GLOBALISM=AGENDA 21=SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT=WORLD GOVERNMENT=LOSS OF SOVEREIGNTY=NO CONSTITUTION=LOSS OF FREEDOM=NO AMERICA
Agenda 21 in Lake County, CA
Agenda 21 is not the “Bill of Rights”. It is not “The Declaration of Independence”. And it is not the “U.S. Constitution”. It has never been decided on by the American people that “Agenda 21” should be our new bible. Our guiding light into the 21st century. It is being pushed on us by a bunch of self righteous elitist like Nancy Pelosi. It empowers those who agree and indoctrinates those who do not, and you are going to think you are having a bad dream when it comes into your home.
© Bill Wink 2007
Middletown, Lillie Langtry and her trip to Langtry Farms
Many famous people have visited or passed through Middletown over the years. Most, we never even knew they were here, for example, all those performers going to Konocti. And for most, we never really cared because they never left a footprint on our community. But there is one historic figure whose prominence and relation to the area has been elevated to heights that tend to over shadow Robert Louis Stevenson, and that historic figure is Lillie Langtry.
This is not a biography on either person but is asking the simple question, did Lillie Langtry ever visit Middletown? Is there proof positive she did, or only folklore?
There has been a lot said and printed about Mrs. Langtry and this area. More than one book has been written implying Mrs. Langtry visited her ranch for several weeks and socialized with the local citizens. She has been described as a vibrant woman who came into Middletown and visited with folks and spent money with Middletown merchants. But recorded history cast a lot of doubt on those stories.
Middletown was a bustling community in the late 1880s. The quicksilver mines were going strong, employing many people, generating wealth for some and drawing visitors of prominence to the area.
Mr. Andrew Rocca was the superintendent of the Great Western Mine and a man who was famous in his own right. He was also a man of great influence around Middletown in 1888, and appears to have been highly respected.
According to his daughter, Helen Rocca Goss, he and his family entertained most people of prominence of the area during their time at the Great Western, visiting several times with Robert Louis Stevenson and his new wife Fanny. However, I cannot find any mention of Lillie Langtry on their list of guests or acquaintances.
The Days I Knew
In her own book, Mrs. Langtry describes her trip to her newly acquired property in Lake County and says her private rail car stopped in St. Helena, although the rails continued on to Calistoga. (If I were going to Middletown I would have ridden in the comfort of my rail car on to Calistoga and then gone by carriage over Mt. St. Helena to Middletown. Why torture yourself for an extra eight miles?)
Anyway, according to her, the St. Helena Star and Suzanne Case (author of; Join Me In Paradise The History of Guenoc Valley) she didn’t go on to Calistoga. She left St. Helena after a brief rest and went directly to her property over Howell Mountain following the old soldier road then descending into her ranch through her newly acquired vineyards.
So the evidence is pretty definite she never entered Middletown on her arrival and did not depart through Middletown either.
Her stay at the ranch
According to the St Helena Star, as published in Case’s book, Mrs. Langtry arrived in St. Helena on Sunday May 27, 1888 and stayed there for lunch before departing for her ranch.
In her book, Mrs. Langtry writes that on her arrival at the house they went “in” right away as they were all tired from their trip and she continues “We found dinner ready…” So from this we can surmise Sunday was a day of travel to her ranch.
We can deduct from written research the next day or two was spent exploring her ranch and on the second day she sent a wire to General Barnes expressing her pleasure with her purchase. This now famous wire was dated May 29, 1888.
Mrs. Langtry also talks of being involved in the rounding up, corralling and inspecting of all the livestock and branding the young unmarked ones. She writes of her vineyard, a sulfur spring she wished to develop and a quicksilver mine she felt they had discovered.
The article in the St. Helena Star states the Langtry Party was to return in about a week.
Mrs. Langtry states a fortnight (fourteen nights) was all she could spare.
However, once again, the St Helena Star states Mrs. Langtry passed through St. Helena on her way to San Francisco on June 4th, 1888.
Therefore, the 27th of May and the 4th of June were travel days, leaving the 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st, 1st, 2nd & 3rd to be spent exploring her ranch, branding her livestock, working her mine, laying out plans, and preparing to depart.
I could find no passage in her book where she talks of visiting Middletown and her description of Middletown is anything but accurate including the spelling.
One trip to the ranch
At this point I have a real separation from Ms. Case. She writes of Lillie’s visit to her ranch in 1888. Then she goes on to write about the railroad coming to Lake County and starts off the third paragraph by a somewhat misleading positioning of circumstances. The paragraph states when Mrs. Langtry visited the ranch the next year, she found little or no progress to the railroad.
One could interpret Ms. Case’s paragraph positioning to imply that Mrs. Langtry returned the next year after her first visit, and that would be wrong. Mrs. Langtry made that observation about the railroad while describing her trip to her ranch for the first and apparently only trip to Langtry Farms.
Mrs. Langtry writes in her book after describing her visit to her ranch, and I quote from page 208, “It is positively tragic to think that, through a combination of circumstances, I never saw the ranch again. Unavoidably, the two following summers my work took me to London...”
She goes on to say she then made plans to return with a family party that had gone on ahead, however, before she could join them the railway accident occurred that destroyed her horses on route to the ranch and on page 209 she writes, “This so disheartened me, and of such ill-omen did it seem, that I renounced the visit I had been looking forward to so keenly for three years, and we all sailed for England instead. I continued to own the property for a good many years, and at last was glad to sell it for about half the price I gave for it.”
One can speculate all one wants, but the evidence is pretty clear to me that one, Mrs. Langtry visited her ranch in Lake County one time. Two, that she did not enter Lake County or depart Lake County through Middletown. Three, she never claims to have been in Middletown regardless what others may say. And four, her stay was never more than fourteen nights and was most likely eight nights and seven days.
Did Mrs. Langtry visit the Lake County House that was described as a “good hotel” and constructed of brick? Did she bounce into town and buy ribbon from a local merchant? Did she often visit with the locals? I doubt it very seriously. For one, I’m not convinced time would have allowed it. Also, if a person spent any time in Middletown in the late 1880s, I doubt they would have described it as a street of wooden shanties.
I feel Mrs. Langtry was never in Middletown and may have confused the remnants of Kayote with “Middleton”.
However, I could be wrong. Most of my opinion is based on what Mrs. Langtry wrote herself and why would she know anything, it was just her life?
THIS IS AN EXTREMELY RARE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD OF LILLIE’S HOME
COMPLIMENTS OF SYLVIES “FASHIONS HEAD – TO – TOE”
© Bill Wink
July 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Mrs. Langtry’s ranch was once part of a historic land grant called “Guenoc”
Learn about “Guenoc” here
THE DAYS I KNEW
By LILLIE LANGTRY (LADY DE BATHE)
GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY
THE LIFE and DEATH of a QUICKSILVER MINE
By HELEN ROCCA GOSS
JOIN ME IN
By SUZANNE D. CASE
By: ERVING R. FELTMAN
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