California

The Man Who Invented Himself

Jack London carved himself a special niche in the annals of American literature. Read more >>

Saving Hundred-Year-Old Buildings

The idea of urban renewal has traditionally been predicated on the superficially reasonable assumption that the best way to handle crumbling blight is to pluck it out—raze it, tear it down, get rid of it—and build something better: shopping malls and office c Read more >>

In southern California the orange found a home.

For more than thirty years it stood at the corner of Highland Avenue and Del Rosa Avenue in San Bernardino, California, bordered at the rear by a line of eucalyptus trees and behind that by a thirty-acre grove of fat green trees that joined others in a march to the foothills of the San Bernardino Read more >>

The tragic journey of the Donner Party

To the brothers George and Jacob Donner the way to California seemed clear and simple. Read more >>

Carl Fisher thought Americans should be able to drive across their country, but it took a decade and a world war to finish his road

When Carl Graham Fisher, best known as the builder and promoter of Miami Beach who started the Florida vacation craze, died in 1939 the New York Times pointed out that he brought about a far more significant change in the life-style of modern America in his earlier and less conspicuous role as the creator of the idea of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road from New York to California. Read more >>
In 1879 Jim McCauley lured his sweetheart onto Overhanging Rock at Glacier Point, California, and threatened to push her off if she didn’t marry him. This rather hardnosed method of popping the question worked, or so McCauley said. Read more >>
On Christmas Day of 1849 a party of twenty-seven wagons heading through Nevada toward the California gold fields lumbered over a barren ridge and downhill into a desolate place. Read more >>

A low comedy for high stakes:

They had no chair lifts, and they called their skis snowshoes, but they were the fastest men alive

What may come as a surprise is that this swell swoop has been going on for over a century. Read more >>

He never packed a gun or led a posse or burned down a homesteader's hut, but in his time Henry Miller owned more land than anyone else in the West.

Farce in the Bedroom, Bedlam at the Bar
Senator Sharon’s Discarded Rose Packed a Pistol, Her Lawyer a Knife. Blood Flowed at Their Last “Appeal,” as They Ambushed a Federal Judge.
as They Ambushed a Federal Judge

Sarah Althea Hill was a rosy-cheeked, blue-eyed beauty of the Golden West, with spirit and a temper. Read more >>

An Imperial colony on our West Coast was their aim; Fort Ross was their military outpost; and the stakes—higher than they realized

In the summer of 1936 a young man named Beryle W. Shinn was picnicking on a hillside near San Quentin, California, on the north shore of San Francisco Bay, when he found a metal plate approximately five inches wide by eight inches long. Read more >>

Granddaddy of all desert mining discoveries was the Comstock Lode, which sent the Far West on a silver stampede to Nevada’s Washoe country a century ago.

Snowshed crews on the Central Pacific, battling blizzards and snowslides, built “the longest house in the world”