Annie Frances HINDORFF-DRIGGS, my mother, recalls a story her grandmother, Lucy Ellen Gird told her about a childhood experience while the Girds were living on the Ranch in Los Angeles:
"Pa did all the buying for the family, so we didn't get to go to town (L.A.) very often - but I remember one time when the whole family went with him.
"Ma  put our dinner in a basket and put it in the wagon. We spread quilts on the wagon bed for us children to ride on. It had been raining and the ususally dry Los Angeles River had a little stream of brownish water in the channel. (The dirt road crossed the river, and for a distance it was covered by the stream where the wagon had to go). Pa let us take off our shoes and stockings and dabble our feet in the water when we went across the river. My, how we enjoyed that.
"We stopped to eat our dinner (and play in the stream before continuing on to Los Angeles), when a rider came racing toward us shouting and waving his arms wildly. Pa went out on the trail to meet him and when the rider got closer we could hear some of the voices. He was shouting that President Lincoln had been shot.
" The heaving horse slid to a stop close to Pa and the man stopped only long enough to give the details before he galloped on toward Los Angeles to spread the news. With tears streaming down his cheeks, Pa related the news to Ma. Then Pa turned the wagon around and we just went back home. He said he didn't feel like going to town". ~Written by Annie Frances HINDORFF-DRIGGS, 1998

Lucy  Ellen Gird lived to be 102 years old when I was nearly 11 yrs old.  As often as Momma would allow it, I walked the 3 miles down Gird road to visit her. She taught me how to crochet when I was a little girl, and while we worked, she told me many stories about the Pioneer days when she was a girl.  I never got tired of hearing them, and although she sometimes told me the same stories  many times, often there were new remembrances that she'd left out "last time". The story about the day her family got the news about the death of Pres. Lincoln was always my favorite. She told me that although she was just a very small child at the time, (about 5 years old), she could recall the incident vividly. She thought that it was because of the disappointment that she and her siblings experienced.-the news had spoiled their outting and fun day, so it stuck in her mind all those years. Of course as she grew older, she realized the significance of the incident, and that reinforced her memory of that day. "Pa made us put on our mourning clothes and we had to wear them for a long time. I remember how hot and heavy they were to wear and that we could not wear our play clothes or go without our shoes and stockings during that time. Yes, I remember the day we got the news that President Lincoln had been shot...and it spoiled our picnic. " Then she looked at me with shining eyes that twinkled and said no more....going back to her crocheting. -from "Memories about my Great Grandmother - Lucy Ellen GIRD-LAMB ", by Teddie Anne DRIGGS-STUEBER.
In 1876, Henry Harrison Gird heard of some land in Northern San Diego County that interested him. This land lay along both sides of the San Luis Rey river, a short distance above Bonsall. It was a tract of land of 4590 acres that Don Alvarado of the Monserate Rancho had given to his daughter, Senora Serano, upon her marriage. The land was a North county Mexican land grant, originally planned to have been the dwelling place for the last of the California-Mexican governors, "Pio Pico". To the Alvarado Family, to whom Governor Pico granted the ranch, it became Rancho Monserate, named for a mountain is Spain where a monastery had stood since 800 A.D. - the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared there. A small pox epidemic broke out in 1863, killing 21 persons at Monserate, including Don Alvarado who had been nursing the sick. His son inherited the Rancho and lived there for a time afterward, constructing a new adobe Ranch house. It was later to be the wedding gift to his daughter, Senora Seranos. His daughter was killed and Don Alvarado decided to sell it- too many tragedies for one family in that once happy place.

The ranch lands reached east to the Pala area. The San Luis Rey Valley was a lush fertile valley that lay below the sage covered foothills of the San Jacinto Mountain Range of the Sierra Madres. Henry Gird saw this place as ideal and the deal was closed at Pala (Mt. Palomar) in1876, where at that time the only notary public was located.

In 1880, Henry disposed of his Los Angeles Ranch and moved his family to the San Diego county holdings. They packed their belongings into wagons, and driving their many fine horses and cattle, started south to their new home. There were no roads in those days. They traveled down the coastline and then across country through the small villages of Anaheim, Santa Anna, and Capistrano, and across the big Santa Margarita Rancho, camping at the ford across the San Luis Rey River near the mission. Because of the mountains, they had to go down the coastline, about 20 miles farther south of their destination, and double back north through the San Luis Rey River Valley past the famous Mission - an added 20 miles or more to the already long trip from Los Angeles. They had planned to reach their new home that day, but darkness found them more than a mile away.
Next morning, they moved into the adobe ranch house which had been built by the Seranos (Alvarados). It was a large pleasant house with a long hall that ran from the front to the back of the house. This hall was used as a dining room, the family sitting along one side of the long narrow table made of boards.
The family was quite comfortable here until 1883- the flood year. The house was situated on low ground and the water came up and ran through the hallway in a  perfect stream. Henry Gird hired the son (Denver Orrin LAMB) of a Los Angeles friend, James Orrin Lamb to come and build them a new wood-frame house. The new house was built on the knoll adjoining the adobe two years later. Denver O. Lamb, the carpenter, married Henry's daughter, Lucy Ellen, January 13, 1883 at the Gird Ranch. Denver and Ellen lived for a time at the Gird ranch. The new ranch-house for his "father-in-law" was finished in 1883.
 Denver purchased 1,000 acres from Ellen's father for the cost of that year's taxes, about 3 miles up the valley from Gird Ranch and they began ranching. The barn was the first thing he built for their livestock while they were living at Monserate with her parents. When the barn was nearly completed, Denver & Ellen moved into it and they lived there while Denver built their house. You may have heard the expression, "born in a barn": well, their first child was often known to boast of just that.
Henry and Martha Gird, with the help of their son, Will, were very successful in their new home. They raised fine horses, mostly trotting stock, and had many cattle. A family orchard was started and at one time contained practically every kind of fruit suited to the location. There were fruit trees from Australia, Africa, and the three northern continents.
The Gird Ranch was a popular place. There was a saying at that time that "All roads lead to Girds". Perhaps a bevy of charming daughters had something to do with it. On these roads, not automobiles, but light spring wagons with four-horse teams, or saddle horses were used for pleasure trips. The roads were so bad that going to a dance meant getting there before dark and staying until daylight the next day. The road that led to the Gird Ranch was later named "Gird Road".

Henry kept in touch with at least some of his family in New York. Several other Girds went West to California and one, Richard Gird, Henry's Uncle Dick, became the owner of the largest ranch in California - the Chino Ranch.

Brother Edward returned to Illinois and married Lucy Dew LEWIS  (Martha Gird's younger sister) in 1858 They moved to Bates County, Missouri, where they lived for for many years.In 1882, Edward 7 Lucy Gird and their family moved out West to California and ranched in the Los Angeles area where they lived out their lives. Edward and Lucy had 6 children, three dying in infancy. Surviving children were: Edward Kinsley Gird, JR., Molly Gird (Mrs. N. L. Levering of Redlands, Calif.) and Miss Mary E. Gird (May).  May & Ed Jr. stayed in the L.A. area.

Henry & Martha Gird lived a happy and contented life in their ranch home, respected and esteemed by all who knew them. They passed away within a few months of each other: Henry on March 19, 1913 and Martha on May 4, 1913.

(All the stories are taken from Gird Family histories and journals written by Gird-Lamb Family; from the "Historical California", a book written about the Early Pioneer Families of California around the turn of this century, and from "History of Northern San Diego County").

Compiled and edited by Teddie Anne Stueber
June 14th, 1999

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