|Outside of Tibbits House corner of Main Street & Fulton Street, Columbia, CA|
I have been to Columbia State Park in California many times in the past decades, but the first time I recall the Tibbet’s House being open to the public was during my trip last month. This house on the corner of Main Street and Fulton Street in Columbia is a neat, one story frame structure with an interesting history that reflects the growth of this gold rush city.
|Mrs. Tibbits formal parlor so she could entertain her friends|
This house was named after the Lyman C. Tibbet (aka Tibbitt) family who lived in Columbia, California from 1887 to 1932.
The back portion was formed from a cabin originally built in the 1850s on land north of Columbia in Gold Springs. It was originally owned by Lyman’s father, John P. Tibbets who died in 1866. In 1887 Lyman had the cabin moved to a vacant lot in Columbia. Previously, the lot had been used for a general merchandise store, a meat market and possibly a saloon.
Mrs. Tibbet was dissatisfied living in the cabin because she did not have a formal parlor in which to entertain her friends. Her husband remedied that by buying a portion of another building in town and attaching it to the front of the original cabin.
That parlor is now restored to the 1870s era. Much of the decor is original and the rest is authentic to the time period.
|Docent by door leading to modernized back cabin|
The back part, which is the original cabin, has been modernized and is currently being lived in by a park employee.
From 1880 to 1911, Dr. Tibbetts ran a pharmacy across the street from the home in the current bank building. He later ran the pharmacy out of the parlor in his home. He also served as the town’s postmaster for several years.
|Map of Columbia with arrow pointing to location of Tibbits House|
Although Columbia was on the other side of the Sierria Nevada Mountains by way of the Sonora Pass from Lundy in Mono County, the time period in which the Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 series takes place is about the same time that "Doc" Tibbits worked as a pharmacist in Columbia.
Although no known photos exist of Dr. Guirado's home or business, we do know that his pharmacy was located on Main Street between First Street and Second Street, across the street and a half block down from the Arcade Saloon in which my character Beth Dodd works as a cook for the chop shop (steak house) in the back.
|Scheduled for release April, 2015|
I know of no known record that tells us what Dr. Guirado was doing on April 5th, 1884, a day in Lundy dubbed by the locals as "Resurrection Day." A Resurrected Heart is about the weekend surrounding this event. However, I'm sure with all the celebrating that took place in addition to the usual illnesses, in real life the good doctor was kept busy.
On Friday in A Resurrected Heart, Dr. Guirado is called on to patch up a miner injured in a confrontation. On Saturday, Beth is called on to assist with a birth because Dr. Guirado is busy escorting two very ill Lundyites to the county hospital in Bridgeport. It was an action-packed weekend for all filled by "A march, a birth, a burial -- and a resurrection of her heart."
Zina Abbott is the pen name used by Robyn Echols for her historical novels. Her novel, Family Secrets, was published by Fire Star Press in October 2014 and her novelette, AChristmas Promise, was published by Prairie Rose Publications in November 2014. Big Meadows Valentine, the first novella in the Eastern Sierra Brides 1884 series, is now available for Kindle HERE and for B&N Nook HERE and A Resurrected Heart is scheduled for release in April 2015.
Please visit the Zina Abbott’s Amazon Author Page by clicking HERE.