The ground surface is so nearly level that you have no sense of contour. . . . It is not a former lake, although in large part it is a former swamp. Geology characteristically repeats itself around the world and down through time, but---with the possible exceptions of the Chilean Longitudinal Valley and the Dalbandin Trough in Pakistan---the Great Central Valley of California has no counterpart on this planet.

~ John McPhee, Assembling California

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The Diary of Carrie Robinson Sage

First page of Carrie Robinson Sage's diary, April 11, 1882

This digital exhibit traces the life of the Caroline Knowles Robinson Sage through photographs and documents. She was born in Illinois just before the outbreak of the Civil War. Her father, Charles Robinson, enlisted in the 47th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in September 1961. Little Carrie lost her mother during the war and stayed with family friends in New Hampshire. After the war, Charles remarried and the family migrated west. They eventually settled in Parlier, California and Carrie went to school to become a teacher. In 1881, Carrie met John Epler Sage and the couple married on April 6, 1882. Soon after their marriage, Carrie and John took a honeymoon trip with Carrie’s extended family to the coast. They traveled by wagon south to San Juan Capistrano where they saw the ocean for the first time before returning up the coast via Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. The trip took nearly six weeks and Carrie describes sights and settlements along the route in her diary. Upon their return the couple settled in Selma and John Sage opened a successful sawmill at Pine Ridge. At their 50th Anniversary in 1932, they were celebrated as one of Selma’s leading pioneer families.

Click here to explore The Diary of Carrie Robinson Sage.


This exhibit was made possible through the research and writing of Fresno State graduate intern Jill Poulsen.


Find more information about the diary, including a PDF of the diary pages and a diary transcript in our Featured Story from the Archives.

Last Updated Friday, September 21, 2018 - 02:17 AM.