[San Francisco and Sonoma County, Ca.]. 1897. pp. comprised of  printed pages with the remainder being diary space completed in manuscript, irregularly filled out. Narrow 12mo. Limp brown wallet-style leather diary with flap and elastic closure loop, a.e.g. Some wear and loss to leather at flap folds, text block starting to crack, minor tanning to paper. Overall very good. Item #WRCAM55055
A very readable daybook from an unidentified young man living in Northern California in the late 1800s. Our unidentified diarist is laconic - he provides an entry for 216 days in 1897 with daily entries from January 1 to June 11, then more sporadically after that - and many entries are a variation on "Worked. Fine weather." But some days he is more forthcoming, and describes trips to the Sutro baths; attending balls at Pioneer Hall and Foresters Hall; contracting a case of the mumps; starting (and then quitting) night school; and the night Bob Fitzsimmons knocked out "Gentleman Jim" Corbett. He mentions friends, his work in a store in the city unloading fruit (in particular bananas, watermelon, and Japanese oranges), traveling to Berkeley and Oakland, and the plowing and planting he does at home, possibly in Sonoma County. Of particular interest is his entry for July 26 in which he writes, "Great excitement about the Klondike every body crazy to go." And not long after, he mentions that two of his friends have bought tickets and are headed to Alaska. One entry notes a trip made by three friends to Yosemite. In the front pocket of the diary is a check dated August 3, 1896, to the Sacramento textile shop Wasserman Davis & Co., signed by J.W. Kasebery (although no connection has been made between Kasebery and the diarist).
Excelsior Diaries came into fashion in the late 19th century, providing an almanac of sorts customized to various regions, and then a half page space for brief daily reflections. In this case, the stock pages include a calendar for 1897; routes of travel, distances, rates, etc. from San Francisco; tide tables for San Francisco, San Pedro, Astoria, and Port Townsend; postage rates; weights and measures; and varied trivia.
A interesting perspective on 1897 in the Bay Area.