A Recollection of Herman Francis Reinhart
Herman Francis Reinhart was born in 1833 in Saxony, which became part of Prussia. With his parents, two sisters, and a
brother be emigrated to the United States in 1841, settling in New York. When Reinhart was 17, he and his brother made their way across the plains to California to seek their fortune in the gold fields. Many years
later, Reinhart set down his recollections of the rough times he had experienced. In one of them he described staking a claim with a partner.
About the fourth day of our work on the claim,
the weather being very cold, and the water was from the snow in the mountains and as cold as ice, we had only commenced cutting logs for our cabin, and our shoes were in pieces and we could not work long in the ice-cold
wa-ter, for we had to ball out every time we commenced work and keep balling while we were at work. On that day a pack train got into Brown [town] with boots and picks, shovels and axes and groceries. The day was cold
and blustery but we con-cluded about noon to go to work and see if we could not make enough to buy us a pair of boots each, at $16 a pair.... So we went to work with our almost naked feet and bailed out the cold water,
for the hole would fill up to the level of the creek when we quit work or quit balling the water out. We worked until it got so cold to our feet that we could not stand it longer, and about two or three o'clock washed
up and took our gold over to Barnes' cabin across the creek to weigh it, and found we had made $88 in beautiful heavy coarse gold, good work for two of us in two or three hours. So we went up to Brown about a half mile
above, and bought us each a pair of boots and warm new woolen socks, a sack of flour, a shovel, pick and ax, and some groceries, all for a few hours' work.
Doyce B. Nunis, Jr.
The Golden Frontier, Recollections of Herman Francis Reinhart, 1851-1869
Austin: Univeristy of Texas Press, 1962