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As It Was: Girl Lives “Adventure” in Cottonwood, California

Life was an adventure for Charlotte Rose Henry as a child in Cottonwood, Calif.  Her parents, Leland and Gladys Cunningham Rose, both born in 1898, were hardworking, but never stopped having fun.
The family home was small but the yard was large, populated with dogs, cats, chickens and an occasional orphan lamb, known as a “bummer.”  Indoor lighting was minimal, a single bulb dangling from the ceiling.  Charlotte’s father hung a swinging trapeze bar from the front porch. There was a radio that drew a crowd to listen to the annual Stanford-Cal football game.  In winter, the adults played cards while the kids played games and snacked on an array of foods spread on a table.  

In the summertime, the family went fishing or swimming in nearby creeks, and sometimes picnicked on hot beans or stew, pickles, sliced tomatoes, peaches or watermelon.  Charlotte recalled later, “Dad always had fish, (and) we ate them for breakfast the next morning.” Her father also played baseball with the Redding Tigers, a semi-pro team.  She said the Tigers “broke the color line long before the Brooklyn Dodgers.”

Source: Henry, Charlotte Rose. “Trivia: That’s the Way It Was in Cottonwood.” The Covered Wagon, 1994. Shasta Historical Society, pp. 63-74.

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.