Arrival of the First White Woman and Child to Humbug
Monday, September 23, 2013
By Gail Fiorini-Jenner
Gold Mining camps were rough and tumble places with few women in the early stage of the rush to riches in Northern California and Southern Oregon.
In the spring of 1853, miners passing along Humbug Creek in Siskiyou County spied some unusual clothing draped over bushes near a cabin that could only belong to a woman and child.
The exciting news spread quickly and by Sunday at least 100 men dressed in clean woolen shirts and patched jeans stood in front of the cabin.
Out of the group stepped a spokesman known as “Old Uncle Gilbert,” who hailed the cabin’s residents.
When they came out, Old Uncle Gilbert gave a little speech that went like this: “My dear sir, you can be assured that your wife and child will be sacred objects to us, and…will be as safe from insult or danger as they would be within the limits of the capital of our country, surrounded by an army of police … We bid you welcome and may God bless you, your wife and child.”
A hearty cheer rose from the other miners as they greeted the first white woman and child in Humbug Creek, Calif.
Source: Pollock, Hazel. "First White Woman in Humbug." Siskiyou Pioneer Vol. 3, No. 2 1959: 76. Print.