Gail Fiorini-Jenner

As It Was Contributor

Gail Fiorini-Jenner of Etna, California, is a writer and teacher married to fourth-generation cattle rancher Doug Jenner. They have three children, seven grandchildren and live on the original homestead.  Her first novel Across the Sweet Grass Hills, won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of JeffersonThe State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.  She co-authored Historic Inns & Eateries in the State of Jefferson, featuring 30 locations and their recipes. Fiorini-Jenner has placed in several writing contests: The Jack London Novel Contest; The William Faulkner Story Contest; The Writer's Digest Inspirational Story and Screenplay Contests. She appeared on History Channel's  How the States Got Their Shapes,  and NPR's West Coast Live. She also writes for Jefferson Backroads.  

Well-known Siskiyou County hunters, Gordon Jacobs and Walter Bray, were brought together in 1895 by their love of hounds.

The first Henley, Calif., schoolhouse was a simple building at the southwest end of the community’s main street.

The quaint, remote communities of Igo and Ono in Shasta County, Calif., are a pair of settlements established during the gold rush.

Many pioneer gravesites have been lost over time, requiring great effort to locate them.  One of them is the Turtle Gulch Cemetery in Shasta County, Calif., where 57 identified gravesites are barely visible from a road in the Bald Hills.

During the late 1890s and early 1900s, the Montague Brass Band toured Siskiyou County, providing music for special events.

Vesta Ranous Terwilliger was born in 1861 in Yreka, Calif., the daughter of Francis M. Ranous and Mary H. Hood.  Her father became a carpenter and builder and moved with his wife to Yreka in 1856 with his mother’s family.

In 1897, an important mining strike was made in Northern California only four weeks after the claim was purchased for a pittance.

A Butte Valley native, Erna Evans Franklin, wrote about growing up in the Picard Calif., community east of Yreka on the road to Alturas and Dorris.

Marion Ray Laird was named “Cattleman of the Year” in 1972 by the Siskiyou County and California cattlemen’s associations.  Born in 1894 at Laird’s Landing, he was the third generation of Lairds involved in cattle and stock raising,

One of the early settlers of Igo, Calif., Henry L. Abbott , was born in Ohio in 1854, traveled West as a boy, and showed up in the 1870 census as a teenager in Stony Creek, Calif.

John and Sarah Alberg emigrated from Sweden to Northern California in 1874, settling in Shasta County, where they raised and sold vegetables, primarily potatoes.  They also milked cows for butter.

One of three children in the first grade at Little Shasta School in 1937, was Betty Davis Carrier.  Her first teacher, Mrs. Fern Meamber of Yreka, taught 15 students and all eight grades.

German immigrants of Trinity County, Calif., formed the German Hospital Society on Feb. 1, 1856.

Born in Massachusetts in 1844, the son of Samuel and Diadamia Boyes, Charles Bassett Boyes was 17 years old when he came West by covered wagon with his mother and other family members.

Stephen H. Soulé was the son of Ebenezer and Cornelia Soulé.  Born in 1836, in Yates County, N.Y., he was only 3 weeks old when his father died.

Before settling in Little Shasta, Ore., in 1855, Samuel Musgrave struggled to get to America from Northern England.

The Red Rock area of Butte Valley, Calif, was a barren landscape in the early days of settlement, with only a few homesteads and many bad roads. It was hard to attract teachers, and children had difficulty getting to school regularly.

Located near the gold fields of Siskiyou, Klamath, Del Norte, and Trinity counties, the Scott and Shasta valleys became early Northern California areas to be developed agriculturally.

In Siskiyou County, the gold mining settlements of Yreka, Hawkinsville, and Greenhorn held more than 5,000 people in 1856-1857, who were starved for entertainment and welcomed any troupe that passed through the region.  Yreka boasted two theaters at the time, the Colton and the Arcade, packed on Saturday nights with people with gold in their pockets.

A graduate of the Atlanta Medical College, Charles Wilber Nutting, became an eminent doctor in Etna, Calif., in the 1880s.  Nutting had not only graduated from medical school in two years, but also remained another two years to teach anatomy, dissection and other surgical procedures.