Friday, October 17, 2008

Dear Bonnie,

 I happened to see your website totally by accident and LOVED IT.  I am the great grand niece of John McFarland, who named the town of Galt California and who owned the McFarland Ranch on Orr Road. I love what you have done documenting your activities. And when I saw the photos of my Aunt Bea’s house (yes…that’s how I remember the house you were in…because my great Aunt Beatrice Orr Hayenga Smithson lived there until her death), I just about cried. I used to run up and down those stairs all the time. And I know what you mean about being in that house when it’s spooky and creaky. I’ve stayed overnight in the upstairs bedroom at the top of the stairs. I even used the bathroom upstairs (although that is now been turned into a sewing room…much to my despair). Aunt Bea’s first husband had figured out how to put a bathroom and shower up there back in the 40’s.

I am enclosing a photo taken of the McFarland Clan (the last one I believe exists). I am the one with brown hair in the middle with the red top. My Aunt Bea Smithson is wearing all blue sitting in a metal chair in the middle. Her daughter Charlene Walters is kneeling down at her side. My Aunt Aleene (who is now deceased) and who was the wife of my Uncle George Orr Wood is the other person sitting in front. And my mother Winifred Wood Ehrhardt is standing to on the far left in bright fuchsia. My Mom (who is the oldest living McFarland descendent) is still living. She’s now 88…so this photo is a few years old…like about 15 years old! I think this if from 1994. But you can possibly see it was taken on the front porch of the house…it was Aunt Bea’s last year at the house and our last family Thanksgiving in Galt.

I hope you don’t mind if I pass on your website to my sister and brother and cousins as I know they would be so delighted to see the documentation you did on the McFarland Project. It’s really neat to see it from another person’s perspective.

Thank you again,

Donna Ehrhardt Mann