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The Hermit of Siskiyou, Or Twice-Old Man: A Story of the 'Lost Cabin' Found, the Fountain of Perpetual Youth Revived, Etc
Crescent City, CA: Office of the Crescent City News, 1896. First Edition. Hardcover Hardcover. Very Good. 81 pages. Small volume, about five inches tall. Hardcover bound in gray cloth (also seen in dark blue and turquoise), with gilt title. This scarce 19th-century Del Norte County imprint is a long doggerel poem, but it has one very interesting feature: the first mention in a book of the legend of Big Foot on the North Coast of California: 'You may have heard the story, too, / Of how, upon Mount Siskiyou, / Was seen an ape, or spook, or tramp, / In region near to Happy Camp...' (page 37). Even better, the appendix (page 79) reprints an account of a Big Foot sighting which appeared in the January 2, 1886, Del Norte Record. As best we have been able to determine, no copy of this issue is known to survive. The account reads, in part, 'The thing was of gigantic size—about seven feet high—with a bull-dog head, short ears, and long hair; it was also furnished with a beard, and was free from hair on such parts of its body as is common among men. Its voice was shrill, or soprano, and very human, like that of a woman in great fear.' The 'lost cabin' of the title refers to a story that circulated in the 1850s of a miner working in the redwoods who amassed and hid a vast quantity of gold. He lost his mind after an attack by Indians and the treasure was never found. The Overland Monthly (no. 171, p. 340) didn't think much of the book, 'It is hard to tell whether the author...meant his mixture of bad grammar, bad rhyme, and bad meter to be heroic or simply amusing--and it is not worth while to solve the problem.' According to the census, Musick (1844-1919) was a miner. Interestingly, his daughter Irene is listed as a printer. Some wear to covers, with denting to rear board. Rear endpaper missing; front free endpaper clipped at bottom corner. Faint evidence of a bookplate removed from front pastedown. Better than it sounds.
      [Bookseller: Eureka Books, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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