Remember When for Sept. 2, 2014

115 years ago

Many local boys carried slingshots and the windows of the schoolhouse, the Catholic Church and other exposed and unattended buildings furnished ample confirmation.

The boys had been waging war upon the birds as well as inanimate objects, offering a mark for their destructive skill. Parents were cautioned they might have to meet the heavy penalty provided for the malicious destruction of public property.

“The slingshots are a nuisance,” wrote the editor. “Parental authority should interest itself to have them abolished.”

Remember When for Aug. 26, 2014

65 years ago

A record-breaking total of 1,115 head of livestock were on exhibit at the fairgrounds for the opening of the Lassen County Livestock Show.

Possible cash premiums totaled $54,900. Exhibitors from as far away as Bozeman, Montana, brought their prize stock to Susanville. The year prior, 213 exhibitors showed 991 heads of stock.

Susanville was “gaily bedecked with banners, and even a light coat of gravel on Main Street from the final step in resurfacing lends to the western atmosphere.”

The hotels were so full, residents were filling their extra rooms with visitors.

Remember When for Aug. 19, 2014

115 years ago

Susanville residents got some advice about vacations because the medical men of the day asserted vacation season was actually the most dangerous time of the year.

Americans, they said, rush from one extreme to the other as “for two or three months the struggle for pleasure is as intense as the struggle for life during the rest of the year.”

The secret to a good vacation? Take a vacation from yourself — that is, “have a change of natural surroundings and of intellectual life.

“A week of complete newness will be the beginning of doing a body more good than all the medicines in the world.”

Remember When for Aug. 12, 2014

115 years ago

An incredulous Nebraska jury handed down a remarkable verdict in a criminal trial. After a brief deliberation the jurors said “We the jury in the above named case do not believe one word that the witnesses have sworn to.

“Neither do we believe that any of the attorneys spoke the truth, nor that either of them could do so even if they should care to take the trouble to try.”

Remember When for Aug. 8, 2014

115 years ago

A tall muscular stranger with dark hair, a sandy complexion and a two-inch scar in the middle of his forehead died on Prattville Road near the Mountain Meadows summit.

The stranger, who registered for the stagecoach ride to Chico as W. O’Donnell, boarded the stage “with a roll of blankets wrapped in black oil cloth.” He rode up top with the driver, who was surprised to hear the sound of a pistol hammer failing.

When the driver saw the passenger had a revolver, he asked him what he was doing, and the passenger replied he was “emptying a pistol.”

The driver did not think much of the man until he had put the revolver to his own head and pulled the trigger again. Seeing the need for action, the driver pulled up the horses, and he and fellow passengers tried to disarm the man.

The stranger lost them in the brush and the others ended their search. Before they could travel another half mile, they hear the retort of a pistol ring out across the summit. Susanville Sheriff Wilson brought the body back to town, and the coroner’s jury ruled the stranger “came to his death by gunshot wound inflicted with suicidal intent.”

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