Biography of John E. Carlson
Big River Township, Mendocino County, CA Biographies





John E. Carlson. This pioneer of pioneers, whose portrait will be found in these pages, was born in Colson, Sweden, June 20, 1827, where he resided till he was sixteen years of age, attending the common schools of his native country in the meantime. In 1843 he began the sea faring life, Which he followed till 1849. In August of that year he left the ship and proceeded to the mines, but remained there only two weeks, when he returned to the city and began sailing a schooner on the Sacramento river, which he followed one year. He then boarded the bark Susan Jane, intending to return home on a visit, but when he got as far as Rio Janeiro he changed his mind, and returned to California on the ship Game Cock. His next move was to make a trip to China, being absent some fours or five months. He then made a trip to Panama on the steamer of that name. May 29, 1852, he shipped on the brig Ontario, bound for Big River, Mendocino county, leaving San Francisco June 19th and arriving at their destination July 19th, being just one month in "beating" up the coast from the city. He sailed as a seaman with the privilege of working on the mil], the machinery for which was on board the vessel. He began work at once on the mill, which was the one erected by Harry Meigs, and was the pioneer mill of the Mendocino coast. He remained at work in the mill at various employments for the term of six years. In 1857 he began the hotel business, which he has since continued. On the 17th day of October, 1870, his place was totally destroyed by fire; loss, $14,000; uninsured. He at once erected his present building, and has outgrown the blow of the loss. He is so well known and generally liked along the coast, and in fact all over the country, that a stranger is always told to go to his hotel for the best of accommodations. Honorable mention should be made of his two daughters, Misses Katie and Bessie, who have had charge of the dining rooms since early girlhood, and who have contributed very much indeed toward the upbuilding of the justly high reputation the hotel has earned. He married Mrs. Copp, July 29, 1859, and they have three living children: Katie, born April 19, 1860; Bessie, born April 19, 1860; and Edward, born September 29, 1862.

From:
History of Mendocino County, California
Alley, Bowen & Co., Publishers
San Francisco, California 1880


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