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As It Was: Siskiyou County Teacher Takes Kids to Sacramento in 1923

In 1923, Miss Mary E. Dickey took her students to see the fair in Sacramento. A group of six adults and nine children set out in September from the Kenyon School in Siskiyou County, Calif., in Mr. Bibbens’   screenside vehicle, an early type of van.

Travel was slow on the unimproved, mountain roads.  When a tire went flat, the children piled out to explore.  One of their discoveries was an electric railroad line, built in 1910. A fence kept the children from getting too close.

When they reached Sacramento, they looked for a place to camp for the night.  Dickey took the two eldest students, eighth graders Elsie Bibbens and Nolan Pehrson, to a private home where she was able to rent rooms. The rest of the group camped outside.

The next day the students and chaperones went to the fair where they were greeted by an old miner and his donkey.  They also toured the State Capitol and Sutter’s Fort.  As a graduation present, Dickey took Elsie and Nolan to lunch.  In gratitude, Mrs. Pehrson reduced Dickey’s room-and-board bill at the Pehrson home that month from $40 to $20.

Source: Pehrson, Nolan and Ruth. "Kenyon School Sketches." The Covered Wagon, 1994, pp. 35-36.

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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.