Members of the Whitefield Historical Society will read letters exchanged between Samuel B. Turner in California and his wife Sarah and their daughter Eglantine in Whitefield at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Whitefield Town House. The letters tell of the many hardships endured by the separated family and the degree of effort that men will give for the dream of gold.

Samuel Turner had a glint in his eye for his wife Sarah. But, he also had a glint in his eye for gold in California. In 1852 he left his home in Whitefield as well as his wife and family to join many other adventurous men drawn there by the gold rush. He traveled by ship to the Isthmus of Panama and then to the Pacific Ocean by way of foot and boat. Once at the Pacific, he waited for a ship bound for California. The trip was demanding and time consuming taking over three months. His first letter to Sarah was written on board a ship in San Francisco Harbor.

Each year in October, the society selects a part of Whitefield history to remember. This year, its Day of Remembrance will focus on the Samuel B. Turner family. The handwritten letters and family photographs have been collected over time and have just recently been transcribed. The letters tell of the great difficulties that were experienced by the separation. Children sick and going with out shoes at home and Samuel battling the harsh environment in Snake Bar, California, for very little profit.

Music and refreshments will compliment the program. Admission is free, and donations are accepted.

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