Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Workday Wednesday - Harvesting Crews in Richvale California

Editor's note: Today's post was edited by Sandra Gardner-Benward and written by member Jack Bank

Jack BANK, a long time member of Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society. Each February Root Cellar SGS have what we loving call 'Show n Tell'. Members bring all types of items/ heirlooms that may have been passed down through ancestors. Jack has a rich ancestry in Northern California. 

One of the many pictures on his board is a harvesting crew working near Richvale* [California]. It is a pretty typical scene in the early 1900's in the Sacramento Valley.  Some of Jack's mother’s side of the family have farmed there since the late1800s growing wheat until converting to rice production fifty years ago.  This picture came to me from one of my mother’s cousins and she did not know the relationship of the harvesting crew in the picture to our family.  I have not come across any of the names from the back of the picture in my own research either,

The harvesting pictured below are not family members as far as I know.  The picture came to me with a whole pile of pictures that are of family members. The date and names of the harvesting crew are listed on the back.

Sunday, June 13, 1913
Engineer:             Jim BYRNES
Separator Tender: George JACKSON
Sack Sower:        Murel McDANIEL
Sack Filler:          Kit MOOR
Superintendent:    Jess BAKER

My guess is that the harvester and crew were just hired for the harvest and not regular McQUEEN Ranch hands.  At least someone took the time to write the names and date on the back of the picture, unlike many photos that I have with no identification at all on them. [gee not that I have ever heard of any pictures that aren't identified] 

*Richvale, California - Richvale is a small census-designated place in Butte County, California, USA, south of Chico and west of Oroville. The primary crop grown in the area surrounding Richvale is rice, irrigated from the Oroville Dam on the Feather River. The history of Richvale was recently written by the Richvale Writing Group (with Teresa Ward) and published by The Community Foundation of Richvale in a book (Richvale: A Legacy of Courage, Dedication, and Perseverance) with 364 historical photographs.

My family names associated with the ranches are: McQUEEN, EATON, PETTY and DANCE.

Some of the family ranch land was in Biggs, which is south of Richvale, where my grandfather, Louis EATON was born in 1877,  I was told by one of my mother’s cousins that the land was planted to wheat until rice became the more profitable crop to grow.

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