Schmidt's "Famous Tunnel" now has a group of
"friends" trying to preserve and protect the
the photo to visit their Website.
birth of a new year is also the death of California campfire
permits issued in 2004. Visit your local land management agency (BLM,
NPS, USFS or State Parks) to renew your campfire permit for the
2005 calendar year.
the photo below to read more about Cerro Gordo.
Don't have a 4X and want to
visit historic sites in Eastern California?
Capture the spirit of the past as it comes alive with true tales of pioneer families, prospectors, muleskinners, hero's and gunslingers. Listen to legends of lost gold, found wealth and superstitions.
Journey back in time with Terri Geissinger - Historian, Interpreter and Guide
Click on Terri's yellow van for Terri's
Ghost Town Tours or
contact Terri by clicking here:
is a new publication highlighting the history and legends
California and Nevada.
on the logo to
request subscription information.
Time To Celebrate: The
Fourth of July
Cecile Page Vargo
I: Along the Trail
As pioneers rolled covered
wagons across the vast North American continent to a new land, the love
and loyalty for the country they were leaving behind remained with them.
Even the brave men who paved the way to this new frontier for these
pioneers would stop and pause for a moment of brief celebration and
patriotism when July 4th came around. The celebration of old and
familiar holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other events monumental
or otherwise, gave weary
travelers something to look forward to other than the arduous work of
their journeys and expeditions. It also helped them to remain connected
to the land and the loved one's back in the States.
of Discovery Greets Day With A Bang
Diaries from these travels more often than not noted Independence
Day. Not quite two months into their journey of exploration into unknown
territories, Captain William Clark of the Lewis & Clark Corp of
July 4th 1804
"Ushered in the
day by a discharge of one shot from our bow piece, proceeded on, passed
the mouth of a bayou leading from a large lake on the S.S. (starboard,
or right side,) which has the appearance of being once the bend of the
river, and reaches parallel for several miles. We came to on the L.S.
(larboard, or left side, known today as port side) to refresh ourselves.
Joseph Fields got bitten by a snake, and was quickly doctored with bark
by Captain Lewis.
We passed a creek
twelve yards wide, on the L.S., coming out of an extensive prairie
reaching within two hundred yards of the river. As this creek has no
name, and this being the Fourth of July, the day of the
, we called it "Fourth of July 1804 Creek." We dined on corn.
Captain Lewis and I walked on shore above this creek and discovered a
high mound from the top of which he had an extensive view. Three paths
came together at the mount. We saw great numbers of goslings today which
were nearly grown. The lake is clear and contains great quantities of
fish and geese and goslings. This induced me to call it
. A small Creek and several springs run into the lake on the east side
from the hills. The land on that side is very good."
No Time To Rest on the Fourth
Explorer Stephen Long led an expedition across the plains to the
in 1820. Forty miles east of
the peak which is now named after Long, they paused briefly to celebrate
the birth of the nation they had come from. Edwin James, a physician,
accompanying Long, noted the day in his journal:
"We had hoped
to celebrate our great national festival on the
, but the day had arrived, and we were still at a distance. Being
extremely impatient of any unnecessary delay, which prevented us from
entering upon the examination of the mountains, we did not devote the
day to rest, as had been our intention. We did not, however forget to
celebrate the anniversary of our national independence, according to our
circumstances. An extra pint of maize was issued to each mess, and a
small portion of whiskey distributed."
The maize Edwin James talked of was a delightful addition to the
soup kettle of boiling buffalo meat, instead of the usual barley.
Swift's Cure for Hysteria
note: This story contains references to sex and sexual devices
of the Victorian Era. If you are uncomfortable with such subject
matter, please do not read this article.
far as we know, Dr. Swift never practiced at
. The character is based on an poster we once saw in the museum,
however his modality of treatment is well documented.
Finally a doctor who knew what women wanted and needed!
"Give it to me baby," may have been said by many
women in Cerro Gordo in the mid-1800s when Dr. Swift arrived in
their town to offer his magical massage treatment with the promise
to heal sicknesses from neck to knee.
|IT PAID TO
ADVERTISE--Dr. Swift advertised his healing powers with
handbills. Because he had no office, he visited his patients
in their homes.
Women with physical or emotional symptoms such as headaches,
emotional instability, melancholy, aggression, depression, feeling
lower abdominal heaviness, muscle pains and other discomfort might
have sought his treatment as these symptoms were considered to be
linked to women's reproductive system.
Victorian Era (1837-1901) physicians referred to these symptoms as female
hysteria from the Greek idea of a "wandering womb seeking
its proper place." The symptoms, according to their testing,
could treated by the stimulation of the female genitals which
induced “hysterical paroxysm.”
It is nice that men
recognized that women must have orgasms, too. The sad part is that
husbands of that time were not trained for this elementary
So while some big city doctors welcomed women in their office
for treatment, Dr. Swift at Cerro Gordo, who lived in the American
Hotel and had no building on which to hang his shingle, went to his
patients' homes to offer comfort and privacy.
Let me give you my address, doctor.
In a society were good
women were not supposed to have sexual cravings, it was quite
acceptable to visit the doctor or to be visited by the doctor when
bothered by symptoms of hysteria. In those times, manual
manipulation was a customary and accepted medical practice. When
male doctors came up with this great treatment in the 1800's, many
women felt in their every day life as if they were guided by angels.
That is why women love men
so much. (Ha-ha)
As we all know, massages do wonders, but this type of massage
is quite unimaginable in today's society.
We're still in the process of
finalizing details for our tour insurance. We hope to be back on the
trail for our Fall, 2005 tours.
Please contact us at email@example.com
for tentative dates or to be put on our interest list.
Explore Historic California!
Not too many years ago, the family station wagon was the
magic carpet to adventure. Today, that family station wagon is likely to
be a four wheel drive sport utility vehicle or pick up truck. SUV's and
other 4x4's are one of the best selling classes of vehicles. Ironically,
industry statistics show that once purchased, few owners will dare to
drive their vehicles off the paved highway. Click your mouse through our
website and enjoy our armchair adventures and the histories behind them.
If you are interested in taking one of our guided tours with your
vehicle, please visit our ECOLOGICAL 4-WHEELING ADVENTURES.
Several years ago, we bought our first SUV. We went to a one-night class
at a local community college entitled "How to 4-Wheel Drive" by Harry Lewellyn.
The following weekend we attended the hands-on day tour. We liked what we were
doing so much that we began going out nearly every weekend and learned how to
negotiate a variety of dirt roads. Our spare time was spent doing research on
the history and ecology of our favorite areas. A one-day outing turned into 16
years of leading others on mini-vacations throughout Southern California and the
Our 4WD outings involve driving on easy to moderate dirt roads and are
ideally suited to novice and intermediate level drivers. All tours are suitable
for stock vehicles in good condition, although some tours do have vehicle size
Our tours are
operated under permits issued by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S.
Forest Service, and other authorities.
We share our knowledge of the backcountry over the CB radio with our
guests. We frequently stop to explore mining areas, old and new, and ponder the
rocks, plants and animals we may encounter. We'll occasionally visit an old
cabin or deserted mountain lookout.
California has a fascinating history, from geologic unrest and
prehistoric petroglyph scribes to the "Radium Queen of the Mojave" and the
"Human Mole of Black Mountain." Load up your 4X, fasten your seatbelts and get
ready to explore historic California.
Roger, Cecile and Marty