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Lane County Historical Society Publications

The Fantastic Tale of Opal Whiteley; Steve McQuiddy

The story of Opal Whiteley and her celebrated published journals, The Story of Opal.

$7.95, paperbound, LCHS publication


Dangerous Beauty; Ken Metzler, editor

150 years of law enforcement and rescue in Lane County, Oregon.

$19.95, paperbound, LCHS publication


Finding Fire; Doug Newman

Forest fire lookouts have been a part of the Oregon landscape since the early twentieth century. The idea of men and women sitting atop tall mountains in small cabins, walled in by glass and watching for the first wisp of telltale smoke, is well fixed in the minds of many national forest visitors.

The primary focus of this book is on the people who were lookouts. Why did they want to spend an entire summer atop some wind-blown peak? How did they pass the time? Were they lonely?

Doug Newman quotes from notes written during his lookout days, dug into old government files, and interviewed former lookouts, packers, fire control officers, and the men who built the stations.

$18.95, paperbound, LCHS publication


From Camas to Courthouse: Early Lane County History, Douglas Card

Stories of the politics and personal lives of early Lane County, Oregon.

$14.95, paperbound, LCHS publication


Story of Eugene; Moore, McCornack, Mcready

The history of Eugene, Oregon’s first one hundred years.

$14.95, paperbound, LCHS publication


Yesterday’s AdventureThe Lane County Historical Society

Photographs and history of early Lane County, Oregon life.

$7.00, paperbound, LCHS publication


Diaries, Narratives, and Letters of Pioneers

JOURNEY FROM INDIANA TO OREGON. Journal of George Belshaw (March 23 to September 27, 1853). As captain of a ten-wagon train from Indiana to the Willamette Valley via The Dalles, Belshaw faithfully recorded mileage, weather, geography, and noteworthy incidents with ferrymen and Indians. Some entries are marked GUIDE and some Journal, and he noticeably recommended favored areas for water and grazing. Also includes Belshaw family information and photo(*) of George Belshaw. 57 pages. $13.50

ELIJAH LAFAYETTE BRISTOW LETTERS, 1857-1864. Reproduction of a most unusual set of letters from Mr. Bristow’s copy books, discussing with relatives and friends such things as politics, business in early Oregon, and freighting to the Idaho mines. Bristow genealogy and a photo(*) are included. 165 pages (*). $27.00

AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JAMES ADDISON BUSHNELL, 1826-1912. This unusual narrative was started at age 66 and covers his childhood memories, his experiences while traveling to the gold fields of California, and twice across the Isthmus in order to connect with his wife, Elizabeth Adkins Bushnell, and his family who had started for Oregon. Of particular interest are his descriptions of home building, formation of the first school, church and settlement in the Grand Prairie/Junction City areas, floods and agricultural development. Comments continue until the time of his death and give unique descriptions of early Lane County. Also contains short Bushnell genealogy and two photos(*) of John Bushnell. 74 pages. $15.75

THE NARRATIVE OF JOHN CORYDON BUSHNELL, 1833-1912. Part I of these narratives recalls childhood memories in Missouri, the trip west with his widowed mother and family in the “Kirksville Party”— a portion of the Lost Wagon Train of 1853 – and settlement of Lane County. Part II tells of his wife’s (Jemima Tandy) emigration in 1850 with the Tandy-Snelling-Harlow train and describes her early education and religion. Includes genealogical information and photo(*) of John Bushnell 30 pages. $10.25

DIARY OF JOHN JOSEPH CALLISON, 1852. The Callison family came from Scotland to America and lived in Virginia, Kentucky and Illinois. Entries start April 6, 1852 as the family starts west to Oregon and ends August 23 when he dies of cholera on the Oregon Trail. 10 pages. $7.75

THE EAKIN DIARY, 1866. This is a short sketch of a mule-team caravan from Bloom, Illinois, written by Stewart B. Eakin, Jr. This is an interesting account of a large and extended family’s experiences along the way. Includes memoranda regarding the (*)Eakin family and photos(*) of Stewart B. Eakin, Sr. 37 pages. $11.00

REUBEN ELLMAKER (OLEMACHER) LETTERS, 1854-1860. These letters were written from Iowa to his brother, Enos Ellmaker, who emigrated to Oregon Territory in 1853. Also included is an Olemacher genealogy from 1652, a short Fisher family genealogy, and an “Autobiography” of Enos Ellmaker that is edited by his son, Amos. Photos(*) of Reuben Ellmaker, Enos and Elizabeth Fisher Ellmaker are included. 64 pages. $14.50

THE JOURNAL OF ELIZABETH JULIA GOLTRA, ACROSS THE PLAINS IN 1853. The assignment of this 22 year old writer was to record conditions of travel on the Oregon Trail for friends in Illinois who planned to go west the following year. She carefully recorded information on rivers, mountains, Indians, grass for cattle, alkali-poisoned water, church, illness, death, and every kind of danger as well as the miles traveled each day. 34 pages. $10.75

JOURNAL OF AN OVERLAND TRIP TO OREGON, SAMUEL HANDSAKER, 1853. Day-by-day account of a trip to Oregon in 1853 by a man born in England who had a gift of expression, humor, and acute observation. Added are some of his later writings on his life in Oregon and service in the Rogue River Indian War. Photos(*) of the author, wife, and grown children. 57 pages. $10.75

DAYBOOK OF LESTER HULIN. Hulin crossed the plains in 1847 arriving in Oregon over the Applegate Trail. He was an educated man and illustrated his diary with pencil sketches. The daybook also contains a listing of material costs, names, and wages of workers assisting in building his house (1855), and a list of orchard planting. Biographical information and a photo(*) are also included. 40 pages. $9.00

DIARIES OF HENRY CLAY HUSTON. This includes a rare 1856 Rogue Indian War journal and a diary kept on Huston’s trip back to Indiana via the Isthmus of Panama and his subsequent return to Oregon in 1859-1860. The author was an exceptionally well educated observer and writer. Huston’s family history and the author’s photo(*) are included. 66 pages. $14.75

MEMORANDUM OF THOUGHTS, REFLECTIONS, AND TRANSACTIONS AS TRANSCRIBED BY BASIL NELSON LONGSWORTH. This diary is written by a young bachelor as he accompanies the James Edwards family from Ohio along the Oregon Trail by way of The Dalles. His unusually descriptive and detailed entries make it possible for the reader to easily follow their route. Finally settling in the areas of the Alsea Valley, Longsworth, along with others of the trail, work together to build their first shelters, carve out wagon roads and establish their first church. The diary covers the period of March 1853 to January 1854. 80 pages. $16.50

LETTERS OF ESTHER BRAKEMAN LYMAN AND JOSEPH LYMAN. Rare description of 1853 experiences on the trip to Oregon. Her letter concentrates on the portion of travel from Ft. Kearny and across Oregon by the new “cut-off.” Illness and the loss of a newborn daughter, struggles to survive alone with her children, and the subsequent rescue give the reader descriptions from a woman’s view. Joseph’s letter to his mother in Michigan tells the perils he encountered after leaving his family on the trail, but ends with his hope and aspirations. Brakeman/Lyman/Wadsworth genealogies and photos(*) are included. 26 pages. $10.00

JOURNAL OF ANDREW S. McCLURE, 1853. This contains entries of the wagon train that consisted of 23 related members of the McClure/Bond/Bruce families from Knox County, Indiana. Besides descriptive passages of terrain, weather, and experiences, the diary gives insight into the personalities and feelings of these family members. It also contains the description of travel into Oregon territory, the decision to follow Elijah Elliott over the short cut westward into the Willamette Valley, the train’s disorientation, and Andrew’s description of the scouts’ experiences through the Cascades. 205 pages. $32.00

HOW WE CAME TO OREGON. This narrative poem by John Hamilton McClure tells of his crossing the plains in 1853 when he was a lad of seven with the McClure/Bond/Bruce party from Indiana. Also included are an extract of the JOURNAL OF JAMES F. McCLURE from September to October 16, 1853, a history of the Bruce family, McClure genealogy, John McClure’s biography and photos(*). 48 pages. $12.50

MY TRIP ACROSS THE PLAINS, MARCH TO OCTOBER 1853, BY BENJAMIN FRANKLIN OWEN. A member of the “Lost Wagon Train of 1853”, his family of Welsh descent lived in South Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky and was related to the Wells and Boones. The narrative covers a time from March 31st to October 28th and describes the experiences of Owen, Andrew McClure and others who left the suffering main train in search of the route through the Cascades and for life saving provisions. Seven pages are devoted to Owen’s trip to the California gold mines in November 1853. 68 pages. $15.00

DIARY OF CHARLOTTE EMILY STEARNS PENGRA. Mrs. Pengra was descended from Isaac Stearns who came to New England in 1630 with the Winthrop Fleet. She came to Oregon in 1853 with her husband, Bynon J. Pengra. A very well written account, by a woman exceptionally qualified, who records the journey of travelling on the Oregon Trail. Genealogy of Stearns family the Pengra descendants are included with a photo(*) of Mrs. Pengra. 33 pages. $10.50

DIARY OF AGNES STEWART and LETTER OF ELIZABETH STEWART. Both are accounts of crossing the plains in 1853 with their parents, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Oregon. The poignant diary of Agnes related a young girl’s thoughts after leaving relatives and friends for a new life in a strange part of America. Elizabeth Stewart married Fred Warner in St. Joseph, Missouri, en route to Oregon. Her letter, written from Oregon, adds details of the trip west. A genealogy of the Stewart family beginning in Scotland and photos(*) of Agnes and Elizabeth when older are included. Also, an 1854 letter to Agnes from J.D. Willoughby add detail to the story of the Stewart family in Lane County. 43 pages. $12.00

DIARY OF HELEN STEWART (LOVE). 1853. A more recently discovered account by a young girl who celebrates her 18th birthday on the Oregon Trail. Her entries provide a colorful accounting of daily experiences and descriptions of places and people. Entries are filled with excitement, nostalgia, and occasional boredom on the trail as well as glimpses into her character and personality. 35 pages. $11.00

AN ORGANIZATIONAL ACCOUNT OF THE WAGON TRAIN CAPTAINED BY SOLOMON TETHEROW, 1845.This account includes the “Constitution and By-Laws of the Savannah Oregon Emigrating Society” from Missouri. It includes the articles by which the Society was to be governed and lists “necessary outfit”, census of emigration, cattle drivers, and roll of prescribed punishment on the trail. Biographical and genealogical information is provided by Fidelia Marsh Bowers. Photo(*). 30 pages. $10.00

JOURNAL OF CATHERINE STANSBURY WASHBURN, IOWA TO OREGON, 1853. Catherine Washburn’s entries note daily experiences and provide clear identification of areas along the trail. A notation by the transcriber is the only mention of the birth of her child on June 5th. Annotations provide interesting additional information. 34 pages. $11.00

DIARY OF JAMES WOODWORTH, 1853. This diary was written by a young bachelor as he crossed the plains to the California gold fields with his relatives, the Bailey family. He aptly describes desert travel by horse and mule, early Salt Lake City, experiences on the Humbolt, and the ascent and descent of the Sierra Nevada into Sacramento. 72 pages. $15.50

BIOGRAPHY OF ADAM ZUMWALT [sic]. Written by his son, Solomon, who came to Oregon in 1850. Adam was born about 1718 and the biography contains information relating to his participation in Indian crises and the movement to new frontiers. A portion of the writing includes Solomon’s autobiography. He writes, “…thare was a grate many incidents of intrust that never was given in histra. I will give a fiew.” The Zumwalt Story and two letters written by Solomon provide biographical and genealogical information. 38 pages. $11.25

DIARY OF ROBERT MILLICAN, JAN 1, 1900 – DEC 31, 1900. Robert and his wife, Marie, were married in 1867 and settled into a life of farming in Walterville, Oregon. Since no other of his diaries are known to exist, it is believed that Robert Millican had a desire to document his life at the beginning of a new century. There is an entry for every single day for the year 1900. Robert Millican was 63 years old when he wrote this diary. Photo(*).  36 pages. $4.75

(* ) Photo reproduction