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Recommended Reading














Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California - Illustrated, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1891. The following comes from the Title Page:Containing a History of this important Section of the Pacific Coast from the Earliest Period of its Occupancy to the Present Time (1891), together with Glimpses of its Prospective Future; Full-Page Steel Portraits of its most Eminent Men, and Biographical Mention of many of its Pioneers and also of Prominent Citizens of To-day.

California Rancho Days , by Helen Bauer with a Guide to Adobes and Landmarks of Rancho Days attached. pub. 1953 by CA State Dept. ofEducation

Being the Story of Life and Events in California during Flush Times, particularly the Years 1848-1850. Grimshaw's Narrative, Including a Biographical Sketch. Written for the Bancroft Library in 1872 by WilliamRobinson Grimshaw." Indexed by surname and locality.

Historic Spots in California, 3rd ed., Hoover, Mildred; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel 1966; A very complete, detailed account of the people, geography, landmarks, development and history of the State.

Roadside History of California Pittman, Ruth 1995; Well researched topics and places in California's history available from the highways; thumbnail sketches of many interesting parts of life in the State.

History of California By Hubert Howe Bancroft. (7 Volumes)

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History of Amador County, CA, 1881, Thompson and West, Oakland CA. (This is one of those county books with historic and biographicalsketches "of its prominent men and pioneers." Entries to 1880.)

History of Butte County 1882, Wells & Chambers

History of Butte County, 1918, George C. Mansfield

California Heartland by Sandra Brubaker Shepard (Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, Glenn, Butte, Nevada, Sierra, Plumas Counties)

The History of El Dorado County by P.Sioli. (+Biographical section)

Fresno County--The Pioneer Years From the Beginnings to 1900, Vol.I Clough, Charles and Secrist, William 1986; A complete history of the geography, social trends, business, industry and agriculture of the county.

Fresno County in the 20th Century; From 1900 to the 1980s, Vol. II, Clough, C. and Secrist, W. 1988; Further discussions of the business, agriculture, government, educational and social development of Fresno County.

Kern County Place Names Darling, Curtis, ' 1988; Detailed lists of place names with historic and geographic references.

Historic legends of Mariposa County Cook, Fred, ed. 1975; Interesting history and stories of miners, small towns and Yosemite.

Merced County, The Golden Harvest - An Illustrated History by Delores J. Cabezut-Ortiz, pub. 1987 by Windsor Publications, Northridge, CA Indexed

Monterey County Place Names by Donald Thomas Clark (many old place names no longer exist, also this book names the pioneer families that were first associated with various places in Monterey County. Includes a name index and an incredible bibliography).

History fo Monterey County with Illustrations, 1881 Extensive name index of "prominent citizens", inc. some biographies.

History of Napa and Lake Counties, California, and Biographical Sketches San Francisco: Slocum, Bowen & Co., 1881.

Western Placer County and Lincoln by Jerry Logan. Published by Lincoln Arts, Lincoln, CA.; Volume 1, 1849-1900; Volume 2, 1901-1950Contains hundreds of names, and businesses, including someaddresses. They are not indexed, so it may take a while to do "look ups".

History of San Joaquin County, Thompson & West 1879

From Frontier to Suburbs - The Story of the San Mateo Peninsula, by Alan Hynding, published 1982 by Star Publishing Company

History of Siskiyou County, California by Harry Wells Contains some excellent historical data.

History of Solano and Napa Counties - California - Biographical  Vol II - Illustrated. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1926.

Annals of Tuolumne County Stoddart,Thomas 1963; The years 1848-1850 in the county, covering the rough life in the mining camps.

Tuolumne County : Then Came The French, By Mary Grace PaquetteExcellent Reference of French Surnames and history of French ownedbusiness and lifestyle in Tuolumne County . Very well indexed. Alsomany portraits of individuals of the community.

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Fort Bidwell by Chuck Hedel, Christopher Raven, and Butch Ascherman, 1981 (now out of print). Gives some short bio's on early settlers, and general information on the town of Bidwell. John

The Story of Bodie, by Ella M. Cain. Indexed by surname. 1956; A firsthand discription of the history of Bodie, a tough, lawless frontier miningtown in Mono County.

History of Concord, It's Promise & Progress,1986 Concord Historical Society

A Portrait of Fresno, 1885-1985 Fresno City and County Historical Society, ' Photographs and text covering the history of the city's social life, business and educational institutions.

Martinez: A California Town. RSI Publications, 1986.

Salinas, The Upside Down River"by Anne B. Fisher (many old pioneer names) Indexed

Santa Rosa: A Nineteenth Century Town by Gaye LaBaron, et. al.

Santa Rosa: A Twentieth Century Town by Gaye Labaron and Joann Mitchell.

South San Francisco - A History by Linda Kauffman; copyright 1976 by Linda Kauffman -- It was a project by the South San Francisco Bicentennial Committee.


History of San Francisco 1927, by L.F. Byington and Oscar Lewis.

Tales of San Francisco by Samuel Diskson (only the famous)

San Francisco, The Story of a City by John B. McGloin, S.J. pub 1979 by Presidio Press San Rafael, CA Indexed

The San Francisco Earthquake by Gordon Thomas and Max Witts.

Committee of Vigilance, Revolution in San Francisco, 1851 by Geo. Stewart

Sarah and the Senator, by Robert H. Kroninger. Purports to be the true story of political naughtiness in 1880s SAN FRANCISCO. Indexed by surname and locality.

Bay Window Bohemia -- the Brilliant and Artistic World of Gaslit SAN FRANCISCO, by Oscar Lewis. Covers 1890 to 1906. Indexed by surname and locality.

A Most Dreadful Earthquake -- A First-Hand Account of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire (With Glimpses into the Lives of the Phillips-Jones Letter Writers) by Dorothy Fowler, California Genealogical Society 2006

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I Am Bound For California (Diary-Edgar Reynolds ~ Wagon train to Visalia, CA) By Manley, Robert N. Publisher: Dageforde Publishing, Inc. Lincoln, NE Order Info.

The West: An Illustrated History Ward, Geoffrey ' 1994; Detailed text and lavish illustrations of the history of the West; California from the 1840s.

Trail of the First Wagons Over the Sierra Nevada Graydon, Charles 1986; Highly detailed topographic maps and narritive of various sites on the wagon trails.

Stagecoach Heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, 1853-1876, William H. Boyd, 1983 A study of the early stagecoach system in the vast San Joaquin Valley from the gold rush to the coming of the railroads in the early 1870s.

Covered Wagon Women, Volumes 1-5 by Kenneth L. Holmes (Theseare a compilation of diaries and letters from the Western Trails-well indexed)

The Beginning of the West, Annals of the Kansas Gateway to the American West, 1540-1854 by Louise Barry, published by the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas, 1972.

California Called Them by Robert O'Brien

Pioneers of California, True Stories of Early Settlers in the Golden State by Donovan Lewis, Scotwall Associates, San Francisco, 1993

The California Trail, by George R. Stewart. Opening the west in the 1840s and 50s. Indexed by surname and locality.

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California Gold Days By Helen Bauer

Quicksilver, The Complete History of Santa Clara County's New Almaden Mine by Jimmie Schneider 1992 (somewhat indexed, not a complete list of the miners)

The Real Joaquin Murieta-California's Gold Rush Bandit: Truth v. Myth Remi Nadeau ' 1974; The life and times of a 'bandito' who raided gold camps in 1853 and was chased by the California Rangers.

The Gold Rush Ketchum, Liza Illustrations and text covering the finding of gold, mining camp life, native people and first towns.

History of the Sierra Nevada Farquhar, Francis 1965; The first exploration, mining, logging, settlers and parks are discussed; less specific than other books.

Coolies, Kanakas and Cousin Jacks and Eleven Other Ethnic Groups Who Populated the West During the Gold Rush Years, 1995; Calhoon, F. D. ' Chapters discuss the contributions of eleven ethnicgroups to the history of California and the Gold Rush.

The Gold Rush by Liza Ketchum

Gold is the Cornerstone, by John Walton Caughey. Tells the human side of the story of the CALIFORNIA gold rush. Indexed by surname and locality.

Anybody's Gold The Story of California's Mining Towns by Joseph Henry Jackson, pub 1941 by D. Appleton-Century, NY Indexed

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Western Ghost Towns, by Lambert Florin. Includes ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, IDAHO, MONTANA, NEVADA, OREGON, WASHINGTON, WYOMING. Indexed by locality.

Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of California by Remi Nadeau.

Falk's Claim (The Life and Death of a Redwood Lumber Town) by Jon Humboldt Gates.

California-Nevada Ghost Town Atlas Johnson, Robert 1967; Mapsof mines, mills and diggings with comments on history, climate and current status.

The Ghost Towns of California compiled from Fortnight, by Remi Nadeau. Published 1954 2nd edition.

The Ghost Towns of Amador by John R Andrews pub 1978-Valley Publishers Indexed-includes short histories of 48 ghost towns of Amador County as well as some surname references.

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The Wilderness World of John Muir with interpretive comments by Edwin Way Teale, pub.1954 by Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Indexed

Sam Brannon, Buider of San Francisco. A Biography by Louis J. Stellman. Indexed by surname and locality.

Jacob Harlan (In San Francisco 1849) Excerpts Bill Roddy's web site

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Hallowed Were the Gold Dust Trials (The Story of Pioneer Priests of Northern California) by Henry L. Walsh, S.J., printed by University of Santa Clara Press

Early Days In Taft West Kern Oil Museum, Inc., Articles from regional papers about the early days of the oil industry in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Topics include drilling rigs, crews, railroads, schools and social life of the Taft, Maricopa, Midland areas from 1908 to 1930.

Yosmite and Sequoia; A Century of California National Parks Richard Orsi 1990; General history of the development of the parks and natural resources

The Search for Authority in California, Hansen, Woodrow 1960;Scholarly history of the formation of government, political, social institutions and early political figures from 1820s to 1849.

Footprints: An Early History of Fort Bragg and the Pomo Indians Grapp, Bonni 1967 Pamphlet covers the history, logging, mining and settling of area and the general culture of the Pomos.

Yosemite Place Names , Peter Browning 1988; The historic background of geographic place names in Yosemite National Park.

Coachella Valley Desert Trails-The Salton Sea Saga and the Romance and Sex Life of the Date 1957 The history and agriculture of the Coachella Valley.

Citizen News/Valley Times, California Information Almanac,Past-Present-Future', 1968, Many topics of special and general interests--geography, industry, ranchos, minerals, counties, sports, defense, income, etc.

Pioneer Jewish Cemeteries of the CA Gold Rush by Susan Morris

The Jews in the California Gold Rush by Robert E. Levinson

Pioneer Jews - A New Life in the Far West - Harriet & Fred Rochlin

The California Historical Society Quarterly (8 volumes) Sept. 1967 to Dec 1970

Mormon Gold: The Story of California's Mormon Argonauts. Davies, J. Kenneth. Olympus Publishing. SLC. 1984. (429 pages, photos, maps, index, bibliography, table of contents. Right now is the definitivestudy of Mormons in the Gold Rush.)

Treasure Express -- Epic Days of the Wells Fargo, by Neill C. Wilson. Indexed by surname and locality. Bill Roddy's web site

U.S. WEST, The Saga of Wells Fargo by Lucius Beebe & Charles Clegg, pub. 1949 by E.P.Dutton, NY with a Chronology of Transporation in the U.S. attached, Indexed

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Early Inns of California: 1844-1869. Cross, Ralph Herbert. Cross & Brandt: San Francisco. 1954. (302 pgs, great photos and illustrations, index, bibliography, table of contents, list of illustrations. Upon advice from Herbert Priestly and Herbert Bolton's,he researched and wrote this. Focuses on SF, SJ, and the gold rush area. Follows the road(s) from Sacto to Placerville and beyond with every single hotel/inn in 1859.)

Remains to Be Seen - Historic California Houses Open to the Public by Elinor Richey, pub. 1974 by Howell-North Books, Berkeley, CA Indexed

California Architecture Woodbridge, Sally 1988; A technically discriptive list of architecturally significant buildings in most counties of State.

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A Treasury of Western Folklore edited by B. A. Botkin, pub 1955 by Crown Publishers, NY Indexed

Dead or Alive in CA Laurie Nicklas

The World Rushed In by J.S.Holliday

Children of the Dust Bowl--The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp Stanley, Jerry 1992; A gripping account of the migration,starting in 1931, of thousands of families from the dust bowls of OK, TX, AR and MO to the southern San Joaquin Valley. The book covers the hard life in a farmworkers' camp outside of Bakersfield.

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