Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Portland and Oregon City in 1885 - Lena Nelson Dooley - Book Giveaway

I love research. I know, that makes me weird or something. But really finding out about what things were like in a different time period is exciting to me.

That's one reason I write historical novels. Another reason is because not every historical novelist is careful to make sure their books depict the time period accurately. When I'm reading a book like that it drives me crazy. 

I want my readers to know that they can trust my books to be authentic. When I write a novel, only my specific characters and their story are fiction. Everything else is as correct as I can possibly get it.

Here are some interesting things I found in Oregon City. It developed on both sides of the Willamette River, and many of the companies that were built on the banks of the river depended on the river for many things.

High Street was at the top of the highest bluff on one side of the river. In Mary's Blessing, the Winthrops lived there, the doctor had his house--complete with an office there, and Daniel bought a house on High Street.

Wooden steps descended from Seventh, Fifth, and Fourth streets up on the bluff down to Third street, which was close to the riverbank.

In this time period, one of the banks in Oregon City installed a vault that was a giant black iron ball. It was supposed to be harder to rob. They even had a celebration with it in the street before it was installed. I didn't find any information about whether it was ever broken into.

In 1885 Shively Opera House opened at 7th and Madison. It became a major entertainment venue. But Oregon City also had other activities, including the Clackamas Base Ball Club.

The Chautauqua grounds in North Oregon City eventually turned into a festival in this time period with picnics, camping, and games. This type of entertainment spread across the country in the early 20th century.

Just 21 years after Portland is officially founded, the city's growth prompts the need for a public transportation system. Portland's first trolleys, brought by steamer from San Francisco by Ben Holladay, were horse and mule drawn prior to 1890 when the electric trolleys were started. It ran between Portland and Oregon City from the 1870s through the 1890s.

Here is an actual photo of the horse and mule drawn trolleys.

Portland had its own brand of entertainment as well.

In the picture to the right, you can see how the designers for Mary's Blessing used this mode of transportation on the cover.

New Market Theatre on First street had shops on bottom floor, entertainment above. Theatrical troupe in mock holdup of a carriage on Main Street. And it wasn't unusual to see long-haired goats in harnesses, training for the gold fields in Alaska on Morrison Street. I didn't find anywhere whether the goats were successful in pulling the dogsleds in Alaska.

Steel Bridge across the river had a lower level for trains and an upper level for pedestrians. I'm sure it would feel funny if you were walking on the bridge when a train pulled by a steam locomotive crossed under you.

Meier and Frank department store on Taylor between First and Second Streets had their first Friday Surprise Sale on April 29, 1885. That was a fun place for my hero to take the heroine.

I hope you love a peek into yesteryear the way I do.

Please check out my McKenna's Daughters series--Maggie's Journey, Mary's Blessing, Catherine's Pursuit.
The stories are about identical triplets born on one of the last wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. Their mother dies giving birth, and they are separated. They don't find out they have sisters until near their 18th birthday.

Can you share an interesting tidbit of history from where you live?

I will choose a winner of Maggie's Journey from those who leave comments including a historical tidbit from where you live.  winner will be announced in the comments on this post tomorrow.

And our big giveaway is coming the end of the month!
Grand Prize- Kindle 
2nd Place Prize- $25 Amazon gift card 
For each day you comment on CFHS you receive one entry in the kindle and $25 Amazon gift card giveaway. Comment on every post in the month of March and earn 31 entries! 


68 comments:

  1. Hey Lena, great post. Before I was introduced to some wonderful Historical Fiction books, I really didn't care about history. My teachers never made it interesting at all, so I just eeked through those classes. Now, I find myself fascinated by history. The cover of your book is cool. I love how it mirrors the other photo in color, as well as the trolleys. I'm sure there is some kind of history facts about Redding, Ca. I've just never looked it up. I may have to now.
    God bless.

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    1. One reason I'm so careful about historic details is because of people like you. Not all historical authors are that careful. Most are. When I read a historical book with inaccurate details, I grit my teeth. They are giving readers a skewed view of history. I want to help create a more complete, but accurate, picture for those who didn't like history in school, but now our stories build interest in them.

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    2. Thank you for your efforts...greatly appreciated!

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  2. I am a huge history fan! My favorite part of school (I was homeschooled) was when we read The Mystery of History which was a comprehensive study of history starting with creation. I graduated before the final volumes released but I'm hoping my mom gets them for my younger siblings so I can read them too!
    I live near Pittsburgh, PA so there's a decent amount of history to be found! Originally it started as Fort Pitt which was built near where Fort Duquesne (where Washington suffered his first defeat during The French and Indian War) formerly stood. During The Revolutionary war it served as headquarters for the western theatre of the war. And during the Civil War Pittsburgh supplied a large portion of the war materials!
    gatorade635(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you, Abbi, for sharing that historical tidbit with me. My agent lives in Pennsylvania.

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  3. This isn't really historical, but my town of Randolph, Maine is the smallest town in physical area in the State of Maine. bcrug(at)myfairpoint(dot)net

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    1. Connie, that's a fascinating bit of trivia for us. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I live in Florida now. Even though I live in Central Florida I will give you a piece of history from a little up the road. St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest city in America it was founded by the Spanish with Ponce de Leon being in charge. This city is full of history and one of the most interesting places I have visited so far (I have not been many places) and if you ever get the chance I suggest having a visit or reading a little bit about this city. Thank you for the chance to win this book.

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

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    1. Angela, I've actually been aware of St. Augustine's history. I find it fascinating. My book, PIRATE'S PRIZE, which is now available as an ebook, has some of the book set in St. Augustine in 1804. You might like reading it.

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  5. My great x grandfather founded a city that is still there, in Ohio.
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com

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    1. Sue, what a wonderful piece of history to have in your family history.

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  6. I really enjoy history. A little historical fact about Central Florida "before the Civil War, settlers who came to Central Florida could get 160 acres free from the government if they met certain conditions. The conditions were they must stay for five years, must build a home, cultivate at least five acres of the land, and help defend their community from Native American attacks."

    Katie J.
    johnsonk133[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. Katie, that's another interesting bit of history. I'm sure my readers today will give us a lot of historical information from all over the country.

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  7. I am from Nebraska and this isn't long ago history, but my husband and I were both born in 1952 and that is when they had one of the worst floods ever.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Wendy, thanks for that tidbit. I hope your families were all safe through the flood.

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  8. I live in the Peace River Country that is full of history from the time of the fur traders. But that can all be found in history books. The actual area where i live is also rich in history. About 40 years ago, there was a farmstead on every 160 acres, With 700 members in by the Seventh Day Advent churchs (There were numerous of those). Today, all but 2 or 3 of those families have moved on, there is no gathering in the community of Seventh Days, and the area is all owned two dozen farmers or so. Sad to see a way of life disappear in the area. The young people went to college, and didn't come back to farm.

    Marianne

    mitziUNDERSCOREwanhamATyahooDOTcom

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    1. Marianne, I'm 70 years old. So many places I've lived are now so drastically different from when I was young. I suppose that's progress, but sometimes we lost contact with simpler and ways to do things.

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  9. I'm from MI originally but Greenville, South Carolina is my adopted home. Greenville was known at 'the textile center of the world' in the early 20th century. A century later many of out jobs are in manufacturing. BMW North America is headquartered here.
    On another note Greenville has a great Chautauqua festival early each summer. That has been a great way for me to learn about history.

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Patty, thanks for the info. I had planned to include the Chautauqua festival in my book, but the story veered another direction.

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    2. OOh, Ms. Patty!

      This IS the Festival I was sharing about with Ms. Debbie Lynne the other day! Its one of the reasons I want to holiday in Greenville, as I saw it come alive on the PR Video site for Greenville {GreenvilleHD}! In case anyone else is interested: go to greenvillehd(dot)com, key in "Chautauqua Festival" into the search box, and click on the link it gives you! I find it fascinating how historical figures and authors of the past come alive! I'd love to experience it!

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    3. Greenville is a fun city for a short trip, I think the festival is usually in early June, already pretty warm temps around here at that time of the year!

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  10. Hi Lena, thanks for the info on Oregon. I first read of Chautauquas in Grace Livingston Hill books. If I ever get around to a real bucket list, going to a traditional Chautauqua meeting would be in the top five.

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    1. Linda, I've never been to one either, but I'd like to.

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  11. Good afternoon, Ms. Dooley! :)

    I must say, I agree with you completely! My favourite part of writing is the research I get caught up in whilst being able to provide a realistic bouyancy to my stories! :) Apparently, *Florida!* is popular today, as I too, am in Central Florida! Laughs. I think the saddest slice of history to mention is that after the Phosphate Boom, townes that are now hamlets or villages, were the larger cities back when Phosphate was still being sent on the rails! This keys into the story behind Henry Plant and the University of Tampa campus told recently by fellow CFHS, Ms. Uhlarik. I think one of the best things to mention, is that when the rail lines were no longer able to be used, they turned them into one of the largest Rails to Trails systems of walking, biking, and horse-back riding trails available! You get to be phyiscally present inside nature's most beloved habitats and get to stand in the presence of so many beautiful shorebirds, marsh rabbits, gators, turkey vultures, etc, that you nearly feel as though you left the 'human world' behind! Many of these trails run countercurrent to the actual car heavy highways, too! :)Its one of the nicest ways they preserved 'history', except instead of the 'history' being contained in a building, its the natural history you get to drink in as you walk!

    Was the Chautauqua Festival in Oregon City, the same as the kind hosted by Greenville!? Where people take on the persona of living legends!?

    Thank you for offering this bookaway, as I haven't had the pleasure of reading one of your books yet! I was most surprised that my local library hasn't started to carry them! :/

    inkand-bookaways(at)usa.net
    //Florida

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    1. Jorie, I'm not sure about the Chautauqua festivals in present day at Oregon City. I have other readers who make a request at the library for them to carry a book or books they are interested in. Most libraries will.

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  12. I live in East Tennessee, only a couple of miles from Rocky Mount, which was the site of the US Territorial Capital from 1790-1792. It is now a wonderful, living history museum. I have been able to send 3 of my grandchildren there for summer day camp. They were able to learn many of the daily activities of that era including rope making, blacksmithing, cooking and baking of different foods, soap and candle making, games and simple toys.

    In college I minored in history, so I am always appreciative of authors who write authentically true to the setting. Thank you, Lena, for being one of those special authors.
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  13. KayM, I love that kind of summer camp activities. We have a Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth, near where I live. They do have docents who demonstrate so many of the things early settlers did--spinning, weaving, candle making, blacksmithing, and they have an actual water-run mill that makes corn meal. I've bought sacks from them before.

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  14. I've not read any of your books but you have my interest now. I'm new to the site and can't wait to begin digging into these stories. I'll check my local library for your books. Thank you for your research.

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    1. Missy, I hope you can get ahold of a copy of the series.

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  15. Hey, Lena! Great post. I just wanted to tell you that when we were in the mountains in Idaho with our daughter and son-in-law, we met people who were using goats as pack animals for their hike. That was a first for me. I used to live in Oregon and did a lot of 1855-57 research on the territory for books as well. Fascinating! More on my posting day (23rd).
    Susan

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    1. Susan, that's interesting. These goats were being trained to pull dog sleds, like a team of dogs.

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  16. I live near Louisville, Ky. - home of the largest victorian district in the U.S.. Louisville sits on the banks of the Ohio river - it's development was enhanced by the transportation possibilities of the river & railroad. Louisville was allowed to remain a neutral state during the civil war, but was a shipping point for slaves to the south.

    I haven't read any of your books - thanks for the opportunity to win one!

    bonnieroof60@yahoo.com

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    1. Bonnie, I didn't know that about Louisville. My brother used to live there.

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  17. This sounds like an interesting book. I love to read historical fiction. Its interesting to learn about the life people led and the places they lived. I love when the authors do research and make the setting come to life for readers. My towns claim to fame is that George Washington visited a tavern here and we are know for The Burning of The Hay historical event.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Marypopmom, What is The Burning of the Hay historical event?

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  18. I live in Mountain View, Missouri - a small town really. We don't have much "history," but years ago in 1955 a man named Buck Nelson(who lived on the same road I live on) claimed a UFO landed in his field and talked with him...in English of all things! Of course, it was just a hoax, but for many years people believed him and would drive out and sit on the side of the road to "UFO watch." I have some friends who even have clippings from when it was in the newspaper. :-)

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    1. Lynn, I was a teenager in the late fifties. I remember all the UFO watching.

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  19. I've just found these christian history books and love them.

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    1. Jewel, I'm always glad to meet a new reader.

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  20. I love historical fiction. History is my favorite subject because I learn of the past.

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  21. I live right between Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown. I would say that there is quite a bit of American history here...(: Perhaps the John Smith, Patrick Henry and George Washington?

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  22. I live near Redding, CA. I don't know much about the towns history but I do know it was named by the Southern Pacific after a railroad man, Benjamin B. Redding.

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  23. I'm always looking for new authors to try out, especially for historical fiction! And I am from Beaverton, Oregon :-)

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  24. Hello Lena,
    I recently saw the covers for this series and wanted to read them! I love historical christian fiction...it is all I read (and my Bible of course). I like being swept away to a different part of history.
    I grew up in the north (NY and NJ)but now live in Salem, Virginia. I know many people have heard of Roanoke and I live in the town next to Roanoke. I know Salem was first explored by Europeans in the 1700's but didn't really become a town until 1802. Through Andrew Lewis and his son...this was our beginning...Lewis' son sold land to James Simpson which became Salem and we began to flourish. There is a ton of stuff I could share. We homeschool and we just finished doing a report on Salem..lol.
    History is so exciting to me and I love to find new authors that care about real history as much as I do.
    Please enter me in the drawing. My email is sunydey26 (at) aol (dot) com

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  25. Hello, your book cover looks so interesting!

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  26. I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which was a Revolutionary War-era fort supposedly founded by "Mad" Anthony Wayne, war hero. But it's most interesting history (in my opinion) is from WWII. It was a huge industrial center for war production, had an Army Air Force base on the outskirts (which is now our airport and Air Guard base), and even had a German POW camp in town! Plus, it was mentioned in the book "The Greatest Generation" in a story of a local woman pilot who dropped flyers announcing the end of the war because the newspaper was on strike at the time. So fascinating!

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  27. I don't know much history from where I live now... since my family isn't from here, but I do know some history about where my grandparents live, which was where my dad grew up. They live in Newport News, VA and they use to live on a little peninsula where General Corn Wallis was surrounded and surrendered to General Washington. :) I was always proud of that.

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    1. my email is
      brpchristiangirl@charter.net

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  28. I have read Maggie's Journey and can't wait to read the others to find out what happens to each sister. I live in Burlington NC which is in Alamance County where we are home to a 1771 battle between the "royal" governor's militia and farmers due to taxes and dishonest practices against the farmers.

    jbedwards123@triad.rr.com

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  29. I love historical books and I'm always glad to discover a new historical fiction writer. I live in York Co., PA and York, PA was this country's first capital (for a very short time). Lots of history with Gettysburg close by and the Wrightsville bridge being burned so the Confederate soldiers couldn't cross the Susquehana River. This area is full of history. I appreciate the fact that you do so much research to make your books authentic. Linda
    dmcfarl(at)juno(dot)com

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  30. I grew up near Illinois, the land of Lincoln...great history there.

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  31. I live in Vancleave, MS. Although, Biloxi, MS was home to Edward Barq and his wife beginning in 1897 after they moved here from New Orleans, LA after founding The Barq's Brothers Bottling Company and creating Orangine, which one the gold medal at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, Il and the home to Barq's Root Beer(created in 1900 or 1901), the second or third product of Biloxi Artesian Bottling Works founded in 1898. His brother Gaston continued to run the bottling operation in New Orleans, so in 1970 when Barq's of Biloxi is purchased with the hope to go national there is a hiccup - Barq's of Louisiana. In 1995, The Coca-Cola Company purchased both bottlers and solved that problem. The Barq's name is still around the area.

    My email is Mossyoakdiver22@bellsouth.net. Thanks for the giveaway!

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barq%27s and http://www.bottlebooks.com/questions/September2001/digging_for_facts.htm)

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  32. "Wooden steps descended from Seventh, Fifth, and Fourth streets up on the bluff down to Third street, which was close to the riverbank." This is so interesting to me. In Eureka Springs, AR, there is a hotel that each floor opens to a "ground floor." Also, in Galena, IL, where the homes are built so beautifully up the hillsides. My husband and I retired and moved to the Missouri Ozarks near the Mark Twain National Forest. So marvel at the cattle on a thousand hills! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

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    1. In coming back re-reading these posts, I notice I neglected to put my contact address here ~ lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  33. Stopping in to say hello, Lena! Hmmm an interesting tidbit. Before Clover became a town a train ran through here and it stopped at the water tower to get water for the steam engine. Everytime the engines pulled off water would spill and the ground was doused with water. A large patch of clover began to grow in this moist area. So when someone wanted to tell someone directions they would say 'where the clover is'. And thus when the town sprung up it was named Clover. And up until about 20 years ago that same railroad track ran down the middle of main street.

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  34. I LOVE that you love research!! Me too! One of the first apps I put on my new phone was the dictionary, I guess you could say I am addicted to looking things up! By the way I would love to see goats pulling a dog sled... pretty sure that would be worth a laugh!

    My interesting, but sad tid-bit is from my childhood house. I grew up in Everett and when I was in High School I decided to look up my address and area to see if there was anything interesting... I am sad to say that the events leading up to the Everett Wa Massacre in Nov. 1916 happened right by my childhood home. The Labor union was asking for better conditions and excessive force was used to stop change. One special speaker for an event was even taken and beaten. It was a horrible event in the history of Everett!

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  35. Wow Lena! Oregan sounds so interesting! I love historical facts and places, and recently found something really amazing just around the corner from my house. Our little pharmacy has always had an old-world feel to it, like you're walking into 1902. The other day I chatted to my phamacist, and it turns out the pharmacy is 127 years old! Back in the day it was in Pretoria's main street (though now it's in the middle of a suburb), and its register is even signed by (then) President Paul Kruger! South Africa's first female serial killer, Daisy De Melker, also got her poison from this pharmacy. So much history - wish I could share photos with you all!

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  36. Lady DragonKeeperMarch 6, 2013 at 5:40 AM

    Sounds like a neat story --I don't think I've read a historical with triplets! I really appreciate when authors take the time to research the time period they're writing about. An interesting tidbit of history where I am from is that we have the only true palace in the United States (Iolani Palace of the Hawaiian Kingdom). =)

    jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

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  37. Thank you, everyone, for leaving such interesting comments. I've loved reading every single one of them. Wish I could visit in each of the places.

    AND NOW THE ANNOUNCEMENT!!

    Linda McFarland is the winner of MAGGIE'S JOURNEY.

    I wish everyone could win.

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  38. Linda, I tried to email you using the email you had on your comment, but it came back to me. Please email me your address at: safe[hyphen]LDwrites[at]flash[dot]net

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  39. This was a wonderful post. Thank you for making your books so accurate. I love learning about history and now that I'm out of school most my history comes from historical fiction books. Greers Ferry, Arkansas: The lake in my hometown is a man made lake.

    Rose
    harnessrose(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  40. From 1934 until 1974, an amusement park operated at a nearby lake and featured a giant wood roller coaster. Just think we almost were a major amusement destination

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

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  41. Thanks for sharing the wonderful history with us! I also have a hard time when I find glaring inaccuracies in a Historical Fiction book, nice to know I am not the only one ;)
    Blessings!

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  42. My town of Chesaning, MI got its name from a similar Native American name, meaning "place of the Big Rock", and indeed, there was a very large rock (which is still around, but has become much smaller over time!) as a landmark. Our town has a Native American history, having been inhabited by the Chippewa Indian tribe. One Native American named "Squats with Cows", otherwise known by the townspeople as "Injun Joe", taught the people the trade of tourism, which is still a mainstay in the town today. Sadly, he was not given credit for his guidance until long after his death.

    History can be so much fun! Thanks for the lesson! :)

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    1. Bethany, it sounds kind of like the reason Little Rock, Arkansas, got it's name.

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  43. Hi Lena, I live in Auburn, Indiana where the Auburn-Cord-Deusenberg museum is located. It is filled with some magnificent old cars all kept in pristine condition. There are a lot of owners of these type of cars in the area. Every September we have and owners of these fabulous classic cars pull them out of storage and drive the streets of Auburn. During this time they have a parade through town and a HUGE car auction. People come in from all over the world. To see these old cars takes you back in time.

    I absolutely love your book covers Lena and would love to be entered for your giveaway.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

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  44. I love history and learning more about "the good old days"!
    Lisa
    deiselbuffs@yahoo.ca

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  45. I just came across this webpage. I live in Oregon City and want to let you know that the bank vault you mentioned is on display in the lobby of the Oregon City branch of KeyBank, on Molalla Avenue.

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