Voyage to California (12) – John Jackson Lewis – January to March, 1851

(1) John Jackson Lewis, (2) Edith May (Lewis) Rider, (3) Marian Faith (Rider) Irwin, (4) Marian Dunlop (Irwin) Guion, (5) Judith Anne Guion.

The following are transcriptions of John Jackson Lewis’s diary and journal of his voyage to California in 1851. He was travelling  from New York to visit his older brother William in San Jose.


Spend the day chiefly in writing. Took a walk out to some springs from which the natives were carrying away the water in jars, upon their heads, as fast as it issued from the aperture. On my return, stopped at a grove where some Americans were erecting a hotel. The grove is a beautiful place and contains a considerable variety of trees, both useful and ornamental.


Spent a good deal of the day writing up my journal, which had got sadly in arrears. Walked out in the morning to one of the springs by which the town is supplied with drinking water. There was but little to be seen except a stone wall, with water issuing from it through or over a stone spout, and natives carrying it away in large jars as fast as it was supplied. On the way back to town, stopped at a place where some Americans are building a hotel, in one of the groves, a short distance out of town. If put in good order, it will be a beautiful place and a pleasant one too. It is out of town, on an eminence where the breezes can blow upon it, commands a view of a portion of the bay, and the grove contains a number of beautiful trees of various kinds. If the proprietor’s conduct the matter properly, they may do a good business there.

Tomorrow, I will post more about My Ancestors, Louis Guion, Equyer – 1654 – 1725. He and his wife left France ( see last Sunday’s post) and arrived in England in 1686.

Next week I will post letters written in the fall of 1946. Lad and Marian, Dick and Jean and Dave are all living in the Trumbull House. Dan,  Paullette (Chiche) and the baby Arla are still in France waiting to travel to their new home in Trumbull. Said continues in Anchorage, Alaska, working as an airplane mechanic and Bush pilot.

Judy Guion

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