1871. June 18. Sabbath. The weather is a little cloudy here at Mr. Hatfield's, and my spirits are rather low, I do not feel very well for weariness, and the Sabbath here is so lonely. Nature's surroundings here are grand and beautiful but there are no religious services, I suppose, within thirty miles, and I am not among congenial spirits. But I have been reading the beautiful narrative of Jesus raising Lazarus to life from the dead, and his words to his disciples are full of comfort, while the question following comes home to my heart. "Believest thou this?" Yea Lord, I do believe and trust in thee. The boys have been taking the little trout from the brook here without hook or line. Bob Hatfield wades into the water, sledge hammer in hand, and strikes the rocks on the river bed, which process stuns the nearest fishes, and they are then taken out with the hand. They took out forty five this morning in this way. I have been trying to get rested and refreshed, to be ready for tomorrow's journey. It looks much like rain. (T.S.R. 62. 2 P.M. 90. S.S. 80.) June 19. Monday. The weather is still cloudy, and it may rain at any moment. We started at ten o'clock from Mr. Hatfield's, bound to the Big Tree Grove. We passed over the dangerous road to the South Fork of the Mokelumne, pleasantly and safely, and there we stopped, by the bridge, and ate our lunch. We then proceeded to Railroad Flat, arriving there at two o'clock, and from that place to the Big Trees the road is mostly up, up, up, till we reach a great elevation. We could hear the thunder muttering in the distance, and see the lightning playing amongst the hills, and soon after we passed the San Antoio Creek, the shower also came upon us. At the bridge, we overtook an elderly man, who had wandered away from the Big Tree Hotel, fishing in the Creek, and was now in danger of being benighted. He begged a ride with us, and we took him in, and he considered himself very fortunate. He was father-in-law to Col. Jackson - the president of the new railroad now building by way of Milton. We code all the rest of the way in the rain, arriving at the Big Trees about sunset, and found the Hotel quite crowded with visitors. They are busily putting up an addition to the Hotel in order to accommodate to the increasing number of visitors. For miles along the road, the pines and other trees are so large, that we were rather skeptical as to whether the "famous Big Trees" were so much larger, after all. But we came upon their all at once, and were fully convinced that there is no hoax about there. The two "Sentinels" between which the road passes, are wonderful trees, but much smaller than some of the others, all of which we hope to visit in the morning, if it is not too wet. (T.S.R. 64. 2 P.M. 90. S.S. 73.) June 20. Tuesday. Here we are in the Big Tree Grove. The air is cool and pleasant, but it is still quite wet under the trees, where the sun cannot shine much. Luther was out in the grove before the five o'clock stage left the house. But we did not feel like stirring so early. However after breakfast, we started on a walk through the grove. I am glad I came to see these trees, for I never could have realized how wonderful they are, without seeing them. The stump on which the summer house is built, is thirty two feet in diameter. What a thought that probably these trees germinated thousands of years ago! Most of the large trees have their names inscribed on marble tablets, and fastened to their trunks. Some of their names are - Henry Clay - Abraham Lincoln - Sherman Grant - Sheridan. Washington - Daniel Webster - Broderick- Old Dominion. Verment Hentmky. Old Maid - Old Bachelor. Father & Son ( a large and a smaller tree growing together). Henry Ward Bucher etc. The "Mother of the Forest" is standing peeled and dead - height
Original diary dimensions: 22 x 33 cm.
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Delia Locke, diaries, women, diarist, California, Locke-Hammond Family Papers, Lockeford, CA, Dean Jewett Locke, rural life, rural California, 19th Century, church, temperance organizations, Mokelumne River Ladies' Sewing Circle, temperature recordings, journal