An Early Shasta Christmas

A few years ago, I was reading a transcription of the diary of Royal Tyler Sprague (an Old Shasta pioneer and Freemason), and I thought his entries on Christmas 1850 in Shasta were worth noting:

Dec 24, 1850: “This evening nearly every citizen of our little town seems determined on a general blow out, more than one half are partially intoxicated. Fiddling, dancing, fighting, & yelling. All must drink and none can sleep.”

Dec. 25, 1850: “The carousing of our citizens continued all night. I managed to get about 2 hours sleep. This morning immediately after breakfast I set out with Hawkins, Lemon, and Ray to walk to Roop’s trading post 9 miles from here on Clear Creek [now underwater near Oak Bottom Marina] where we arrived a little after noon and partook of a most sumptuous dinner, after which some fourteen of us went out onto the bottom and took a game of goal. I have not run as much for 15 years. Spent the evening until a late hour in playing cards drinking cider & eating mince pies & cheese. Thus passed Christmas with me this year, quite different from last. Warmer weather than any Christmas I ever before witnessed.”

Dec. 26, 1850: “Immediately after breakfast we paid our bills (mine was $11.00) and set out for home where we arrived late in the P.M. Weather still warm and pleasant.”