Prune Harvest Memories: Getting In the Harvest

Prune season was a major event in the annual cycle of our lives. It was the culmination of our economic year and always a communal experience. These are my memories of harvest on the Taeuffer Ranch, 788 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg, circa 1955 – 1970. –- Joanne Taeuffer

Back in the day, prunes were shaken off the trees and then picked up off the clod-strewn ground, put into buckets and then boxes. The fruit was dipped in lye water and spread on trays to be dried, originally lying on the ground in the sunshine and after the 1950s in concrete block dehydrators that circulated dry, 180 degree air through trays (about 6 feet by 4 feet) stacked on rolling bases. The prunes were then dumped into bins that held about a ton, which were eventually picked up by the packing house. Continue reading

Prune Harvest Memories: My Mother the Morale Officer and More

Prune season was a major event in the annual cycle of our lives. It was the culmination of our economic year and always a communal experience. These are my memories of harvest on the Taeuffer Ranch, 788 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg, circa 1955 – 1970. –- Joanne Taeuffer

A couple of times every harvest season, my mother would help boost everybody’s energy with a shot of sugar. Continue reading

Prune Harvest Memories: The Food, The Food!

Prune season was a major event in the annual cycle of our lives. It was the culmination of our economic year and always a communal experience. These are my memories of harvest on the Taeuffer Ranch, 788 Magnolia Drive, Healdsburg, circa 1955 – 1970. –- Joanne Taeuffer

Mother had yet another job during prune season. She was the chef de cuisine. As a good Italian girl, she was a firm believer in the importance of eating to keep your strength up. She would always say she had to be sure Daddy ate enough or he would wear himself out. Of course, the rest of us were maybe not working so hard, but we enjoyed the mealtime abundance nevertheless. Continue reading

Painting The Past

When I started painting, my mentor suggested using old family photos as reference material. These images would be deeply familiar and meaningful to a new painter, keeping me working when the paint didn’t cooperate. Over the years, I’ve developed a whole body of work illustrating my early life and my family history. I hope you enjoy these images. — Joanne Taeuffer

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Jean’s Favorite California Repositories

Conducting research online can be productive and certainly is convenient. But there is nothing more satisfying than visiting an out-of-town repository and discovering something new about your ancestors. Traveling to the places that were important to our family can provide context and add texture to our understanding of their lives. Immersing yourself in the area where they lived and walking on the streets where they walked can really bring your ancestors to life. Of course it is always a bonus when they were thoughtful enough to choose a scenic place to live!
Here are just a few of my favorite places to visit to search for my California ancestors.

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Ernest Taeuffer, son of John

John and Mae Congleton Taeuffer started their married life on March 2, 1902. They set up housekeeping on the Magnolia Drive ranch located south of Healdsburg where John had grown up and where his father, Ernest Taeuffer, still farmed. The couple’s first child was a son, born November 11, 1902. They named him Ernest Louis Taeuffer, after both his grandfather and his late uncle.

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HATS!!!

George Eastman pretty much created amateur photography when, in 1888, he introduced the Kodak #1 camera to the world. This camera was sold pre-loaded with a roll of film.  Once film had been exposed, the entire camera was returned to the factory in Rochester to be processed. The camera would be refilled with new film and returned to the owner while they waited for their prints. But when the economical “Brownie” camera came out at the turn of the 20th Century, the hobby exploded in popularity. Continue reading

Taeuffers in Frohmuhl 1700 – 1900

The Taeuffer family roots extend deep into the Bas-Rhin (Lower Rhine) region of France and can be traced back to the beginning of the eighteenth century. The family was, for many generations, a fixture in the small farming community of Frohmuhl. The village is located about 60 kilometers (around 40 miles) northwest of Strasbourg, in the canton de la Petite Pierre in the Vosges forest, in Alsace.

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