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Weeds are superevolutionary products of human civilizations and activities - without humans there would be no weeds, just wild plants.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Abner Weed, founder of the town of Weed, CA, USA

The tiny lumber town of Weed in California got its name after Abner Weed, and they have a Weed Historic Museum (another link). Of course, the museum is not about weeds, but about the town, but I wonder how Abner Weed got his name in the first place.

weedIf you do a search for the last name Weed on FamilySearch.org, a genealogy website, you get over 130,000 people named Weed. But the same person is listed several times, since Abner Weed has over 6000 hits, and many might be the same person listed several times.

He was born in Maine, moved to California, and the 1910 US Census list a rather mixed group of people in his household; his wife Rachel and himself, both 67, and 9 males of 18-35 years of age. None of them had his last name, but non-English names such as Yuck Wa Wong, Franz, Luigi Panzera, and Florence Rossi - I wonder if they were workers renting rooms from the Weed family.

Another entry in the 1910 census listed Abner and Rachel and two sons. And a third census entry, under his son's name, lists his father, and another giant row of mill workers.

Hard to keep track of all these Weeds for the census workers back then. So some research is needed to really figure out who lived with who...
"In its early days, Weed was like other towns of the wild west. Weed acquired a bad reputation, which later was used to vilify it for many years. The Redding Free Press described Weed as the "Sodom and Gomorrah of Siskiyou County." That description was not without some justification. Whiskey, cards, a pocket full of money, or an empty pocket, and a beautiful woman occasioned many of the joys and also the tragic events of the town. Gun shot wounds and murder were occasional happenings." (source)
The world's largest sawmill was here in the 1940s, says Wikipedia.
[Image by Corey Denis, Flickr, Creative Commons license]

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