From Arcadia NY to Columa CA

Contributed by Lisa Slaski


Was born in Arcadia, Wayne county, New York, July 18, 1834. Father was Oscar and Eliza (nee Waterman) Osborn, his mother who emigrated with parents from Mass. and Conn., to New York, where they married and Oscar is the only son and child. Worked on a farm in his native State, attending school in winter, etc. On April 2, 1852, took sail at New York via Cape Horn for California, had a pleasant six month's trip and put in to Valparaiso and Rio Janeiro. There was a party of five started from New York, when they arrived in California it was the dry season and mining was at a low ebb, turned their attention to whatever was to do. The first mining he done was in Secret ravine, now Newcastle, paid $6 per day for water, poison oak drove him out. Thence went to Yankee Hill, Butte county, where he was identified with many of the enterprises, such as ditch building, etc. Erected a large hotel at Yankee Hill, then bought into a mine at Magalia.

In 1860 was taken with chronic illness and for about three years spent in traveling over California, in company with two or three others of the Western hotel in Sacramento. In 1862 spent some time in Virginia city, Nevada, Dayton and Carson. Returned from there to Brown's valley, Yuba county, and remained there until coming to El Dorado county, mined first at Uniontown; he was successful and decided to quit and settle for a permanent stay. His mine then was the Mt. Pleasant mine. In 1880, he in company with J.T. Blundell, purchased from E.M. Smith, the Pioneer Nursery, the oldest place in Coloma, and established by Weimer who was with Marshall at the time gold was found. Peaches and plums are their specialties, about 800 peach trees, 200 plums. They ship to Sacramento and San Francisco, get the highest prices for them; the peaches they raise are of superior kinds, and have taken the premium at Mechanic's Institute, in San Francisco. Grow fancy grapes of about 1,000 vines, but will soon drop their cherries, figs, persimmons. The location is a beautiful one, for all kinds of fruit. The ranch is capable of producing about 1,500 boxes of peaches. The year 1876 netted over 2,000, turn out about 225 boxes of Bartlett pears. Everything that can be has been done to grow the best of fruit. The property cost $3,300 in coin, and now is estimated at $4,000. He is a Republican and earnest supporter of its principles, could have been in the Legislature; has been Justice of the Peace in Coloma township. Is a I.O.O.F. Columa Lodge, No. 27, is of sterling integrity, and has reputation of being so. Is temperate in all tings in living, and all other habits.

Source: "Historical Souvenir of Eldorado County, California, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men & Pioneers." Oakland, Cal.: Paolo Sioli, Publisher. 1883. Page 259.

The writing is brusk and colloquial, as if the compilers wrote this profile up almost verbatim from their personal interview with Mr. Osborn. Ironically, Mr. Osborn grew up in a county noted for its fruit industry!

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Created: 12/15/03
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