“I was born on January 19, 1919. Mrs. Lizzie Burt came by horse and buggy and helped my mother give birth. There was no electricity, no running water. Just a fireplace and a cook stove for heat. The bathroom was outside. I can see why my sisters married young.”
John Bedford started typing his stories on an old typewriter his son gave him when he was 79-years-old. Now, for the first time, all of his books (13 at last count) have been combined into one volume along with additional material and photographs.
Two years ago, the Tehama County Genealogical & Historical Society began to reprint out-of-print books significant to Tehama County so people could enjoy them again. Its first offering, Hobart Moulton’s We Are Not Forgotten, his memories of eastern Tehama County, sold out three times in its first year.
This year, the society proudly presents all of John A. Bedford’s books organized into one volume. Two and a half years in the making, the book’s 388 pages contain 785 photographs that help illustrate the wealth of unforgettable local history found in this book.
Bedford’s materials have been consolidated to remove repetition and arranged into chapters that include his family history, history of the Nomlaki indians, the towns of Paskenta, Red Bluff, Flournoy, Henleyville, Gleasonville, Newville, Elk Creek, and Corning, people, schools, sawmills, transportation, agriculture and more! Families mentioned include the Burts, Flournoys, Hendersons, Hanks, Whitlocks, Millsaps, and Mitchells, to name a few.
Bedford’s Paskenta was lively, rugged, and self-reliant. The people he writes about raised their families, weathered good and bad times, built towns and schools, ranched, farmed, danced, helped their neighbors, and carved a life for themselves in this isolated corner of southwestern Tehama County.
His history and stories reflect a true grit spirit and rawhide toughness that defines this unique part of Tehama County.
Bedford, still sprightly at 100 years young, has always wanted these unique histories, and the people who made them, remembered and not forgotten. This wish is his legacy to Tehama County, and the society is proud to help make his wish come true again.
This book is a must have for anyone interested in Tehama County historical narrative as told by a man who lived it. Copies of Paskenta & Beyond can be purchased from the Book Barn, 619 Oak St., Red Bluff.
Copies can also be purchased directly from the Tehama County Genealogical & History Society by writing a request mailed to P.O. Box 415, Red Bluff, CA, 96080); emailing Carol Mieske at firstname.lastname@example.org; or calling Josie Smith, publications editor at 345-0778 for credit card orders. The society also just launched an online bookstore at https://tehama-county-genealogical-historical-society.weebly.com for added convenience.
The Tehama County Genealogical & Historical Society, organized in 1980, is passionate about local history. Its mission is to build upon and strengthen the historical record, not confuse it. Members of the society engage and connect people to history, provide a firm base for future historians, and honor the people and events that gave us the history we now treasure and the place we call home.