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April 8, 1861: Foxen Canyon

April 8, 2011

Chapel 03

Chapel of San Ramon, built in 1875 by Benjamin Foxen's daughter and son-in-law (~5 miles from the Foxen ranch); by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

Camp 23

Fremont-Foxen Plaque

Fremont-Foxen plaque, vicinity of Foxen ranch; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

[Today], we went on to Camp No. 23, at Foxen’s Ranch, about twelve miles. Foxen is an old Englishman who came to America a mere boy—came as a sailor to the western coast, was hunter and trapper, then married a Spanish wife and settled on a ranch. He has been in California over forty years. He was decidedly an original character. We camped near his house, for there is only water at the ranches, at intervals of six to ten miles on an average.

Foxen Gravestone 01

Foxen gravestone; by Tom Hilton, on Flickr

The hills we passed among during the day’s ride were covered with pasture, or grass, with a great profusion of flowers. Sometimes we went along a valley with fine scattered trees. But the road was worse and our erring wagon wheel once more began to show signs of weakness and Pete mended it again with thongs of rawhide. I examined the region around and found many fossils, among them a portion of a fossil whale, dug up at the ranch, the bones very stony.

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