. We are still digging potatoes.

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  1. John K. Lovejoy was co-editor and publisher of the Old Mountaineer newspaper, founded in Quincy in 1855. The Plumas Democrat and Fillmore Banner were political papers published from the Mountaineer‘s offices leading up to the 1856 election.(Matuszak, pg 139)