My father, George Andrew Leland Stevens (he was called Leland), was born at the Gold Hill mining camp just west of Loomis, WA on January 28, 1902. His father, William F. Stevens, was the mine's assayer. The family moved away within the first year of my father's life and settled in Long Beach, California. Thereafter, William F. traveled on his own to his various mining jobs while his wife Chrissie (nee Christine Brooks Shane) and their four children stayed put in Long Beach, making it possible for the kids to enroll in school and have a settled life.
One thing that amazes me about this photo is that my grandmother was able to get all three children and herself spruced up in the middle of a mining camp, and keep them clean long enough for the picture to be taken. Iím also impressed that she was able to keep her children alive and well around a dangerous mining operation and the wilderness surrounding it. My hat is off to her and all the parents who brought up families in these austere environs.
In 1962 when I was in high school, Dad and I explored the camp. He figured out which cabin he was born in. The midwife had to climb down a 20í ladder through a snow tunnel in order to help Chrissie deliver her baby. I shudder to think what it must have been like having 3 (and then 4) small children cooped up in a tiny cabin under 20 feet of snow for weeks and months on end.
In 1963, my Dadís sister Lillian explored the camp with her husband George A. Little, and recognized many aspects of it. She was able to confirm my fatherís identification of the familyís cabin. Lillian and George and my parents had planned to meet at the camp during their two separate vacation treks, and missed each other by only one day (that was before cell phones made it easy to coordinate such rendezvous).