Shipley Diary of 1864 ~ Knoxville, Iowa to Rocky Bar, Idaho
The following story is a transcript from the Shipley Diary, as recorded by my 3rd great-grandmother Elvira Clarisa Aldrich, while traveling on the Oregon Trail, from Iowa to Rock Bar, Idaho, in 1864. Brice Shipley and Elvira Clarissa Aldrich traveled the Oregon Trail with their two daughters, Emma and Agnes. Their journey only took three months because they used horses.
Diary of Mrs. Elvira Clarisa (Aldrich) Shipley - Knoxville, Iowa - 1864
edited by, Vern James Andrews, Jr. - July 4, 2002
Thursday, April 7th - Bade goodbye to father and mother, sisters and friends and started our weary way across the plains. Camped for the night at Teer's Sawmill. Of course did not have much cooking to do for we had prepared a bountiful supply before leaving home.
Friday, 8th - It sprinkled a little, nevertheless we are not daunted by that and with our breakfast over we start on our journey. Had quite a pleasant day, and stopped for the night.
Saturday, April 9th - Nothing very exciting to happen, only travel along, stop for lunch at noon and to rest the team awhile. Then go on until evening and camp for the night. A nice place to camp.
Sunday, April 10th - Traveled part of the day. Arvilla not very well today. Has a sore throat and some fever.
Monday, April 11th - Arvilla no better this morning. Traveled part of the day, then camped. Put a fire in the tent and warmed it up. Then I gave her a hot soda bath, some fever drops and other medicines that I had in my drugstore.
Tuesday, April 12th - Well, this morning Arvilla is all broken out and think she has scarlet fever from her symptoms. Travel until two o'clock, then stop for the rest of the day. Heat up tent and give her another hot soda bath and put her in warm bed.
Wednesday, April 13th - Arvilla well broken out, so we fix her in bed and drive until the middle of the afternoon. Stopped in a little town call Adel, called a doctor to see her. He said she had spotted plague, and he could do nothing for her unless we would stay there a week or ten days. Turned and walked away. But we got some more fever drops and went on. Continued my own treatments.
Thursday, April 14th - Arvilla is much better this morning and I think it looks like rain. And so it did, part of the day. But we were well prepared to keep dry.
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Friday, April 15th - After a night's rest, we are now ready to move on. Arvilla was considerable better this morning, so we traveled on and just our last mile we passed some very boggy ground and mired the wagon. Had it not been for the grit of our horses to pull, we would have been left in a mud hole hub deep.
Saturday, April 16th - Our usual work over with, we are on the march. No more in our crowd than when we left home with, so we jog along and cook and eat and try to be merry.
Sunday, April 17th - This is Easter Sunday! And it has rained some, and we have traveled part of the day, and are now camped for the remainder of the day and night.
Monday, April 18th - 10 o'clock, pulled into the outskirts of Council Bluffs, camped and will stay here the rest of the day and night. The men folks will get our supply of provisions we will need on our journey for ourselves and horses. Arvilla is up today and will be all right in a few days with care. Here we saw our first Indians. They came to our camp while the men were gone. I thought I was about to be taken. After they had gone I found out they were friendly ones. That made no difference then, for to be on the safe side of them, I had given them plenty to eat and they had left us unharmed.
Tuesday, April 19th - Today we drove out of Council Bluffs, crossed the Missouri River and drove about 30 miles out to Elkhorn and camped 3 or 4 days, just waiting and trying to make up a train to go on to Denver, but it was slow progress. So with 5 or 6 teams, we pull out and go with some that are going farther West. Some men that were from Atica, but no ladies in their outfit, all men. In all, about 7 teams and 19 people.
Wednesday, April 20th - Arvilla has gotten over her sick spell, eats well and seems to be all right now. So up the road we go, not knowing where we will stop, no place in view.
Thursday, April 21st - Up and off early this morning. The roads and country all looks alike although it is pleasant. Still they go on.
Friday, April 22nd - On we go. Well I bundle up and lie down in the wagon on a bed I fixed up in there so that I would be comfortable. We do not see much of the country.
Saturday, April 23rd - The same old view today, do not see much change, only sandy roads.
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Sunday, April 24th - On and on we go. It rained today, of course the wind blew to top it off.
Monday, April 25th - Pleasant day today, but we pull through considerable sand and are now camped for the night.
26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, to May 1st and 2nd - Now comes a vacation of a week and I do not see how I missed this week. But it is gone and I cannot think what all has happened. But I expect the same, travel all day and camp for the night, get up the next morning and jog along over the country.
Tuesday, May 10th - Morning, got breakfast and went down to the water and did a big washing. Sunburnt my arms almost to a blister. Went up to the wagon about two o'clock and the sand was blowing so that we could hardly see. Everything was full so we hitched up and went to a small cottonwood grove and stayed all night. It makes me think of home. We talked of it too, but it is a nice place to camp. We had plenty of wood, water and grass.
Tuesday, May 17th - Up early this morning, and breakfast over, off we go. Passed a fort and bought two bushels of corn for twelve dollars. In the afternoon we came to a good spring, the best water we have had. Camped early tonight. Plenty of pine and cedar wood to burn.
Wednesday, May 18th - Started early this morning and same thing. Off we go over hills and mountains. It is very mountainous through here today. And rocks, no end to them. The wagons go hop and jump over them. We come to one that is about a half a mile long and is so rough that we walk up it. We travel this way all day and camp for the night on top of a high bluff. Pine wood to burn, and the wind blows. We are fixing things up for a hard storm.
Thursday, May 19th - Up early this morning and everything all right. Not much of a storm after all. This morning two Indians came along just as we got breakfast ready, so we had to feed them. The roads today are hilly but good. We are traveling over what is called the Black Hills. It rained on us at noon, so we wait till it quits and then we start out. Night finds us on the old Platte again, and a very beautiful place to camp. But the water is muddy looking as a mudhole. It is sand and will settle some tonight.
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Friday, May 20th - Up early this morning and in not much of a hurry, for it rained last night. But the roads are not very muddy as they are so sandy. We travel over hills and hollows. There were six of the boys went on top of one hill. It was so steep and high that I was afraid they would fall, but if we had of been stopped, I expect I would have been one of the number. We camped at noon at the foot of some big hills. Dinner over and it looked as though we were going to have another storm. Rain and hail, so we hitch up and off we go, for we have some hard pulling ahead to do. We do not go far till it commences raining and hailing, so over the hills we go in the storm. Till four o'clock we obey the Captain and halt. On the same stream the Platte. It is so muddy, it is almost like cream. We laugh about cream for coffee. We have plenty of wood and grass, and as I have told you before, plenty of water, such as it is. It stopped storming soon after we halted.
Saturday, May 21st - Morning, we did not start very early, for it is so wet and bad. The sun shone out bright this morning, but it soon began to cloud up and about noon it commenced to rain and rained all afternoon. Through the rain we go again all afternoon. The roads are getting very bad. Plenty of Reds in our camp tonight. Some of them are dressed up you had better think! With their strings of silver plate hanging half way to their feet.
Sunday, May 22nd - Morning, not very early start, for it rained again last night. But it is clear this morning. The sandy roads are wet and heavy. Reds were in camp again this morning before I was up and stayed till after breakfast. At noon it commenced to rain again and rained on us every day for ten days. It rained this evening very hard after we had stopped and thundered and lightninged, but is clear and pleasant now. On the opposite side of the river before us we can see plenty of snow on the mountains, and if it were not for the river we would have some of it. While I am writing this, Brice is out guarding the horses. He stands till twelve o'clock, the children are both fast asleep and all are abed in camp but me. There are some seven teams camped about us tonight. They have been with us all day. There are three families with them.
Monday, May 23rd, 1864 - Morning, up early, breakfast and everything done, so off we go through the sand till ten o'clock, then we stop. We are going to stay here and wait for some more emigrants to come on so we can have a big train to go through with. There are plenty of Reds in camp here. Still on the Platte, cross over today. I will be glad when we leave it.
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Tuesday, May 24th - Morning, breakfast over and my house in order. Nothing very interesting happens. A great many squaws begging bread for their papooses. They would beg all we had if we would give it to them. A great many Reds in camp.
Wednesday, May 25th - Morning, still camped on the Plattte. Did my ironing today that I washed a week ago Monday. Had some antelope and potatoes boiled together for dinner and what is called mountain rabbit for supper.
Thursday, May 26th - Morning, breakfast over and about nine o'clock we pull out. Go where the others are camped and try to organize a company to go the cut-off, but we go the old road for the farthest way around is the safest way home at this time.
Friday, May 27th - Morning, not up very early this morning. It is cool and they all slept well. Everything is ready and we leave the rest. Bid goodbye to Jim for he is going to try the new road, but much against his will. I thought it hard to part with friends at home, but it is nothing compared to parting with them out here. But at seven o'clock we gave him a hearty welcome back into our camp again. He had got Sam to come on. Maybe you think we weren't a happy set of folks. The children jumped and ran to meet them.
Sat., May 28th - Started moving early this morning, a nice warm pleasant day and the roads are good. Saw an antelope that some men ahead of us had killed. Camped for noon and I am now sitting on top of a solid rock about seven feet high, and pretty steep. Now I go down to dinner. After the horses pick the grass awhile we roll out. Roads a little muddy this afternoon. We cross the Sweet Water River, paid 150 dollars to cross it. Drove five miles and camped within a mile of Devil's Gate.
May 29th - Sunday morning, up and work all done and the ladies and myself start out to see the sights. The Devil's Gate is where the river runs through the perpendicular rock four hundred feet high. I went in as far as I could for the water is about three quarters of a mile and we had to walk about four miles to catch up with the wagons. We are now stopped on the Sweet Water for dinner. Took the horses across the river for grass. We are now ready to roll on. This afternoon three more teams that were going to West Bannock came by. The mountains here are on solid rock. There are some on the opposite side of the river from where we are camped tonight. We have to travel on the Sweet Water 4 or 5 days yet. There is considerable alkali in it so we have to watch our horses very closely. We saw five dead horses along the road this afternoon. Our wood
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is dry sage roots. We have used them for three days. Brice went to stand guard tonight again. We guard our horses day and night.
May 30th - Monday morning, up early and everything ready, off we go again. Just as we get ready to start there comes along a California train of eleven teams. And when they start to drive around our teams one of them tipped over, spilled everything and broke their wagon bows to pieces. I thought that would do them, but they soon went around all of them. The roads have been sandy today along the river, but when we were off the river they were good. At noon we stopped for dinner. I went on top of a mountain about two hundred feet. It rained this evening for awhile, thundered and lightninged and scared our horses. We are camped on the Sweet Water again tonight. Buffalo chips is our fuel.
Tuesday, May 31st - Tuesday, off early, cool and misty and rainy all day. Roads some sandy. Passed a soldiers fort this morning about noon. Saw some antelope today. Six of the men went after them, but as usual did not get one. Camped for the night on the side of the hill. Have good wood tonight, wild sage. It is very large and dry, and makes a splendid fire. We have burned some as large as any.
Wednesday, June 1st - Wednesday morning, up early but it is cold and we did not get an early start, and you should have seen us hunting our winter coats. It was raining and the wind was blowing and it rained all forenoon. We are stopped for dinner and it is snowing as hard as it can. I look out of the wagon and see a snow bank. We are camped for the night on Sweet Water again. It snowed about two hours. It has rained all afternoon since. It stopped snowing and is raining now at ten o'clock. We have dry willow for fuel. Passed some rocks and saw some names that were written there, but in '59. We thought it quite a curiosity to gather snow from a snow bank, but we thought more of one when it began to snow. I have snow now at my sides as I sit here.
Thursday, June 2nd - Thursday, up early this morning before it is light, for we had no grass for our horses. So we started out before breakfast to hunt some. It is not raining this morning but is cold. Saw two antelope. The men shot at them two or three times, but didn't hit any. Passed a lot of snow today. It is now three o'clock and we are stopped, grazing our horses. Now we hitch again and go about five miles and camp for the night. Met a train of Mormons and some soldiers. Saw three men that were from West Bannock. It rained and blew tonight and threatened us with a big storm.
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Friday, June 3rd - Morning, we did not start very early this morning for the grass was thin and we had to give the horses time to eat. For they were tired this morning on account of the storm. We had poor grass for them today. Noon, rained while we were eating dinner and hailed on us this afternoon. So we had to stop and turn the horses around so they would not face the storm. Crossed the Little Sandy and camped about two miles this side of it.
Saturday, June 4th - We had good grass last night so were up early this morning and off at six o'clock. We had the best roads for the last two or three days. Two horses could take our loads on such roads as easy as these. We have just eaten dinner and it is beginning to rain. Good grass for the horses today noon. Crossed the Big Sandy this afternoon. Camped for the night. It has rained all afternoon and hailed again, so we turn around and back the storm. It is not raining now, but looks very much as though it would.
Sunday, June 5th - Not up very early this morning for it is raining. I have not been out of the wagon yet this morning. It is so wet and bad. Brice got breakfast and fetched mine and the children's to us. We had crackers and tea for our wood does not burn very well. It is wet sage. Brice and another man were on guard last night and it was so dark that they could not find the wagons when twelve o'clock came, so they had to stay out all night. They are fetching the horses in now and we will soon be ready to roll out. And to find a better place for camping if we can. Crossed Green River about ten o'clock today. Paid six dollars a team to be ferried across. Camped on Green River tonight. Plenty of wood, water and grass. Rained and hailed again this afternoon. We had to back the storm again. It was the hardest hail storm we have been in yet.
Monday, June 6th - The guard shot off their revolvers and woke the camp this morning early, so we started a little after six o'clock. We have had bad roads yesterday and today. It is some warmer than it had been. We are now camped with plenty of snow in front of us and big bluff of mountain. Everything is called a mountain around here. We are camped now where the rivers and little streams run to the west. To look at them it seems as though they are running the wrong way.
Tuesday, June 7th - Up early this morning and all ready to start. It is very pleasant and warm this morning. We crossed a little stream yesterday and it was straight down into it, that the wagon bed came down on the tongue and split it. The men are fixing it
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now. We stopped at nine o'clock at a beautiful stream of water and a good spring. We all did some washing there. Left about three o'clock, snow and plenty of stones. Yet there is good grass for the horses tonight.
Wednesday, June 8th - Off early this morning. Roads very bad, over hills and mountains and across sloughs, some very bad till noon. We are now camped on a stream called Dry Ham. So dinner over, we cross it and start for the mountains, the highest we have been on yet. They were covered with rocks and you had better think they were rough. We have called it the Devil's Backbone. We were on snow today and the ways we made snowballs fly was a funny thing. We have a beautiful place to camp tonight. Plenty of grass, wood and water from a cold spring right out of the bank. And snow all around it.
Thursday, June 9th - Camp stirs by daylight this morning, so we get an early start. We came only one and a half miles when down goes one of our forewheels of our wagon. Every spoke broken out but one, so we had to try fixing it. We take the stick we have for a spreader and our neckyoke and Jim's and Mr. Smart's spreader and make eight spokes and make four more out of spruce and pine. It is ten o'clock and we have our wagon fixed and are now ready to start over some more big mountains this afternoon. The worst ones we have had to climb up and down, rock from top to bottom. No more bad luck for us. There were four men going through in a small wagon and they broke down a wheel.
Friday, June 10th - Off early again this morning. Good roads and we have got over them pretty fast. Stayed on Bear River for noon. Good grass here. We are now camped for the night. Camped early for we have some mountains to go over and they say it is eight miles over them. We could not have made it this afternoon, so we stop and try it in the morning. We paid three dollars and a half for ferrying this morning. It looks some like storm tonight.
Saturday, June 11th - Another beautiful morning and we are off for the mountains. We had some speckled trout for breakfast. After we left the mountains we had good roads. And the mountain road was not as bad as we have come over. We are camped now by a Mormon town. Saw some sheep and chickens. Good roads this afternoon. Passed another Mormon settlement. Saw corn, beans, peas, onions, and sorghum growing. It is in Bear River Valley.
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Sunday, June 12th - Another Sabbath morning dawns on us. It is cold. We look over on the mountains and behold they are covered with snow. It rained again last night. The roads are middling good. Saw a great many curiosities. Passed Soda Springs. We are now camped by some. They boil up out of the ground all the while. Some of the men made bread out of it tonight. It looks very nice.
Monday, June 13th - Monday morning finds us all up at an early hour. For some of us want to go and see some of the wondrous sights. The Steamboat Springs, some went to see last night. It boils all the time and every little bit it puffs up like a steamboat. It used to puff up out of the ground, but the Indians have thrown rocks into it and stopped it up. Just a few steps from this is a rock in the shape of a bog kettle. It holds two barrels of water. Emma said it looks like a tub.
Tuesday, June 14th - Tuesday morning finds us all well. Everything ready, breakfast over, and all for an early start. All the country we traveled over yesterday was a curiosity. Pools of soda water walled in with solid rock, and the rock laying piled in every shape. Looks as though they were burnt. I think by the looks of them that they have been blown up. We camped not far from them tonight, for we have Reds in our camp tonight with their ponies.
Wednesday, June 15th - Wednesday, off early this morning, roads good all, but some sand that makes the wagons run heavy. But we took the wrong road and that made it worse. We crossed Snake River about one o'clock on a ferry. Paid six dollars a team for crossing again. Drove seven miles after we crossed the river and then stopped for supper, and at six o'clock we hitched and drove nine miles after night for we have thirty miles to drive before we can get water for our horses.
Thursday, June 16th - Off this morning by five o'clock to try our long day's drive. Oh, but the roads are rocky! Bill and Poll came pretty near giving out, but we had our keg full of water. We stopped about three o'clock and gave them a gallon of water and a pint of flour a piece. At six o'clock we stopped for awhile for we thought we had come to a spring, for one of the men had traveled the road before. We could not find it though, so we hitched up again and have ten miles to make yet, to find water, if the horses get there. Some of them will not get much farther, I think.
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Friday, June 17th - Did not start very early this morning, for the horses are all tired. We came about a mile and a half last night and then we found the spring. The horses and mules were almost crazy. They number some fifty head. We are not going far today we think. Ten miles to Shank Creek. It is a beautiful stream of water and a nice place to camp. I busy myself in boiling some beans and dried apples and peaches for supper. Also, I washed the children's bonnets and baked some bread so we can get an early start in the morning.
Saturday, June 18th - Off this morning by half past five o'clock, for we have twenty miles to make today without water. Again, the roads are very rough. Saw six or seven packers and prospectors. They tell us that we are within one hundred and fifty miles of our stopping place. But one day we are 150, and the next day 250. We make our calculations to get there by the fourth of July. We have some of the roughest roads today that were ever traveled. Over rocks by the bushell. They look as though they were burnt. Everything has the appearance of a great volcano.
Sunday, June 19th - Another beautiful day has dawned on us here among the mountains. Another day without water for twenty miles, and another day of rough roads and climbing mountains. We have traveled at the foot of them for two days. It is a curiosity to see the rocks here. They are piled in every way and shape. Some on top of each other. In some places they are rolled up and look as though they were ploughed ground.
Monday, June 20th - Six o'clock finds us ready to go, so I started ahead of the teams to take a walk. We have some mountains to go over today, but are not so bad. The roads are some better, but are very rough though. Plenty of water today. We cross Wood River. It was in such a shape that we had to cross six different streams before we were on the opposite side. We camped last night in Spring Valley and tonight we are camped on a little stream.
Tuesday, June 21st - At the usual hour we are ready to leave camp. It is quite cool this morning and has remained so all day. Looks some like rain. The roads continue to get better. We had one very bad hill to come down today. Crossed Wood River again today and it is as much a curiosity as it was yesterday. For we had to cross it eight times in succession. We camped tonight on the outskirts of Camas Prairie by a spring. Dry willow wood for fuel.
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Wednesday, June 22nd - This is a pleasant morning, and we are all in a stir and off. We travel till eight o'clock when we cross Silder (Silver ?) Creek and on ahead. They had found pretty good prospects for gold, so we stopped with them. Six of our number started out. It is twelve miles over the mountains. Mr. Downing, Mr. Smart, Henry Warren, Jim, Harvey Jones, and Sam, leaving six wagons. If it pays we will stay here.
Thursday, June 23rd - Not up very early this morning. There was heavy frost last night. We are close to the snow for the mountains are not over twelve miles. Six more teams drove in last night and camped below us. They are going to stay a day or two among us. Brice found an old acquaintance, George's wife's brother. He left Ohio in February. He is a miner and has been in California seven years and is on his way to Bannock and the Boise Basin. I have done a big washing today. Our crowd numbers twelve men and us women, Mrs. Jamison and myself. No children except my two.
Friday, June 24th - Morning finds us not up very early, for we are all on a rest (?) and want to improve the time. Ironed some today and at 11 o'clock our boys came in, and not much of a show, at least they did not find much. We did not stay any longer there. After dinner we drove out. Some ten or eleven miles today and camped about a quarter of a mile from a little creek. We have dry willow wood and grass and water. Brice went fishing but didn't catch anything.
Saturday, June 25th - We are all up early for we want to get an early start. Last night we sold 3 lbs. of sugar for $1.75 in hard money, to some prospectors. Saw six or eight more packers again today. At noon the children went up on a big rock that was close by. We hitched up and drove till four o'clock, when we called a halt, for there are some gold mines and some silver through here. And we are going to stay till we can see what can be done. We passed a ranch today. They were just hauling logs for a house and it was a lonely looking place. It is for a stage station. The daily mail route is laid through here. It commences to run sometime soon.
Sunday, June 26th - Another Sabbath day dawns on us here, with mountains on all sides of us. I have my work all done up so I pass the day reading the testament, and Hymn book and Evangelist, till an hour of sundown. In the cool of the evening Mrs. Jamison and myself take a walk on top of one of the mountains about a mile and a half in height. It has been very warm today. James and two of the other boys went over to the town of Rocky Bar. They will not be back for three days. Two more teams drove into our camp today.
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Monday, June 27th - Up early for some of our boys are going out prospecting. This has been another warm day and I have been knitting some, and reading to pass the time. I would like to find a place to stop and make a home. I am getting tired of traveling, although we have had a pleasant trip indeed.
Tuesday, June 28th - Not up very early for we have nothing to do. The boys that went out yesterday came in about 11 o'clock today, and it is all a hoax again. Nothing worth staying for. James came in this evening just as we were eating supper. The other two boys stayed back in Rocky Bar. In the morning we start out for that place. He says it is rough roads but we are used to that.
Wednesday, June 29th - Out this morning by time so as to get things ready to try our rough road. James leaves us and starts to Boise City with two packers that came in with him last night from Junction Bar. He thinks he can get a hundred dollars a month from them. He will be back Sunday or Monday if he goes no farther than the city.
Thursday, June 30th - We camped on Boise River last night by a ranch. We had a bad road yesterday. While we camped for dinner the Reds caught a big salmon that weighed twenty pounds. We traded them some bread for enough for our supper. And Father, it was the best fish I ever ate. I wished for you to have some. I would willingly do without myself if only you could have some of it for your supper. Another day of rough roads but not so bad as yesterday. We crossed it the last time. Our wagon broke down again. Every one of the spokes broke out of one of our hind wheels and let us down again.
Friday, July 1st - Some of the boys went over to Rocky Bar and some over to Happy Camp today. But Brice and Jim went back after our wagon and things. We took Jim's wagon to fetch our things in and bring back the wagon on a pole. We will take it in to town and sell the old iron. We are camped on Boise River in the timber. The timber is principally all large pine trees. I have a good spring to get water from today.
Saturday, July 2nd - Brice and Jim and one of the other boys are going up town and see the big rocks that are in the streets and to see what they can do. Sam is not very well so he stayed at camp with me. I baked bread, boiled some beans and cooked some dried apples and peaches, so to have supper by the time they get back.
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Sunday, July 3rd - Sunday, this is another beautiful morning that has dawned on us, and my house is in order and I pass the time of day reading and writing letters to the dear ones at home and wishing I had a letter from them to read. We are now surrounded by high mountains.
Monday, July 4th - This is the fourth of July, the day of independence and I have spent the day getting things into packs, so we can go to town tomorrow, and talking about where we spent the 4th last year. Bill and Dock, two of our horses have mountain fever. Dock is past danger, but we do not know whether Billy will get well or not.
Tuesday, July 5th - We are up early so we can get an early start. It rained yesterday and today. This morning is cloudy now. We hired a packer and his ponies to pack our things through for us. I got one of his ponies to ride. Brice rode Billy and took the children, one behind and one before him and off we go for a ten mile ride over the mountains along the pack trail. It began to rain about the time we were half way, and rained and snowed on the rest of the way.
Wednesday, July 6th - Spent the day in drying the things that got wet yesterday.
End of Diary
Memories of Arvilla
After reaching camp we pitched our tent and fixed ourselves up as comfortable as possible for the summer. The camp was all astir with mining, and building mills and tunneling the ore out of the mountains. There was some placer mining. The men found work at various activities, all timber and lumber had to be whip-sawed out by hand by the men. There was quite an industry and men made big wages, among all the activities, our men folks, which consisted of my father, uncles, James Aldrich, Jim Shipley and our neighbor, Sam Croy, who had come west with us, managed to build us a substantial log house. So we were comfortably fixed for the winter, which proved to be a very severe one. Snow began to fall early and in November, which hindered in the getting into camp sufficient provisions to supply the number of people in camp. Many had to go on short rations. Before the winter was over the snow got twelve feet deep on the level. The cabins were fairly buried in snow, so snow was piled higher than the cabins. Of course, they had to shovel off the tops of them to keep them from breaking in. We were fairly well supplied with provisions, as we had brought a good supply with us across the plains.
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Early in April 1865 - Pack train came in from Boise on the crust of the snow bringing flour, bacon and beans, which sold at $1.00 a lb. This was the winter of 64-65.
The fall of 65 - My uncle and our neighbor returned to Iowa where we had come from, returning by horseback. We remained in the camp and until the fall of 69. During these years, father engaged in various activities. In 1867 he ran a placer that was in a camp just over the mountains. In the years that he was engaged mostly in hauling and freighting from Boise. Mother ran a restaurant the summer of 69 at Rocky Bar. The fall of 1869 we came to Boise Valley where my father engaged in farming. In the falls of 69-70 and 72-73 he hauled freight from Ogden to Falk's Mercantile Company. He passed away on July 24th, 1895. Mother lived for many years after that. She had the first boarding house in Parma, which she ran till 1902. Then she sold it and bought a residence in Parma, where she lived till she passed away in 1923, May 29th.
April, 1976 - Additional footnotes by Francis E. Mathews, when typing this copy. The author of this diary, Elvira Clarisa Shipley was born approximately 1834. She would have been about 30 years of age during the trip across the plains. Emma E. Shipley was four years old during the trip. Emma married Wm. J. Mathews. Inscription on tombstone in Meridian, Idaho cemetery is as follows
Emma E. Shipley Mathews
1860 - 1931
Wm. J. Mathews
1855 - 1923
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This web page created on August 16, 2001 ~ Updated on Thursday, June 27, 2003