© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Elizabeth Reed Brent Shares Memories of Picard, Calif.

Picard, Calif., doesn’t exist today, but in the late 1800’s, it was a small town in California’s Butte Valley south of Klamath Falls. 
Elizabeth Reed Brent shared memories of her life there before the town moved in 1907.  Elizabeth helped her mother iron pillow cases and napkins with the smoothing iron from the stove.  She looked forward to Tuesday which was baking day.  The children gathered to have a huge tea party with tiny hot cinnamon biscuits layered with fresh country butter.  All the children took turns churning the butter.  For tea, they drank hot sweetened milk. 

Saturday night was the busiest because it was bath night.  Like other stoves, their wood stove contained a water reservoir in the back.  Each child took a turn, first shampooing over a basin and then soaking in a tub of hot water.

Their parents wanted to leave Picard to give their children a better education.  Also, open range land was decreasing, making the cattle business less profitable.

They moved to Chico, Calif., in 1906.  When the Southern Pacific Railroad avoided the town, other people jacked up their homes and stores and towed them to Dorris, Calif.


Source: Brent, Elizabeth Reed.  “Childhood on the Western Frontier.”  Oregon Historical Quarterly.  vol 23, No. 2, Summer, 1982, p. 117.

Maryann Mason has taught history and English in the U.S. Midwest and Northwest, and Bolivia. She has written history spots for local public radio, interviewed mystery writers for RVTV Noir, and edited personal and family histories.  Her poetry has appeared in Sweet Annie & Sweet Pea Review (1999), Rain Magazine (2007), and The Third Reader, an online Journal of Literary Fiction and Poetry. In 2008 she published her first chapbook, Ravelings.  She organized a History Day for Southern Oregon.