Paisley Kirkpatrick Says "WAGONS HO!"


Wagons Ho! Those two simple words won the west. Thousands of Americans traveled across country to find their fortunes in gold. Grueling days under the penetrating sun, inhaling dust, facing dangers beyond what we can imagine today, didn”t dampen their spirits. Gold! A fever to find that elusive fortune brought miners to California by the thousands. Some came by wagon train, some through the Isthmus of Panama when it was still a jungle, and others sailed around the Horn. Sailors abandoned ships in San Francisco Harbor, leaving a graveyard of useless sailing vessels. Sails made great tents in the Sierra Mountains.

My hubby and I live in California”s Sierra Mountains where the 1849 gold rush happened. There are still relics found in the wild, romantic town of Placerville, which was called Dry Diggins and Hangtown during that time. Tunnels twist and turn under the town”s streets, Victorian homes are scattered throughout the surrounding hills, several buildings that housed saloons back then still share the history in their interiors, and a Chinese bordello building is now a business office. My favorite building is The Cary House, a hotel built in 1857 which is still functioning as a popular hotel. I used this four-story brick hotel in my first story, NIGHT ANGEL. We still have staged gunfights during festivals and a wagon train that comes over the Sierras replicating the most popular way of heading west. At Christmastime, we have Doc Weiser drive an old Wells Fargo stagecoach through town, giving rides to visitors. Doc secures a Christmas tree on top of the coach and delights both residents and visitors. How could I not have become obsessed with sharing all of this history with my readers? The information is everywhere and I can”t get enough of it.

My great, great grandfather, Charles Kirkpatrick, was one of those men who traveled by wagon train from St. Joseph, Missouri to California. He was a doctor and his plan was not to dig for the gold, but to set up a medical practice. He kept a 45 page journal along the way and it is now sealed in a glass case in the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. My Mother was able to get a copy of the journal and I consider it a great family treasure. He gave me a lot of information that guided me on my own wagon train ride west in my story Marriage Bargain.

Now, let my family”s rich history be your first step into a past full of adventure and, as always, what is life without a whole lot of romance. Come ride the trails with me and I”ll guarantee you the ride of a lifetime! I”d love to hear your stories on keepsakes you”ve inherited from your ancestors and what they mean to you.

Stop by and leave a comment.  I”m giving away a copy (in electronic format) of Night Angel, the first story in my Paradise Pines Series, to one of my visitors.

In Night Angel, sassy Amalie Renard, a poker-playing saloon singer, shakes up Paradise Pines, a former gold-rush mountain community by turning the saloon’s bar into her stage. Her amazing voice stirs the passions of the hotel owner, a man who anonymously travels tunnels at night providing help to the downtrodden as the mysterious Night Angel. Declan Grainger agrees to subsidize the building of a music hall to fulfill Amalie”s dream, but a bounty for her arrest could spoil his plans. Distrust and jealousy stir flames of malice and revenge threatening to destroy their town. Drawing from past experiences, Declan and Amalie turn to each other to find a way to save the community.

To Order NIGHT ANGEL from Desert Breeze Publishing click HERE

To Order NIGHT ANGEL from Amazon click HERE

To Order NIGHT ANGEL from Barnes and Noble click HERE

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24 thoughts on “Paisley Kirkpatrick Says "WAGONS HO!"”

  1. This was so exciting to read this. Got my hopes up to win it, then saw it is an ebook. You really live in an interesting place. Anyway I enjoyed learning something new. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  2. Great post, I would love to visit and stay in that hotel. I love the sounds of the story in your book…
    Thanks for sharing..

  3. Hi Paisley, welcome to the Junction! We’re thrilled to have you visit us. And what a good subject. I think the pioneer woman and her contributions to settling the west have been greatly overlooked. The men seem to get the lion’s share of the credit. But if it wasn’t for the brave women who went along, I think it wouldn’t have been so easy for the men. Women have always been pushed into the background. But they certainly played a huge part. They had to be so courageous to have left their homes and took off for places they’d never seen. They didn’t know what was waiting for them. I can’t imagine the hardships they faced. It must’ve been very tough.

    Wishing you much success with your books!

  4. How I would love to visit this old historic town. They just simply awe me and I could sit and daydream forever. And wagon trains? Love their history and their stories are my favorites too!

  5. Paisley, welcome to Wildflower Junction! It’s so good to see you here. I just absolutely adore Placerville. We go every summer on our way to Lake Tahoe. I think the Gold Bug mine is near there. That whole area just really reaches out to me. Best of luck for much success with your terrific Night Angel and the entire series.

  6. I enjoyed reading your post today Paisley! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Wish I knew more about my family tree… who knows what interesting people there are.

  7. What an amazing place you live would love to visit and stay in the hotel. From what I have read I don’t think I would have wanted to travel that far by wagon train, sounds like a rough life. I really don’t have any keepsakes from my past family other then a few what knots like a crock pitcher of my grandmothers and things like that. I guess my sister has most of that stuff. My son has some old war war II history books that belonged to his great grandfather but that is about it. Nothing like what you have. Your book sounds fabulous and I would love to read it. Hope I win!

  8. As a Native Californian, I love Placerville! Lived in the Sacramento valley for 12 years and drove to Rescue when it was a wide spot in the road. My son lived in Fair Play just down Hwy 49 from Placerville. He trained horses and did hot shoeing for a few years. Now we all live in the Eastern Sierra, (Owens Valley).
    I can recall many trips over Hwy 50 and being made to wait around Kaiburz, for the Wagon Train.
    My family didn’t migrate from the East Coast to California until 1924. But my many trips from here to Sacramento for work, always took me through Placerville. That was one of our ‘pit stops’ on our way through, with a bit of site seeing as we did it.
    Thanks for the wonderful reminder of a great place. Would love to read your book, but don’t have a reader.
    Come back to P&P anytime.

  9. How wonderful that your great great grandfather’s journal is preserved at the university for everyone to enjoy. My own grandfather’s papers are also preserved at our state university. It is pure joy to be able go anytime I want and to through them. Reading my family’s history and touching the very old letters and documents is thrilling. Knowing that many people can and do enjoy and learn from them besides my family is an honor.

    I intend to one day see the area you are privileged to call home. And would love to have your book to read.

  10. Thanks, Kathleen. I appreciate your support. The hotel is quite wonderful inside. I used to know the manager and he let me take photos and experience the resident ghost on a few occasions. 🙂

  11. Thank you, Linda. I so agree. I was so surprised when I learned they didn’t ride all the way across country, but walked alongside their wagons. Think of how many patches they had to put into those shoes and boots!

  12. Hi Trish. Placerville is a wonderful place to explore. I remember the day I was running an errand for my boss and passed an old saloon. I saw people inside and knocked. They let me in and showed me around and gave me invaluable information which I used in my third story. My workmate about had an attack when she found out where I’d been and said my reputation was ruined because it was the worst saloon in town. Really, I thought. Writers don’t worry about things like reputations when there is a fabulous place to explore. 😉

  13. Waving Tanya. Yes, my daughter and I spent an afternoon in Gold Bug Park. We explored the full length of the gold mine and it was fantastic. My heroine in my fourth book in the series inherits a gold mine so this was just perfect. Thanks for the invite to come and visit.

  14. Hi Colleen. Sometimes you can find surprising and amazing things on your family tree. We found out my grandpa’s grandfather was the King of Denmark and we are from the wrong side of the blanket. My Grandpa was embarrassed but my cousins and I loved it…

    Thank for coming for a visit today.

  15. Hi Quilt Lady, I love seeing your name because I am also a quilt lady. Yes, I am lucky to have so many keepsakes. I also have this same great, great grandfathers metal box from the Civil War and it holds all of his medals and emblems from his shirt, epulets, and a medal. I am the keeper of the family heritage and love it.

  16. Thank you, Mary J. I love it when the wagon train comes over the mountain down into Placerville. They still have the annual parade through town and the BBQ at the fairgrounds. We’ve lived here nearly 20 years now and I still love it.

  17. That’s great, Kat. I love all the memories left to us by our ancestors. My great, great grandmother (this grandpa’s wife) is supposedly the first woman to have stories printed in magazines. They are kept at the Sacramento State Library. Because my Mom was relative they took copies for her, but wouldn’t let her touch them. They use an instrument to do this so they stay pristine.

    Thank you so much for coming by today.

  18. I did a double take when I started reading this post. I hadn’t seen the previous one about repeating past posts. Was enjoyable the second time around. It is fun visiting the old towns in the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas. We look forward to seeing some of them and sharing them with our grandson this summer when we travel in the Rockies.

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