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Finding Aid of the Mahlon Dickerson Fairchild Memoirs C005491
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Mahlon Dickerson Fairchild's "Pioneer Reminiscences" is a 175-page, typed, manuscript describing, in rich and interesting detail, his journey from New York to California via Panama in 1848. He also describes his prospecting and mining adventures in California, Nevada, and Arizona from 1848 to 1866. Trained as a newspaper man, he often worked for his brothers as a correspondent for papers they published, but "Reminiscences" is primarily focused on his mining activities, including: early gold panning on the American River; hydraulic mining in Nevada County, California; prospecting for copper on the Colorado River in Arizona; and, searching for salt deposits in the basin and range country of Nevada. The box includes handwritten drafts of portions of the work from which the completed work was created.
Mahlon Dickerson Fairchild was born on September 7, 1827 in Oneonta, Otsego County, New York, the son of David Fairchild and Deborah Palmer. His father was a newspaper publisher in Western New York State, and each of the six sons were trained in the trade. Mahlon Fairchild came to California via the Isthmus of Panama, arriving in San Francisco on the whale ship "Sylph" on July 26, 1849. During his early years in the West, he actively pursued prospecting and mining, while serving as a correspondent for his brothers' newspaper, the Daily Reese River Revielle. For the last 25 years of his career, he worked in the Land and Surveying Department of the Southern Pacific Railroad. He lived in Rocklin, Placer County, California. He wrote an extensive history of the state of Nevada and a history of Placer County, California. He was a member of the Society of California Pioneers. Fairchild died in Oakland, California at the age of 85 on April 8, 1913. He was survived by his wife, Mary E. Fairchild; two sons, William F. and Mahlon David Fairchild; and, three daughters, Mrs. Theodore H. Thomas, Mrs. R. Masson Smith, and Mrs. Frank Hall Watters.
1.0 box (6 folders)
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Collection open for research.