The Las Cruces Murders – Conclusion

by R Lawson Gamble After sixteen days, three suspects emerged – the Williams brothers. The assumed motive was their desire to secure the stage company franchise, in pursuit of which they had built a corral and barn for the stage horses and probably remodeled the interior of the adobe extensively to meet the demands ofContinue reading “The Las Cruces Murders – Conclusion”

The Las Cruces Triple Murder

by R Lawson Gamble (Preface: Read previous blog “The Beheading of Colonel Ebey”)When George and Lucretia Corliss set sail for Las Cruces, California, by one account they had fellow passengers booked for the same location, Steve Williams and his Washington Indian or half-breed shepherd. All four were to figure in the murder. By all reports,Continue reading “The Las Cruces Triple Murder”

The Beheading of Colonel Ebey

By R Lawson Gamble Whidbey Island is located in northern Puget Sound, about fifty miles south of the Canadian Border. The early pioneer settlers here were attracted to open lowlands on the island, and applied the word “prairie” to them as they reminded them of the huge expanses of tall- and short-grass prairies they hadContinue reading “The Beheading of Colonel Ebey”

Nancy Kelsey – The Betsy Ross of California

By Merle Blasjo Anyone who traveled across the continent in the nineteenth century was likely to face numerous hazards—wild animals, hostile Indians, and robbers in addition to dangerous weather and water shortages. When Nancy Kelsey made this trip, she had additional challenges because of her youthful age (17), her responsibility for her infant daughter, andContinue reading “Nancy Kelsey – The Betsy Ross of California”

The Las Cruces Triple Murder

by R Lawson Gamble This is the story of a triple murder and a mystery that occurred in Las Cruces, California in 1864. My research has revealed deep roots to the mystery and far-flung connections that give rise to possible motives beyond a local tragedy. Above all, it is a story of incredible irony. NoContinue reading “The Las Cruces Triple Murder”

A Taste of Grapes in SB County

By R Lawson Gamble After Father Juniper Serra planted California’s first known vineyard in 1769 in the San Diego area, each mission that followed planted vines to grow grapes for sacramental (and sometimes other) purposes. According to wine historian Victor Geraci of the University of California, Berkeley, when explorer Gaspar de Portola visited the SantaContinue reading “A Taste of Grapes in SB County”

A Meeting of Two Very Different Men by R Lawson Gamble

It was an unusual meeting between two unusual men, and it ended in the death of one. Their backgrounds could not have been more diverse, the route taken by each to their fatal meeting more circuitous. One staked a claim in North Santa Barbara County through perseverance and grit, the other found himself there almostContinue reading “A Meeting of Two Very Different Men by R Lawson Gamble”

The Lagoon of the Dancing Maidens by R Lawson Gamble

He called the place “una laguna graciosa“, but there are those who suspect this soldier with the Portola Expedition remembered not so much the small lake and its excellent drinking water, as the Indian maidens who danced gracefully upon its shores. Ten years later, when the Anza Expedition camped in the same location, Father PedroContinue reading “The Lagoon of the Dancing Maidens by R Lawson Gamble”