I know you've seen this picture before, but Grandpa wanted to come along and who am I to argue with my gold panning ancestor? He's just so cute sitting here at the Cosumnes River. Hope there's some color in that pan.
My Grandpa kind of reminded me of this picture of Black Bart under the tree on this selection of the glasses I am going to show you. As a background I am using a small piece of fabric I bought at a garage sale which shows several gold country scenes. Vultures on an overturned wrecked wagon... it was a tough life out there, trying to get to the west. No wonder we still have a lot of vultures in Kelsey.
Whoo Hoo! Eureka! I found gold! This is my single, lovely, Gold Strike glass. Heidi gave it to me, and I love it. This gold seeker was overjoyed about his discovery. This is a common theme, if you look up to the right at the fabric, there is another seeker waving his hat or pan in joy, as his mule or horse grazes to the left. I think maybe this didn't happen QUITE as often as depicted in our nostalgic art.
Next to the glass is a little cream pitcher which has a gold pan depicted on the side. It is in lovely condition, but has no maker mark.
I wanted to show you the side of the little pitcher with its gun. Unfortunately it is hard to think of the wild west without guns. I don't think they were quite as common as movies and TV depict. But they were part of life.
On the right side of the Gold Strike glass is a mule, which was also a common part of the gold seeker's life. I wish I had one to help me carry my veggies from my garden and help eat the weeds around here! Or, of course, to shoulder the many bags of gold I might pan out of the river (I wish).
These two, the first I am showing you of my Gold Discovery series of glasses, of which I have six, are showing a very important part of the old west, communication and transportation. On the left is the Butterfield Stage Lines, 1858, and on the right the Pony Express 1860. Now, with our modern automobiles, air conditioned, muffled and equipped with shocks, it is amazing to think of the bumpy, dusty, hot, thirsty, crowded accommodations of a stagecoach. Not to mention don't look outside and down, because the road was very small and there was usually a mountain on one side and a cliff or river on the other! And the hardy gentlemen who were riding the ponies to deliver your mail? I know the conditions for mail carriers even now are not easy, but at least they have improved some over the years.
Here again we see Black Bart, the Bandit Poet 1875-1883. I do not know much about him, I am going to do some studying up on him, and we may meet him again in another blog. The glass to the right is the Calveras Jumping Frog contest, immortalized by Mark Twain. I have only seen this contest once. It was a lot of fun. I need to get back there again one of these days.
I thought this was a fun photo, the background of a gold panner and covered wagon, and my glasses with the same. The glass on the left says Discovery of Gold by James Marshall, Coloma, and the glass on the right says Discovery of Gold in the Great American West.
Leaving you with a photo of gold seekers at Coloma in 1949 celebrating the centennial of the gold rush and hoping to start a repeat.
Hope you enjoyed seeing my collection. I am always on the lookout for more...