Biography of Isaac Alter
Lake County, CA Biographies





ALTER, ISAAC. This worthy pioneer of Lake County was born in Pennsylvania, March 5, 1821. Here the boy grew up and reached manhood's estate, receiving, in the meantime, a very liberal education. At the early age of nineteen he sundered the ties which bound him to his boyhood's home, and bade a long farewell to the dear associations of the happy days of his youth. Striking out boldly for himself at this time, he pushed westward into the State of Ohio, which was then in the rude condition of pioneerism. Here the youthful adventurer engaged in school teaching in winter and farming in summer, until 1846. Again the spirit of unrest came over him, and he pushed one step farther into the great and nearly boundless empire of the then almost unknown West, taking up his residence in Indiana. Here he followed farming for the next four years, when the old desire came upon him to follow up the star of empire, and another step westward was made. This time he planted the stakes of his tent on the broad and fertile prairies of Iowa, where he again engaged in farming which he followed until the spring of 1852. Long had he heard the marvelous stories concerning this wonderful land of gold - California, and long had he withstood the almost consuming desire to be himself among the band of hardy pioneers, who were destined to change the wilds of nature into the blooming gardens of civilization, and at this time he fully resolved to push across the plains and reach this wonderful Mecca, concerning which such goodly reports continued to fill the air. Accordingly in the spring of 1852 he made the necessary arrangements for the long and tedious, as well as dangerous trip across the plains, and set sail in a "prairie schooner" for the land of gold. After quite a wearisome, though comparatively expeditious journey, he arrived at the Indiana diggings, in El Dorado County, August 26th of that year. Once arrived in the State he began mining, and continued this occupation in connection with hotel keeping for the following two years. In 1854 we find that he purchased a farm in the same county, and that he moved upon it and prosecuted that occupation until August, 1858. He then began casting about for a suitable place to make for himself and family an enduring abiding place, and fortunate circumstances directed his steps to Lake County. After viewing it over he decided to locate in a lovely and well sheltered little dale on the northern side of that most lovely sheet of water, Clear Lake, which he has so very appropriately designated by the name of Paradise Valley. Here he has a beautiful home, and is surrounded with all that goes to make up the sum of human happiness during his earthly existence. His fine farm consists of five hundred acres of excellent land, and he devotes his attention to farming and wool growing. His son Henry has a beautiful steam yacht that he built himself, which brings them into easy communication with the outside world at any point on the lake, and his charming place is the surprise and admiration of all who pass by or visit it. Mr. Alter is one of those solid, substantial citizens who are the very bone and sinew of a new country, and his vast experience in pioneer life well fits him for assuming the duties of a citizen in any new country. He was united in marriage, February 3, 1842, with Miss Catharine Brundridge, a native of New York, and by this union they have one son, Henry.

From:
History of Napa and Lake Counties, California
Slocum, Bowen & Co., Publishers
San Francisco, California 1881


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