Thursday, September 1, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday — Family Artifacts

The Geiger Family Cement Mixer

As gold mining continued its decline during the early 1900s, the growing Geiger family (George Geiger, Amelia Rutishauser, and small children) looked for a more stable occupation. In 1925 they purchased a small dairy ranch in Galt. As the eleven children became teenagers, the tiny ranch house and top floor of the tank house became insufficient. So George Geiger and relatives built a new larger house. It was at this point they likely acquired a cement mixer. That house burned down about ten years ago. But its concrete foundation and now water-filled basement remain.
When the family children entered in their late teens and early 20s, the Geigers sold the Galt ranch and purchased a much larger dairy ranch in Rio Linda (1943). The parents retired in 1948, leasing the ranch to the four oldest brothers. They called it the Geiger Brothers Dairy. And thus the cement mixer was passed to the second generation. A year later the Geiger brothers and one in-law relative doubled the size of the feed barn, using the cement mixer to build the foundation and pavement. The work was done in their "spare time" - evenings and weekends. The project took a year and large quantities of bottled beer to complete. The Geiger Brothers Dairy is now a county park, the Dry Creek Parkway. Although the barn is now gone, its concrete foundation remains.
The Geiger brothers eventually decided that they didn't want to be dairy ranchers and, one by one, left the ranch for careers where they didn't have to get up at 3 a.m. in the morning to milk cows. In 1954, the last two remaining brothers sold the ranch to the LDS Church. The brothers took the cement mixer with them, each of them plus in-laws later using it to do concrete work at their homes. Dayne Hanson, my father, also borrowed that mixer and I was drafted to do the highly technical job of shoveling in the correct proportions of cement, sand and gravel.
The cement mixer eventually ended up in the back yard of Earl Geiger (one of the the original Geiger brothers) for thirty years. A couple of years after his death it was passed on to Bill Geiger, the third generation and one of my army of cousins. I have eleven Geiger uncles and aunts.

Submitted by Rick Hanson
Posted by Ron Setzer

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