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Pioneer Hester Ann Harland Blooms in Isolation

Hester Ann Harland was the wife of Francis “Frank” Harland, the manager during the late 1800's of the Black Bear Mine located in the Liberty Mining District and the Salmon River country of Siskiyou County, Calif.

After giving birth to a daughter in Downieville, Calif., Harland waited several months before moving to the rugged Salmon River Mining District.  The baby died before she was capable of moving north.

Later in life, Harland wrote about her trip home. She recalled that the journey from Etna to Black Bear was an arduous nine-hour, 35-mile horseback ride. Nothing could have prepared her, she wrote, for going “up one high mountain and down again, to begin another, and on and on for seeming interminable distances.”

Isolated in the mountains, Harland became a strong and resolute woman. She kept house and opened a small school in her home for the dozen or so children living in the mining settlement. School lasted from early fall until Christmastime weather arrived.

Years later, after the couple moved away, Harland became involved in the woman’s suffrage movement and worked for its leader, Susan B. Anthony, in San Francisco.


Source: Harland, Hester A. Our Second Home: The Black Bear Mine, Siskiyou County. 2002 . Print.

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. 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 Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.