Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Church Homestead

The Church Family and their Homestead (1884 to 1907)
Thomas William Church was born in Londonderry, Ireland, in September of 1836. His father died when he was about ten years old, and soon afterwards he emigrated to North America with his mother, first to Canada and then to the state of New York. He made his living as a farmer during the summer and in the lumber industry during the winter.

In September of 1888 Thomas Church filed a preemptive claim to 120 acres on and to the south of The Mesa, and in December of the same year he filed a claim to 160 acres of land that included The Caves. Mr. Church purchased a patent to The Mesa property in June of 1891, and in July of 1897 he was awarded a homestead patent to The Caves property.10 The original boundaries of both properties were displaced half of a mile to the north of the land Mr. Church had intended to claim. Mr. Church almost certainly based the locations of his claims on their relationship to Tassajara Hot Spring.

From Double Cone Quarterly

The Caves ranch house in 1920. It is presumed that this is the structure built by Andrew Church after the original house burnt down in 1902. The photograph was taken L. S. Slevin 73 days after Fred Nason sold the property to William Lambert. Photo courtesy of the Monterey County Public Library.

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