Hang ‘um or Send ‘um Home to Mommy?

On Sunday morning (this morning), we got up and went to Ennis for a cold soda before starting our day. Yes, I know, I shouldn’t do the sodas. I put on way too much weight this winter with the constant soda runs. They must stop! However, it’s early. There’s no “Continental Breakfast” at the Fairweather Inn and it was something to do. Before we did that, we did take a walk to get some energy out of the boys. They slept really good until 7 and only woke up because I climbed out of my bed for a much-needed bathroom trip.


When we got back, we packed up our room and went to see Room #10. The boys were looking for the “little ghost boy.”


“He’s not in the closet, Mom.”


“He’s not under the bed, either.”

Since we couldn’t find him in Room #10, we explored the entire top of the hotel, looking for him. He was nowhere to be found. The boys were terribly disappointed to have not seen him. Everyone in town talks about the little boy that haunts this place and they really wanted to see him. I wonder if they would have freaked out if they did find him. Or, would they try to play with him to make him stop crying? I guess we’ll never know.

The funniest part is what Caiden remembers what I said and kept telling his brother every time ghosts were mentioned, “Brendan, do you love Jesus?” Brendan would always say yes and the Caiden would say, “Then don’t worry about the ghosts, then!”

Perfectly logical, if you ask me!


Standing on the balcony on top of the Fairweather Inn. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m very happy to have the American Flag in the picture!


We went off to the Living Museum in Nevada City. My goal was to get with Miss Glory and learn some more wood stove cooking from her. I was having a blast at that until she took ill and had to go lay down. Another gal took over her part in the story. I’ll get with her again this summer, I know! Above is a couple baby owls high up in a tree in this living museum town. They were so gorgeous! I’m really wishing I already had the next size lens for my camera to have gotten really close.


That is Miss Glory. She’s the cook for the “Living History” Museum that we love. She’s the gal that’s teaching me how to cook on her wood stove…


Today was a reenactment of “The Murder of Deputy Dillingham.” The following pictures tell the story of what happened. I’ll keep my comments to a minimum – mostly…

To start, I’ll say – one of the main characters (1 of the 3 bad guys) was very upset at Deputy Dillingham for “spreading nasty rumors” about him and his friends, tarnishing their reputations. He decided that he needed to get rid of the Deputy, once and for all.


Those of you who know American history can recognize this scene. Deputy Dillingham sitting in the bar, minding his own business when the bad guys (I’ve forgotten their names!) come in and start picking a fight with him. The instigator “buys the deputy a shot” but not out of kindness. It’s one more way to … start a fight.


Sarcastic comments fly back and forth and then the 3 head on outside. More talk and grumbling outside for a bit, then they come back in and order the Deputy to “step outside and talk.”


The Deputy takes his shot and they all head on outside.


A few words exchanged and the Deputy does the right thing by walking away from a conflict. The three troublemakers take things into their own hands…


The guy on the left shoots once, the middle guy (the instigator) shoots twice (according to my camera – 1386 pictures, mind you – I got it ALL!). The guy on the right shoots one time before Whiskey Joe steps in and stops them. They will eventually say that the Deputy was drawing down on them but, according to the “evidence” of my camera, he didn’t stand a chance.


Whiskey Joe making a citizen’s arrest. He ordered them to surrender their weapons and march with him over to the local “judge.”


Since the town doctor was not immediately available, the local midwife rushed over to check the body. She made note of his injuries and was later in the trial as a witness to them.


Left to right: The “Prosecuting Attorney,” the town “Judge,” a man who volunteered to be the “Defense Attorney,” and the three hoodlums sitting behind him on the bench.


Swearing in all of us as the “Jury.” The visitors and the locals were sworn in, all together.


The Defense Attorney got the Judge to agree to try the “instigator” first and the other two second. Here, the Judge is trying to decide if the “instigator’s” gun had been fired. My pictures prove it was fired twice but the Judge ends up saying it hadn’t been fired and lets the man go – swearing that if he ever returned to town, he’d be hung.


And the “instigator” of the entire thing gets let go. What a travesty of justice!

On to the trial of his side-kicks…


Whiskey Joe testifies to what he saw.


The Doctor comes and confers with the Midwife after he has a chance to examine the body.


The Midwife testifies to what she saw and the condition of the body of the Deputy. He had three shots in him. One in the leg, one in the shoulder and one in the stomach. Kind of a quick death for so few “vital” shots.


And then – lo and behold – my SON gets called up as a witness! He swore to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help him God.”


They ask if Caiden saw the shooting. Yes, he did. They asked if those two men over there shot the Deputy. Yes, they did.


The Defense Attorney asked one question, “Was the Deputy going for his pistol?” Yes, but he never touched it. (According to my pictures, he didn’t go for the pistol – but that’s ok, my son got very nervous and confused at this point). The Defense Attorney was very excited about this point – it meant that his clients killed the Deputy in self-defense. It wasn’t true, though!!


When it came time to vote guilty or innocent, only one man voted innocent. Everyone else voted guilty. The Judge asked what the sentence should be and Brendan (prompted by Jen) shouted, “Hang ‘um!”


Giving the “evil eye” to everyone who voted to have him hung as he prepares to ride off with the Undertaker for a swift death at the end of a short rope.


Getting ready to hang the first of the ruffians when the Defense Attorney asks for one more chance to plead the case of the two. He reads a letter that the 3rd man wrote to his momma during the trial. It was a heart-rending letter, talking about how he is sorry for disappointing his momma and would love to mend his ways and come home to her. He apologizes, in the letter, for not being able to support her any longer.


Doesn’t he look so contrite!? Contrived, if you ask me!


At the end of the reading of the letter, everyone is asked to move to one side or the other depending on whether they still want to hang the two fellas or send them home to momma. My boys were asked, individually, what they preferred. They both said, “Send him home to mommy!” I think one of the boys actually yelled that out. I can’t remember which one.

Jen and I stood on the other side – hang ‘um!


And the “Send them home to mommy” won the day. The guys were run out of town on threat of hanging if they ever returned. This was an actual reenactment, right down to the plea to be sent home to their momma.


After this, my boys attended school for a few minutes. They decided they didn’t like it. Afterwards, one of the local girls taught them how to roll a hoop.



They’ll need a lot more practice.


Jen did really good, though!


Dirt plus Children – universal language. It doesn’t matter what era you are from, find some dirt and the children play together.


When we were prepping to leave, we found out the train had broken down. We were stuck in Nevada City – a mile and a half way from our car in Virginia City. A local – who volunteers – gave us a ride to our car.

After this, it was time to head towards home. We are home, now, and sitting at Shari’s while I type this. The boys are anxious to eat and I came here for some good coffee – I’ve missed it! I am so glad the boys got to experience Virginia City this weekend. I’d love to make sure we go every weekend, all summer. It would be very educational and fun for all of us.

I even spoke to them about volunteering this summer as one of the “Living History” people! I would have to do a lot more research on the entire thing so I can play a part. I’m so looking forward to getting into it – after this next trip. We leave on Tuesday and will be gone for a week. We’ll come home the day after my 41st birthday!

P.S., for more information, visit the website for this wonderful city: www.virginiacity.com!

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Categories: Cooking School, Family, Holidays, Photography, Socializing, Trips | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Hang ‘um or Send ‘um Home to Mommy?

  1. wow what an amazing place! Interesting the options were hang or back to momma what about prison? I can imagine how interested in it all its made you, sounds lots of fun, Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

    • In that day and age, 150 years ago, most justice had to be carried out swiftly and without benefit of jails. If you killed a man, you could expect to be hung until dead. The only reason the version 150 years ago had the men leaving town is the sympathy of the women. They would swear not to feed their men if they voted to hang a man at trial.

      It’s an amazing time in history with all the different things going on. Cut off from any sort of “Eastern Justice,” communities like this one had to do the best they could to actually achieve some version of justice.

      • Yes it must have been a wild time indeed, I remember crossing that sort of area on our road trip, we saw a memorial to all the mothers of the wagon trails or something, the original settlers? tough times, how amazing its such a short time ago really.

      • In some ways, we’ve come so far and, in others, not quite far enough. πŸ™‚

      • πŸ™‚

  2. I really like Caiden’s views on dealing with the ghost. Kids really do have some wonderful insights, don’t they? πŸ˜€

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