Books Crossing the Plains

Crossing the Plains

Crossing the Plains


In 1852, Mary Alexander Variel left her home in Indiana and embarked on the long journey to the California gold fields with her husband and two children. This is the diary Mary wrote as she and her family made the long and difficult journey west. Mary describes her experiences as they traveled from New Harmony, Indiana, to Camptonville, California, in an ox-drawn prairie schooner. Compiled by her son, William Variel in 1907, the diary is a also includes excerpts from the diary of Mary's husband, Joshua Hutchings Variel. The Variels were among the first emigrants from the east to travel through American Valley on the new Beckwourth Trail on their way to Camptonville. After living in Camptonville for several years, the Variels moved to Quincy, in Plumas County, and here they built a house and lived until 1896 when they moved to Los Angeles. Today, the restored Variel Home is on the Plumas County Museum grounds and tours are available during the summer months. Edited by Stephanie Korney of the Camptonville Historical Society, this is a wonderful story of a pioneer woman and family. Illustrated with maps and b/w photos. Paperbound: 112 pages: 5.5 x 8.5"