THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL K.C. Meadows, editor, 468-3526 (jarberville:A ghost and a tobacco pouch remembered In 1988 I became acquainted with Barbara Drewry (through the mail service). I received several informative letters from her. One day when I spoke to her on the .phone she mentioned that she was sending me an article she had written regarding Bell Springs. The following is this article; printed in The Redwood Record, Garberville on June 15, 1961. '. Mrs. Drewry wrote: "The following is a tribute to the 'late Otto Grothe, who for many years served as postmas- 'terxof the Bell Springs post 'office. The Bell Springs post •office last month became a thing ;6f the past, thus ending a decade :6f history, which started when ;the Grothe and other pioneer families homesteaded this area. Ubther names and places men- •tioned are true, except for the : Little Old Man. ; "The Tale of a Ghost and a ;Tobaccy Pouch :•• "Perhaps, the stage driver Ithought, he had only imagined Iliis .little old passenger. Ever -since they had told him it was •the :last day for the old Bell ;Spririgs post office, (sic) he •couldn't rid himself of the ;strarige feeling. He looked back ;dt his guest and knew he was lindeed a reality. ;! ; "The mail carrier, who had •Jived here most of a lifetime and graveled this route for some years had never once laid eyes Ton the little old man. The mail 'nian had noticed him in the middle of the road from a distance [South of Alderspoint and :stopped his new Ford ranchwag- ion to inquire his wishes. He was ^clad in clean but well worn jeans and a buckskin shirt. From •his pocket protruded a strange .-gnarly pipe. As he opened the : : dopr, the gentleman hopped in Uninvited. Almost at once he Started to talk. His voice was almost a whisper. "'Where's Doc Bruner with POSTAL HISTORY of Mendocino County By LEA MAYER my tobaccy?' 'I don't know anyone by the name,' was the reply. 'Doc's always brought my tobaccy as long as Alan Davidson had the mail contract to pack the mail horseback from Blue Rock to Center Station and hired Doc to do the riding. He always packed the mail out one day, camped overnight, and returned the following day. Well man, Alan's brother Joe and his father Billie would have reminded him.' The driver knew a spot on the old Fruitland road not far from Pratt Mountain Lookout had once been called Center Station. The funny little person seemed to pout and was silent for some time. "Now he seemed to brighten. 'Please stop at Soldiers Grove. The army has an encampment of men there to watch for Indians. They have a large rock near the camp known as Lookout Rock that they can see all over the country from. General Grant camped there with them a bit. He might have left a pouch of tobaccy I could get.' "As they traveled the old fellow fidgeted and squirmed as though he was impatient to hurry on his mission. '"What you stopping here for? Harris! never heard of the place. In my day the stage stopped near the Miller trail at the Dark Canyon post office. We had many a gold piece change hands there in the old saloon.' "The mail carrier hoped when he returned from dropping off the Harris mail that his rider would be gone, but no, he was still there. Strange that no one else seemed to notice him, though they looked directly at him. '"Feller, he continued, just stop at the Coyle mail box. That's right near the road that turns to Island Mountain. Ever since the road was built through here and the overland stage started running around 1870 from Cahto, they always left the mail for the Woods, Shrodeers, Cox, Drewrys, Beaumonts and Coyles at that old tree with the rocks around it. Left lots of money in the sacks and it was always safe. There were two daily stages up until the trains came through on the river. Sometimes they had two horses and sometimes four. '"Say I remember this Chemise grade when the Chinese were building the road. Dan Redmond and Doc Curtiss were really experts at handling their stage teams on this narrow bed. There was a time after the railroad was built the mail quit this road and came from Cummings to Bell Springs. Charlie Linser had the contract in those days.' "As the quaint chap alit, he seemed to be in a hurry to get to the room that has housed the Bell Springs post office all these years. Otto Grothe, who was a retired postmaster and who attended conventions from San Francisco to Cuba had just left the room. A pouch of tobacco lay on the table. Quickly the man grabbed enough to fill his funny old pipe. As he struck the light and held it to the bow of tobacco, a dense smoke filled the room." Barbara Drewry of Garberville - she wrote history also. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Drewry) When it cleared, the post office and the little old man had dissolved into nowhere. Mrs. Drewry died in Eureka in July 1989. She had "authored" her column, "The Bell Springs Buzz" for more than 50 years. I was very sorry that I had not known her for more years. One never knows when history is going to fade away - die be buried - never to be dug up again. That is why I keep on a diggin'. And I encourage you to do so also. Addendum: To a column I wrote in the Ukiah Daily Journal on October 1980 - when I welcomed my first grandchild, Jessica, to our family. This month she graduates from high school; her mother graduated 25 years ago; 1-50 years ago! She has worked for two years and slips around her town of Santa Rosa in a red Neon that she bought on her own. And she just won the same scholarship her mother won 25 years ago. As ] said then, and repeat now, "she's an addition to our family." Congratulations and enjoy your college years, Jessica! You can write Lea Mayer c/o Ukiah Daily Journal, Box 749, Ukiah, 95482 or email her at email@example.com SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 1998 HSA clinic happening in September Horsemanship Safety Association is dedicated to safety education in equestrian sports. This non-profit organization was established in 1964 by the organization founders Betty Bennett- Tablet, and her late husband John Bennett. This September 11 through 14, an HSA clinic will be held at Pudding Creek Stables in Fort Bragg. The clinic will run approximately 40 hours. This clinic is to certify people who teach riding lessons, and want to become certified Horseback Riding Instructors, Horseback Riding Instructors Assistance etc. HSA also offers a job placement service. Space is limited, and the deadline to reserve space is August 14. For more information call Angela Rantala at 964-1158 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. HIV meeting set The Mendocino County HIV/AIDS Consortia will hold its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 17 at 10 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Howard Memorial Hospital conference room in Willits. Items on the Agenda include reports from service providers, and discussions on Standards and Definitions of Care. Purchased Services Guidelines and an Internal Survey for the Consortium and the Fiscal Agent. As always, there is an opportunity for members of the public to comment and/or make announcements. Open house scheduled Climax, LTD a Willits-based photo lab supplier will be holding an open house at its Willits facility, 780 Fort Bragg Rd. in Willits, Tuesday, June 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Get in the game with the Summer Reading Program There will be five weekly activities on Wednesdays at the Ukiah Library Children's Room. All the activities are free, and all ages are welcome. On June 17 movement activities will be featured with Paulette Arnold of the School Performing Arts and-Cultural Education. Also Reading Program sign up. -June 24 will feature a rubber stamp workshop \\iitjf) Emmy Good of Goods' Stamp Shoppe in Wjilits. >"July 1, there will be origami with Marjorie Van Diisen, a multimedia artist. ~- (5n July 8 Aikido and gymnastics demonstrations will be held with Gayle Fillman of Ukiah Aikido. ~_ And on July 15 there will be string games with Daphne MacNeil of Waldorf School of Mendocino County. Also a reading certificate party. ; The Kid's Farmer's Market is fast approaching! '. For more information call 463-4153. Summer food program from UUSD .< The Ukiah Unified School District announces the sponsorship of the Summer Food Service Program. Free meals will be made available to all children under 19 years of age without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability. In the operation of child feeding programs, no child will be discriminated against because of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability. Any person who believes they have been discriminated against should write immediately to the Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the following locations and times, Monday through Friday beginning Monday, June 15 and ending Friday July 24. For further information regarding the Summer Food Service Program please contact the Food Service Department at Ukiah High School by calling 463-5269. The following sites and times for the Summer Food Service Program: Ukiah High School, 1000 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, 7:30 to 8 a.m. and 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.; Nokomis Elementary School, 495 Washington Avenue, Ukiah, 7:15 to 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. to noon; Eagle Peak Middle School, 8601 West Road, Redwood Valley, 7:30 to 8 a.m. and 11 to 11:30 a.m.; Calpella Elementary School, 1551 Moore, Calpella, 7:30 to 8 a.m. and 11:15 to 11:45 a.m.; and Hopland Elementary School, 7:30 to 8 a.m. and 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. Supermarkets & Drug Centei Iceberg Lettuce Lowest Price Of The Year! »' 4 FTHE COMMUNITY'S NEWEST CENTER! PROVIDES OUTPATIENT SURGICAL SERVICES • General Surgery • Podiatric Surgery, *' • Hand Surgery ', Colon & Rectal Surgery * * Gynecology Urology Orthopaedics Otorhinolaryngology Plastic & Reconstruct^ $urgery • Pain Management "We look forivqtd.ta serving your needs" UKIAH SUIt^RY CENTER A HEALTHSOUTtffSURGERY CENTER Monday thru Friday r 7:00 am to 5:00 pm 271 Observatory %f|»ue • (707) 467-2120 (707) £67-2120 You just won't find a better deal on crisp, firm heads of iceberg lettuce. If s a perfect salad partner to nearly anything in our produce department From California's Salinas Valley. Fresh, Tender Green Beans These crisp, round beans /J are ideal for salads, •j casseroles and side H dishes. Grown in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Ib. Prices effective June 14 through 16,1998. Oakhurst & Redding only June 13 through 15,1998. We reserve the right to limit purchases of any item to four packages. We reserve the right to correct any printing errors. No sales to dealers or wholesalers.
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