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Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions, Behind the Scenes at the "Flying A," & Silents on the Islands


The Olivers of Oliver Road - part 1

Lately, I've posted about street names on the Mesa that come from Spanish. Here's one street that is named for an American family.


They loaded up their covered wagon, gathered their cattle and children, said good-by to Iowa, and headed to California with a prayer on their lips and hope in their hearts. It was April 10, 1861. The Oliver family was headed by L.G. Oliver and his wife Kate. L.G., whose full name was Ludwell Gains, was 35. Kate (Catherine) was 30. They had two children — daughter Lydia E. was eight; son C.A. (Cassius Adolphus) was six. (Their son John Blair would be born later in California in 1864.)


They spent more than five months on the trail before they arrived in San Francisco on September 24. Along the way, they traversed mud holes, ferried across rivers, and endured windstorms and encounters with Native Americans. Once, while crossing a primitive bridge, their wagon fell into a stream. Kate feared her children would perish. "My pencil fails to portray my feeling during the moments of suspense and agony," she wrote in her diary. Fortunately, the children survived, but the family's possessions were soaked.


Next week, in part 2, I'll post about their arrival in Santa Barbara.

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