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100 years ago

January 1903

Write it: 1903 – the day to swear off!

The city was alight with New Year’s Eve parties. Churches held special services.



Wet around the 1st, spring-like mid-month, the terrible storm near month’s end.

Mike Wheelahan and Leo O’Neill were commanded to stop by a man near Auburn and Ban around 2 a.m. Instead, Wheelahan fled.




A football game between Grass Valley and Nevada City high school teams may be called off because Grass Valley has brought in two ringers, not high school students. Grass Valley claims it had to do so to field enough players.

Death claimed four inmates of the county hospital; Patrick Burke, M. Bellard, William Tinsdale and Joseph Welch.

The Norwegian bark Prince Arthur foundered off the north coast – 18 crew members dead.

Someone made off with four fine ducks hanging in front of August Rapp’s store on Broad Street.

A horse driven by John Simmons, scared by the trolley, ran up Main Street but was stopped before any damage was done.

French Corral held a grand ball Christmas Eve.

Thomas Nelson is the first black man to become a doctor in California. He received a degree from Cooper’s Medical College in San Francisco.

The Nevada theater will host Hoyt’s comedy, “A Stranger In New York,” featuring a first class company of comedians, pretty girls and a carload of special scenery and effects.

Bubonic plague runs rampant in Mazatlan, Mexico with a 33 percent death rate. 150 already dead.

With her grandmother’s death in Holland, Mrs. Frank LeGrande, the wife of an engine wiper in Truckee, has fallen heir to one-fifth interest in a $25,000,000 estate.

Fifty-one persons passed away in Nevada City in 1902, the first year such figures were saved. And 103 couples applied for marriage licenses while 63 couples filed for divorce.

In Washington, Senator Brown received a human hand, pickled in alcohol. It was from an old soldier who had it removed because of an old Civil War wound. If a pension could not be granted for his loss, he wanted the hand back. Senator Brown will return it.

Siblings separated more than 50 years ago, Edith Caldwell, 70, and F.W. Rowe, 67, born in this city, will meet for the first time since they were children.

A man is stalking women on Broad Street, following them until they turn into a home or ask another man on the street for help.

In Guthrie, Okla. D. E. George, an aged and wealthy citizen, committed suicide after stating that he was John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Lincoln.

The Narrow Gauge jumped the rails near Orchard Springs. It remained on the ties – no one injured.

The man lurking about Broad Street waits there to escort a lady friend home in the evenings. The earlier reports were a bit overblown.

In Chicago, 25 cars of coal arrived to be distributed to the poor. It’s said that the Coal Combines are holding back the fuel while people are freezing to death in the East.

Nevada County bachelors have taken to placing want-ads seeking the company of young women. One such in today’s paper reads: Young Man with excellent position and good prospects, delirious of meeting a young woman. Object, matrimony.

Alta Hill water mains are in a precarious position, liable to burst in a dozen places at any time.

The crypt of Mrs. Pio Pico, wife of an early day California governor, was vandalized in Los Angeles. It was common for wealthy Spaniards to inter valuables with the bodies of the deceased.

H. A. Fairbanks lost his balance and plunged headfirst down a shaft at the Coe mine and was killed.

Mrs. Manhennet repelled a cowardly assailant who accosted her near her home on Piety Hill.

William Peardon of Smartsville was dragged along a barbed wire fence by a runaway team and terribly injured.

Venezuelan ports shelled by German warships.

A foreigner – perhaps Norwegian, he speaks little English – is living in an abandoned chicken coop on the Sirard place. A hard worker, he has been doing odd jobs about town. He can remain, as long as he behaves himself.

In the canal treaty with Columbia, the U.S. agrees to make a $10,000,000 payment and $250,000 annually after nine years.

Floods sweep county – roads washed out, bridges carried away, stages delayed – water higher than great flood of ’61.

A large hole opened up near the porch of Marshall Deeble’s home – the remains of an old, unknown drift.

The Venezuelan situation was discussed in Washington – there’s a possibility of friction with Germany and we should prepare for same.

For no apparent reason, two men attacked Giovanni Rennci in Nevada City. One had a knife but Rennci was able to fight them off.

Two strangers were seen digging by the side of the Old Auburn Road. There’s a rumor of buried treasure from an early-day stage robbery in that area and these men may be part of the old gang. Once seen, they made themselves scarce.

GREENHORN: I understand this part of the West can be quite dry.

OLD COWBOY: Dry? Why stranger, it’s so dry out here the rain is only wet on one side.

Brad Prowse


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