Native Sons of the Golden West
Lincoln, California

jerry.jpg (18353 bytes)Jerry's History Corner
The Lincoln the Native Sons are incredibly fortunate to have Jerry Logan as a member. Jerry has an incredible wealth of knowledge of Lincoln and Placer County history. The following are few excerpts from the NSGW monthly newsletter.

Was there ever a town in the community known as Fruitvale? The answer is no. The place received its identity and its name when school was established there in 1888. Before that time most of the area was considered a part of Mt. Pleasant.
    However, when the school districts was formed, it did include the remains of the old mining town of Virginia and perhaps some of the northern edge of Fox's flat.
Louis Cass Cage was the man most responsible for starting Fruitvale.   He had taught school at Daneville and Mt. Pleasant. He lived south of Wise Road along Garden Bar Road. No road been connected the area directly to Mt. Pleasant. School kids had to walk cross-country crossing Doty Ravine Creek.
    Mr. Gage was not happy about several other things, so he led a movement to secede from Mt. Pleasant. The new school districts borders: Wise Road on the north; Wally Allen formed the east side; Crosby-Herold, extending south, was the west side; and Auburn ravine was a southern border.
    The original school building is still on Fruitvale Road and serves as the community hall. The property was once part of the original Fowler Ranch.  Fruitvale school district ceased operations and joining Lincoln in 1946. The for Fruitvale Community Hall is still used for meetings and social events.

    "Frankie and Johnny were sweethearts" is the first line of an old song.  Lincoln's Frankie had many sweethearts-- "Johns. " Frankie Miller was the Madame in Lincoln's  "house of ill fame" from about the turn-of-the-century until the 1920's. 
There were probably other "houses" in town before this one-which got its start 1890.  There were hints of sin in Lincoln's early "Chinatown" across 6th Street from the present Lincoln Inn. There were also rumors that Hannah Johnson, the "Bade in the Woods," who had a roadside Inn near Virginiatown sold more than food and drink to weary travelers. 
    Frankie Miller's place began as George Harder's Beer Garden in 1890. It was in the corner formed by Auburn ravine on the East and highway 193 on the south, northeast of the present bridge there.
    In 1895 Mrs. McRay was arrested by Lincoln's town marshal, hauled into court, in fines $10.  In 1901 pressure was put on the City Council to put the place out of business.   An ordnance was passed declaring such places a public nuisance and providing for their abatement.
    Either in the ordinances had a holes in it, or law didn't enforce it very strongly, because the place was still there in the 1920's.  In 1922 a gang robbed the place and made headlines. 13 people, three women, were tied at and relieve other valuables........ Yep, there was sin in good old Lincoln.

   You probably know that Danville was a little community with its own store on the northeast corner of the intersection of McCourtney road and Fleming road. It made headlines around the area March 1859.Five robbers broke into the store, couldn't open the safe, woke up the owners and force them to open the safe. They got $1,300 in gold and $350 in coin. Then they feasted on oysters, sardines, bread and wine. Before leaving the each selected a new suits clothes from the store's stock. The next morning the alarm went out, and a big manhunt was launched by the sheriff and his deputies. They trace them I crossed Bear River, going toward grass Valley. The robbers hijacked the Auburn-grass Valley stage and made their way to a cabin about 2 miles from grass Valley. A posse headed to the spot-where they discovered there were now eight desperadoes.A furious exchanges shots began and has continued until after midnight. The next morning they rushed the cabin, found one dead and one wounded. The rest had fled. A deputy had also been wounded. It was determined that this was the same gang responsible for several other attacks.The chase continued.


    We tend to think of telecommunications as being a fairly recent advent. But the "electric era" began in Lincoln in 1860's, over 130 years ago. Soon after the railroad arrived in Lincoln, in 1861, the town was connected to other towns by a telegraph system.
    Voice communications from Lincoln to other points, and within Lincoln, came in 1893. The first telephone office was in the original part of the Emmada Building, more specificantly, at 537 G. Street. By 1896 there were 13 phones in town. In 1897 a public telephone booth was installed.
    In 1899 Ingram's Drugstore became the central office(543 G Street), and it included a public booth also. By 1904, 45 people had phones in town. A "barbed wire system" allowed rural residents to have phones, too. The whole county was becoming interconnected by 1905, and pole lines were replacing the barbed wire systems.
    Until 1954 one had to go through 'central' and verbally give the operative in number you were calling. After 1954 a dial system  was in operation.
    Radio arrived in Lincoln about 1925, and television about 1950. Computers? Cellular phones? You may have been the first one!
    Electricity, which made such things as radio, TV, record players, tape recorders, etc. possible in the home arrived in Lincoln in 1899, just one week before the beginning of a new century.