Wednesday, December 3, 2014


 When the Dobson twins (my grandfather and his brother) homesteaded at Gilbert, Idaho, in 1896, they were members of an extended family, the Dicksons, who also took homesteads. The group included:
M. L. (Lafe) and Lucy Dickson, parents (80 acres)
Ed and Ida Jane Dickson Patchen (the eldest daughter)
Ben Dickson, son
Julian and Ina Dickson Dobson (my grandparents -- Ina, a daughter)
Junius and Bertha Dickson Dobson (Bertha, a daughter)

Lafe and Lucy (my great-grandparents, of course) and the Patchens sold out in the early 1900s and moved to Drain, Oregon. Apparently Lafe and Lucy were especially close to Ida and lived near her for the rest of their lives, but Lafe left his heart at Gilbert.

Well, I mention this family history because Lafe kept a diary, and several were handed down to me, among them the one for 1896 when he and the others were establishing their homesteads at Gilbert. We don’t find Lafe being very “Christmassy” in his remarks. His entries are brief and mostly about the weather with a note or two about this and that. But, since most of us are curious about the weather, I thought I’d add an “on this date at Gilbert, 1896” segment to our advent posts. KW

Thursday, Dec. 3, 1896 – On this date at Gilbert:
Warm. Rainy by spells all day. The snow has settled much and is not over 4 inches deep. Water standing in many places. There seemed to be hot puffs of warm air and a regular Chinook.

This P.M. a deer went along in front of the house and several of us saw it. Ina came to see us and stay overnight. Ida and Mabel busy making scrapbooks about these times.


Chris said...

Did the scrapbooks survive?

Hallie said...

Do you think that it was a real event to spy a deer?

Kathy said...

Hi Chris! I have written a second cousin (Ida Jane's granddaughter) to ask if she knows about the scrapbooks, but I haven't heard from her.

And yes, Hallie, at that time I think it was unusual to spy a deer, at least so close to the house. As I understand it, the hunting was better on the other side of the river -- up the North Fork of the Clearwater. I believe deer were present on Russell Ridge but not like today.