Well, what can I say about my trip which turned into a "genea-vacation?" First I got loads of yummy records, pictures and stories and second I LEARNED HOW TO USE A MICROFILM MACHINE! I haven't been on that many "genea-vacations" and this last vacation wasn't supposed to be one either but since we were so close to all those marvelous, tantalizing records, I couldn't resist and dragged my mother to Yreka (when she would have preferred to spend the whole vacation on Mt. Shasta) for an afternoon. But, one must begin in the beginning so here goes...
For anyone that doesn't know, we went to Siskiyou County, which (surprisingly to us) was only a three hour drive. My mother and I stayed in Dunsmuir but spent most of our time in Mt. Shasta City/Sisson and Mt. Shasta itself (don't worry, I took enough pictures to fill a couple years worth of Wordless Wednesdays). My great-grandmother, Georgia Wellons Berger was from the Yreka area (the north side of Mt. Shasta, near the Oregon border) and before her marriage taught school at some of the various communities around Mt. Shasta, like Weed. So one day during our vacation, we went driving around all the little towns that we'd heard so much about but have never seen. Yreka was especially eventful and I found some wonderful genealogical goodies there! Although Yreka is the county seat, it still has a small town feel. I was especially amazed at how tame all the wildlife is in the area. When we went to Evergreen Cemetery, the largest one in the area, it was a real trip to see deer all over the place, laying around the headstones to keep cool.
Next we went to the Yreka Library where the librarian very kindly (and patiently) showed me how to use the microfilm machine. I'd used a microfilm machine before, but have never set up a reel or taken one off, or really just used the machine without supervision before. It is really addicting looking through those reels though, I was a little surprised about how much fun it could be. I mainly looked for obituaries, but census records and California documents were also available for viewing.
We also went to the Siskiyou Historical Museum and Society Building (which we found when we drove up was next door to the area Genealogical Society!). As much fun as the museum was to go through, it was even more fun and a pleasant surprise to find that the "pioneer records" were kept there. People who came to the area before a certain time (I think 1900) were applicable to be in the "pioneer" files for the area and my Wellons were there as well as a story about their life in Kentucky before coming West! The Society also publishes an annual book, the Siskiyou Pioneer and we were excited to find the Wellons family in a couple issues (which I was able to buy!).
All in all it was a successful and enjoyable trip. I'll post some more about my finds later... as well as pictures!
UPDATE: I was just looking for online information about the Historical Society and found this great blog! Anyone who is interested in Yreka or Siskiyou Co. should definitely check it out!