By June Morrall
[From my “Over the Hill” series]
When the banks learned that the New York underwriters, following the lead of their London counterparts, would pay the insurance claims promptly, a spokesman said, “This will be a great relief. The money market needs it, too.”
The Eastons, Adeline and Ansel, returned to California, and in 1860 purchased 1,500 acres of land in Burlingame, then known as Easton, according to the archives of the San Mateo County History Museum in Redwood City.
Adeline’s prominent banker brother, Darius O. Mills, purchased an adjacent 1,500 acres in what is today called Millbrae.
Before Adeline Mills Easton died at age 87 in Burlingame in 1916, she retained Nellie Olmsted Lincoln to write a 38-page booklet called: “The Story of Our Wedding Journey.”
The bell of the steamer Sonoma, which had rung on the morning of the Easton’s wedding in San Francisco in 1857, was brought to St. Matthew’s Church in San Mateo and tolled at the grand lady’s funeral.
But history’s final curtain did not drop on the Central America as she lay one mile deep on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean near Cape Hatteras.
In the 1980s maverick engineer Tommy Thompson set out to find the wreck and salvage its treasure from the ocean floor. In author Gary Kinder‘s suspenseful book, Ship of Gold, he chronicles Thompson’s epic search for the lost vessel leading to one of the most successful salvage operations ever undertaken.
Ship of Gold brings to the surface another lost treasure: the remarkable tale of a Peninsula couple with extraordinary ties to the Gold Rush and California’s early history.