Stockton Astronomical Society
George Madeira, miner and amateur astronomer, built California's first astronomical observatory.
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Young Man in Volcano
George Madeira and His Observatory
Marshal F. Merriam
This is about George David Madeira (1836-1922), and especially about his time in Volcano, Amador County, California. He is known today for his astronomical observatory, the first in the state, commemorated by California State Historical Marker #715. George Madeira made important contributions to California astronomy; more generally he was a man of many interests and many talents. Some of these were developed and displayed during his two periods in Volcano, 1852-1862 and 1879-1881. For most of his adult life he resided elsewhere in California and Nevada.
In the early 1850's Volcano was a boom town, with a population in the thousands and people pouring in to get the placer gold. Some of the people coming into town came by covered wagon across the plains. Among these was the Madeira family, arriving on the 30th of August 1852. There were five of them, father, mother, three sons. The youngest of the three brothers, not yet 16, was George David Madeira, the future amateur astronomer. A vigorous young man, he immediately set about recovering gold, with success. He later wrote that he had cleared $14.50 that first day.
The boom times, however, lasted for only a few years. Gold soon became less easy to find and the individual miner had to work harder for less reward. By the late 1850's the decline had begun. People moved out to places with better opportunities.
Mining gold was hard physical work. Digging, hauling, washing dirt and gravel is arduous and not intrinsically very interesting. As gold recoveries diminished people began thinking of moving to more promising localities, or shifting to non-mining endeavors, such as retail trade. George and his brother Dan tried the first, traveling to the Fraser River country in British Columbia, along with others from Volcano, in 1858. They came back not having found the bonanza, though George later wrote that they recovered enough to cover expenses[2,3]. The family also operated a store, probably at the downtown location where State Historical Marker #715 has been placed. George's father, also named George, had been a lawyer in Iowa before coming to California, but apparently didn't practice law in Volcano. Our knowledge of his occupation in Volcano is incomplete. He was postmaster from January 1855 until late 1855. Much later, son George wrote that the family pursued 'mining and merchandising' while in Volcano. The obituary George wrote for his older brother Frank states that "...[Frank] devoted himself to merchandising, with his father.", while in Volcano . Perhaps the father had wealth enough so as to not have to work constantly. In the 1860 Census the occupation of George A. Madeira, the father, is recorded as 'Gentleman', and the amount of real and personal property in his name recorded by the census taker would indicate that he was reasonably well off. In 1862 the family left Volcano for Carson City following the excitement of the rich silver strikes there. In Carson City the father again operated a grocery store, taken over after his death by son George [6,7].
As did many in his day, George had a strong interest in the heavens and astronomy; this interest stayed with him for life. He wrote (much later) of seeing a comet in late February 1843, and he dates his interest in astronomy from this event. He would have been age 6 yrs and 4 months..
As a 15 year old he possessed a star chart and some books, which he brought to California. In the worst part of the journey, when the wagon had to be lightened, these were thrown out, but the young George retrieved them, his father relented, they were brought to California. Years later, when giving public lectures on astronomy, he would display the star chart and say it was the first star chart ever brought overland to California. (It was actually not the first. John Bidwell brought an astronomy book and star chart with him on his overland journey, 1841.). [9,10].
After some years in Volcano, probably in 1859, George D. Madeira traveled to San Francisco and ordered a telescope. He ordered it through a well known instrument maker and dealer named Thomas Tennent whose shop was on Battery Street opposite the Custom House. The telescope, manufactured by the firm of Lerebours and Secretan of Paris, was a refractor of three inches aperture having a maximum power of 125 times and a focal length of under three feet, all on an equatorial mount with a clockwork drive. George later wrote that this small telescope was of excellent optical quality, fully equal to many larger and more famous telescopes through which he was able to observe at various times in his later years (Lick Observatory, Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, and U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington D.C., for example). He recalled that it was "expensive for its size", and indeed the firm in Paris is known as an early producer of top quality optical glass. George's written accounts say nothing of multiple eyepieces, but he reports observing at 65X, so presumably there were at least two.
In due course the telescope arrived in Volcano, surviving the rough freight transport of the day, and was at once put to use. A small observatory was constructed and equipped with the telescope, a sextant, a surveyor's transit, and a compass. George's older brother Frank was a trained surveyor; the last two items came from him. The observatory, as George described it in a letter written to the Director of Lick Observatory in 1914  "...was a primitive affair...(there was) a stone pedestal six feet high on which the telescope rested permanently. There was no dome, the weather protection being a heavy canvas and oilcloth covering. There is no vestige of the observatory standing at the present time. I visited the place in 1881. ...The family residence, where the observatory stood...had been destroyed by fire, the cut stone pedestal of the observatory had disappeared, only a few of the rough stone blocks which once formed the base remaining....". Elsewhere in the letter George affirmed that his was the first observatory erected in California. He stated that he had maintained it for two years (1860-62), until the family left Volcano and moved to Carson City. When they left Volcano, George sold the telescope to Professor Whitney (Josiah D. Whitney), then in charge of the Geological Survey in California. Notice that the letter says: "...The family residence, where the observatory stood...", which fixes the location of the observatory, except that there is some doubt today about the exact location of the family residence. For more on this, see Appendix A.
While he had the telescope he made frequent use of it. He had a neighbor, a Methodist minister named Telerand, who was well educated in mathematics and taught George how to compute orbits and celestial positions. Writing 50 years later George Madeira recalled, "I was a youth in 1860 and an enthusiast in astronomical studies. Professor Telerand was my instructor, a thorough mathematician, and for two years, while he was with me the Volcano Observatory ran day and night. Geometry, algebra, and logarithmic tables was the mental food upon which we thrived.". (George was a quick learner. He learned not only mathematics but also Latin and Greek from Telerand, to a rather high level of competence.). On another occasion George wrote  "...The study of the heavens went bravely on nightly for the next two years, and quite all the objects of interest, such as sun, planets, nebula, binary stars, etc. ...".
In the Sacramento Daily Union of 18 October 1860 appears a letter from George Madeira, signed with the pen name 'Herschel, Jr', titled "Observations on the Sun". The letter is about sunspots observed through the telescope at 65X and their possible correlation with auroral displays. (Probably he used a smoked glass filter to observe the sun.) His report states that he had been observing the sun with his telescope for the last six months. So the Volcano Observatory began operations at least as early as April. Madeira's 1860 letter is the earliest publication of astronomical research carried out in California.
An observing highlight was the Great Comet of 1861. This comet approached the solar system from a direction such that it was seen first by observers in the southern hemisphere. The comet was first seen and reported by John Tebbutt in New South Wales, Australia on the 13th of May 1861. It was later seen by observers in South America but was not visible at all in the northern hemisphere until June 29th. In 1861 there was no undersea cable and the comet arrived for northern hemisphere observers before news of its discovery did. On June 30th the comet was only 0.13 A.U. (13% of the mean earth-sun distance) from Earth and our planet passed through its tail. It was a very bright comet and was visible with the naked eye for three months. The brightness was connected to the fact that the comet passed quite close to the sun (0.82 A.U.). This comet will return. Look for it in 2270 (409 year period).
Madeira writes: "On June 30th, 1861, a superb comet, unheralded, appeared in the west after the sun had passed below the mountain ridge. I had been observing some spots on the sun and really saw the comet an hour before the sun had set. I ran to Telerand's home, shouting: "I have discovered a huge comet!". The professor looked at me in surprise, excited to a degree. "Where is the comet?", he asked. I led him to the west side of his residence and pointed to the great glowing body, plain to be seen in the sunlight. The professor became very much excited and we ran for the little observatory. In an instant the telescope was turned on the comet and the clockwork set in motion. We saw a large coma with a bright central nucleus, the coma in a violent state of ebulition. The sun soon went down and then we saw the luminous tail... My father, mother, and brothers viewed the comet through the instrument to their great satisfaction. "He goes on to describe watching the comet and its tail throughout the night. On the night of 30 June 1861 the moon was at third quarter, so there would have been no moon in the sky at all until midnight and even after midnight the disk of the moon was only half lit. So the long tail of the comet would have appeared against a dark sky. It must have been a wonderful sight.
The phrase 'discovered the Great Comet of 1861' on the original version of State Historical Marker #715 is doubtless based on Madeira's account above, containing his statement "I have discovered a huge comet!". And indeed he had, but so had others, and some of them before him. He was not the first in the northern hemisphere, or even in California. In the Sacramento Union of 3 July 1861, p.1, col. 4, appears the statement: "The magnificent comet now attracting so much attention was first partially seen here on the evening of the 29th at about 9 o'clock in the northwestern horizon and on the morning of the 30th just above the horizon in a north-northeast direction at about 3 o'clock. It was again better observed here on the evening of the 30th as well as on the morning of July 1st ..." This was part of a column on weather written by Thomas M. Logan, M.D. Also, on p.3, col.1 of the Sacramento Union for 1 July (Monday) a different columnist writes "A magnificent comet....first discovered on Saturday evening by Dr. Logan..."
As noted by others , one Dr. Brunnow at the University of Ann Arbor (presumably, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan) reported having seen the comet between one and two a.m. on Sunday, June 30th, which would have been about 17 hours before George saw it. There were also sightings in Europe. In the astronomy world, 'discover' means 'first to observe and report'. Thus, the new version of Historical Marker #715 does not use the word 'discover'.
In addition to building the first observatory to study the heavens (there was an earlier professional observatory in Sacramento, set up for a different purpose, to determine longitude) and publishing the first astronomical research results obtained in the state, George Madeira made a major contribution to California astronomy in another way. He was a talented young man, widely read, a good writer and a good public speaker. He was a paid lecturer, even at an early age. He would take his telescope with him and talk about astronomy. After a public lecture in San Jose, an older man approached him. The older man said he had a ranch in the vicinity, and invited George to stay a few days. George accepted. For several nights they looked at the stars and planets with George's telescope and George told him of all the great discoveries of Herschel, Lord Rosse, and so on. The older man was James Lick. Madeira's little refractor was the first telescope he had ever looked through. As Madeira later related the story, Mr Lick was concerned about what would happen to his wealth when he passed on. (James Lick was immensely wealthy and had no heirs.).George relates that he pointed to a mountain in the distance and said, "If I had your wealth, Mr. Lick, I'd build the world's largest telescope on top of that mountain." He may not have been the only influence responsible for Lick's bequest, but he very probably was the first to suggest the idea of a large telescope to him. Some years later he spent time with Lick again, in San Francisco this time, and again they looked through Madeira's telescope (a different telescope this time) and talked astronomy. So George Madeira was a significant influence, setting in motion the events which led to the opening of Lick Observatory in 1888..
Madeira went on to an interesting and varied career as a mining geologist, mineralogist (he was Curator of the California mineral exhibit at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis), journalist, prospector, mine owner, mining consultant and organizer of enterprises. Hundreds of pages of his writings have survived. He never lost his interest in astronomy and he wrote many up-to-date tutorial articles on aspects of astronomy for the newspapers he was associated with. He attempted to become a professional astronomer, applying for a position at Lick Observatory when it opened, but in this he was not successful.
Other than astronomy, what were George Madeira's activities in Volcano, and what were his interests and impressions? The record is only partial. Most of the information comes from his own writings, many years after the fact. For example, in 1916 he wrote an account of his first California Christmas: "...Volcano was a typical mining town in the winter of 1852. There were but five women in the mountain town, and my mother was one of the five. ... No rain came until the 16th of December, and then [it rained for 16 days and nights]...The roads became impassable. When Christmas came the price of food went out of sight. Gold was abundant and everyone had pockets full of the yellow metal. Poverty was unknown...There were no Christmas trees, no children with their happy shouts....George Middleton and myself were the only boys of the same age in town. No girl was there. It was a long wet winter...".
On another occasion he wrote about life in Volcano in a story entitled 'Argonaut Days--The California of the Early Fifties'. He wrote this 50 years after arriving in Volcano. As he recalls it, arrival in Volcano was a shock. "The awakening came after the moral men and Sunday school youths had spent their first night in town visiting gambling dens, Mexican dance-houses and alluring saloons. The population ... appeared to be made up almost wholly of men, dressed in flaming red or blue shirts...who nightly thronged the above mentioned places of resort... It may be all right to picture the scenes of those early days in poetry and romance in the present day, when good men and women with their moral influence, have moulded and formed it into a glorious community, but it was 'hell' in those days. Life of this sort held no charms for me, and I have often wished that my youthful days had been passed far distant from the land I have described. My brothers and myself visited all the mining camps, towns, and cities of California in those early times, and the memory of it all--scenes witnessed but never participated in--is not pleasing to me even at this late day....".
We know that one of his activities was playing in a brass band. The band was led by older brother Frank; the first notice of it in the newspaper is in February 1856. (However, the newspaper began publication only in October 1855, so there would be no record of earlier activities, if any.). The band had seven performers and advertised itself as available for hire throughout the spring and summer of 1856. In September 1856 an account appears in the newspaper describing a ceremony in which a 'beautiful banner' was presented to the band by a group of female admirers. George Madeira, on behalf of the band, accepted with an elaborate speech, which was printed in full in the newspaper. This is the first contemporary newspaper story mentioning George D. Madeira .
As mentioned above, George and bother Dan traveled to the Fraser River seeking gold in 1858. We also know that on 1 May 1859 George married Louisa Eleanor Mitchell of Dry Creek (now Galt, Sacramento County) and brought her back to Volcano to live in the family home. Their first child, Mary, was born 16 March 1860. The 1860 Census records the three of them living in the family home, along with George's father and mother.
After moving to Nevada Territory in 1862 George engaged in a variety of occupations, mostly prospecting (hired by others to find and locate claims) and operating the family store. His father died in December 1865. The family continued together, and in 1868 they moved together to Santa Cruz on the California coast, where there were family connections. By this time George and Louisa had five children. There would eventually be eight. George continued seeking work as a mining geologist, prospector, mining consultant and took assignments when he could get them, in the meantime working as a journalist with the Santa Cruz Sentinel and also operating a paint shop with brother Frank. Sadly, wife Louisa died, in Santa Cruz, August 1879. George never remarried.
Return To Volcano
In 1879 there was renewed interest in gold mining in the Volcano area. According to the newspaper, the town was full of strangers looking for opportunities to invest, and actively searching the hills for mineralized outcrops. George believed there was opportunity here, and he was not alone .
In 1880 George was able to organize a group of businessmen, from Santa Cruz, Oakland, and elsewhere to invest in mining for gold in Volcano. This would be hard rock mining, underground, not the placer mining of the 1850's. Capital was required. George contributed his knowledge of the local geology in the Volcano area, his mining knowledge, and his entrepreneurial enthusiasm; the others put up the money. Brother Dan was also involved. The Madeira Mill and Mining Company of Oakland began operations in April 1880 with a 5-stamp mill on 'Board Gulch' in Volcano, (which could be Clapboard Gulch). George Madeira is named as Mineralogist and Superintendent. Operations continued through the summer, but George resigned as Superintendent and withdrew from the company. Another location, as revealed by a Deed in the Amador County Recorder's Office, was northeast of town about a mile on what is today known as Rams Horn Grade.
George and Dan lived in a cabin  in Volcano for a full year, 1880. (They considered Santa Cruz their home, their families stayed in Santa Cruz and they are listed in the 1880 Census as residing in Santa Cruz.). During 1879 George was in Volcano some of the time, but much of the summer of 1879 was spent on a prospecting trip through the mountains east of Fresno. During this trip he climbed Mt Lyell (13,114 ft) in present day Yosemite Park), alone . It was the third known ascent.
While in Volcano in 1880 George wrote a weekly column for the Amador Ledger under the pen name 'IBEX'. Perhaps he chose this name because of its association with agility and mountains. He was a delegate to the Republican County Convention in Jackson (an unedifying experience, he reported .). He participated in debates and gave public lectures. He and brother Dan provided music, on occasion . A major public appearance was on the 4th of July, 1880 (which was celebrated on the 6th, the 4th being Sunday), when he was asked to deliver the Oration, one of the main elements of a daylong celebration. As it happened the noise and confusion were great and George had to declaim loudly to make himself heard. He had written a substantial and masterful speech, and to be certain that all who might wish to benefit from it would have the opportunity, he arranged to have the full text printed in the newspaper . The oration is reproduced here in Appendix B.
The mine of the Madeira Mill and Mining Company produced some useful ore, but evidently not enough, or the ore was not rich enough. For the last three months of 1880 and the first three months of 1881 George ran an advertisement offering his services as 'Geologist and Mineralogist'. Apparently there were no takers. In January 1881 it was announced by the Amador Sentinel, a paper different from, and competing with, the one 'IBEX' wrote for, that he was appointed as General Business Agent for the Sentinel in Amador County, with journalistic duties also. George soon left this position to become a traveling correspondent for the Mining and Scientific Press, the New York Mining Record, and similar trade publications. According to the account in the Ledger, April 1981, "..."IBEX" has bidden this place farewell. He is now on a prospecting tour, examining mines between here and Plumas county. He contemplates visiting New York, with a view of selling the mines thus examined.".
HT Healdsburg Tribune, Healdsburg, Sonoma County, CA
HE Healdsburg Enterprise, Healdsburg, Sonoma County, CA
SCS Santa Cruz Sentinel, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, CA
VWL Volcano Weekly Ledger
WL, AWL Weekly Ledger or Amador Weekly Ledger
AL Amador Ledger
(note: WL,AWL,VWL,AL are all the same newspaper)
AS Amador Sentinel, Amador County, CA
CDA Carson Daily Appeal, Carson City, Nevada
SRR Santa Rosa Republican, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA
RRF Russian River Flag (Healdsburg), Sonoma County, CA
1. Cooke, Lucy Rutledge. Crossing The Plains in 1852. Ye Galleon Press (Fairfield, WA). 1987. IBSN 0-87770-430-9. On p.28-30 can be found the By-Laws and Resolutions of the Dubuque Emigrating Company To California as drawn up by Colonel George Madeira and signed by all 82 adult male members of the wagon train. Mrs Cooke's narrative is a useful record of the Madeira emigrating experience as far as Salt Lake City. The Cooke party remained in Salt Lake City until the following spring while the major part of the group pushed on to California. According to George D. Madeira, 25 wagons reached Volcano on the 30th of August 1852. Most continued on to other locations in California but the Madeira family remained in Volcano.
Holmes, Kenneth L. (editor), Covered Wagon Women--Diaries and Letters from the Western Trails, 1852. The California Trail. This book is a compilation of accounts by different women, one of them Lucy Rutledge Cooke. The material in the book cited above is reprinted here.
Camp, Charles L. (editor), John Doble's Journal and Letters From The Mines. Volcano Press (Volcano, CA) 1999. John Doble lived in Volcano from June 26,1852 to January 1861 when he moved out to Jackson. His journal, regrettably, ends February 11, 1854.(More accurately, entries after that date have been lost. The journal, no doubt, continued). He records seeing emigrants arrive on 30 August 1852 (and on various other dates), but the name 'Madeira' is not found in his Journal or his Letters. This book is a valuable resource for understanding the town George Madeira lived in for ten years.
2. HT 19 August 1897, p.1, col.3
3. AWL 19 June 1858, HE 27 June 1888, HE 24 December 1910, HT 19 Aug 1897
4. George A. Madeira, known as 'Colonel' Madeira, was first admitted to the Bar in Chillicothe, Ohio in 1824, later admitted to practice, as an attorney, before the U.S. District Court, Iowa City, Iowa on 3 January 1848. For these statements documentation survives. Furthermore, George D Madeira, writing in middle age (AL 28 August 1880, p.3, col. 3) states unambiguously "...father was a lawyer.", while the family resided at Dubuque, Iowa, during his childhood. He says the same thing in his letter to Holden (refs. 9,10, below). George A. Madeira was attracted to mining communities and to the frontier. After leaving Ohio the family resided near the lead mines on the upper Mississippi. Two of the children were born near Galena, Illinois, and one in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. All these places, including Dubuque, were centers of lead mining. Indeed, Galena is named for the mineral galena, lead sulfide. The family was settled in Dubuque, but 'gold fever' was attracting many to California and George A. Madeira finally decided to take his family there. He was one of the organizers of the Dubuque Emigrating Company, which left Kanesville, Iowa (now Council Bluffs) in May 1852. Volcano was the first mining community reached and the Madeira wagon stopped there, rather than carry on to Sacramento or San Francisco. After ten years in Volcano the family removed to Carson City, Nevada, drawn by the excitement of the silver mining activity there.
The basis for saying that he apparently did not practice law in Volcano is (1) although business cards from other local lawyers, about a dozen of them, run consistently in the VL, WL, AWL, no card announcing the services of George A. Madeira ever appears. (2) His occupation in the 1860 Census is given as 'Gentleman', not 'Attorney'. (3) On the various occasions when his name does appear in the newspaper he is never referred to as, and never signs himself as, an attorney. (4) From January 1855 until the end of 1855 he is Postmaster, a position probably incompatible with being a practicing attorney.
5. The official notice of letters being held at the post office, printed in the newspaper, is signed by 'Geo. Madeira, PM' from the beginning of publication of the VWL (27 Oct 1855) through the issue of 29 December 1855. A few other official notices ran in 1856 over the name 'Geo. Madeira, PM' but these appear to have simply been reprinted for convenience by the new postmaster. According to the records of the Volcano Post Office, George Madeira was appointed Postmaster January 1855.
6. HE 30 October 1909, p.1, col. 6. Although unsigned, this obituary was almost certainly written by George Madeira.
7. CDA 20 May 1865. Advertisement for something else says "Orders may be left at George Madeira's Fruit and Variety Store, Carson Street". At this time the 'George Madeira' means George A. Madeira. After the death of George A. Madeira in December 1865, further mentions of the store are found. For example: CDA 15 March 1866 gives the location (Carson Street, 1 door north of Proctor, Carson City); CDA 15 March 1866--27 May 1866 advertisement appearing daily, except four days in mid-May, says 'George Madeira. Wholesale and retail dealer in Carson Valley fresh ranch butter, eggs and produce.' CDA 20 March 1866 'A Fine Fish'. George Madeira sent a 7 lb trout to the newspaper office and lets it be known that he has a large supply of them for sale in his store. CDA 14 April 1866. Petty Burglary. George Madeira's provision store was broken into and robbed of several pounds of fresh butter and several cans of preserved fruit....Other mentions on 23 and 30 March and on 10 April 1866 in the CDA.
8. SRR 3 Mar 1910. The comet of 1843 was dramatic, see for example, AL 7 Aug 1880.
9. Clarence P. Custer, M.D. and Robert W. Birch, "New Focus on a Pioneer Astronomer", Griffith Observer, Sept 1986. p. 15-20. Griffith Observer is published by Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California.
10. The story about George's book and star chart being discarded and then retrieved by him comes from a letter he wrote to Edwin S. Holden who would soon be named Director of Lick Observatory. (The Observatory had not yet officially opened.) George's letter is dated 14 July 1887 and is preserved in the Mary Lea Shane Archives of Lick Observatory, McHenry Library, University of California, Santa Cruz. Excerpts, including this story, are reproduced by Custer and Birch (ref. 9, above). The star chart and astronomy book carried across the plains by Bidwell in 1841 was on display in the California State Library, Sacramento in June 2004. Presumably the State Library still has it.
11. Letter, George Madeira to W.W. Campbell, Director of Lick Observatory, 11 November 1914, cited in ref. 9 and preserved in the Shane Archives of Lick Observatory. Also, the observatory is described in HT 25 March 1915 and in SRR 3 March 1910.
12. SRR 3 March 1910.
13. HT 25 March 1915.George says that he "engaged the services" of Telerand. Presumably he was using money derived from gold he had dug from the Volcano deposits.
14. Sacramento Daily Union, 15 October 1860, p.1 under pen name 'Herschel, Jr.'. Dated at Volcano on the 15 October 1860, titled "Observations on the Sun". He suggests that others wishing to observe the larger sunspots (which were visible without magnification) can do so by using a piece of smoked window glass; thus we conclude that he probably used a smoked glass filter. (Another way to observe the sun is by projecting the image on to a white card in a darkened space.) This letter demonstrates knowledge of the sun's rotation period and also care in making detailed observations, also knowledge of the relevant literature. Today publication of scientific results is not usually done in the newspaper, but in 1860 it was a fairly common practice. For example, Tebbutt's discovery of the 1861 comet was announced in the Sydney Morning Herald.
15. This story derives mainly from Madeira's letters to Holden and Campbell, refs. 10 and 11, above.
Madeira also claims credit for his small refractor as "...incentive and forerunner of the Lick Observatory".
This claim is in ref. 12, above. It is known that several others, including Joseph Henry, then Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and George Davidson of the California Academy of Sciences encouraged Lick in the direction of leaving money to build a large telescope. However Madeira was likely the first. The second occasion on which Lick viewed the night sky through a Madeira telescope was in 1873 in San Francisco. Madeira, in his 1887 letter to Holden stated that "Mr Lick informed me that the two telescopes I had in my possession were the only ones he had ever looked through. This was in 1860 and 1873." In 1873 Lick made up his mind and a public announcement was made that a telescope would be constructed. In 1876 Lick died leaving a well funded Trust directed to build "A telescope superior to and more powerful than any telescope yet made..." Construction began in 1880. When commissioned in 1888 the 36 inch Lick refractor was the world's largest. Lick Observatory was the first mountain top observatory in the world. Today it is taken for granted that large telescopes will be placed on mountain tops, because of the better observing conditions, but in 1880 (and in 1860 when Madeira suggested it) that was a pioneering idea. Lick remains a world class observatory today. More and larger telescopes (all reflectors) have been erected on the mountain, but the 36 inch refractor remains in service.
16. He wrote for many newspapers during his lifetime, but especially for the Healdsburg Tribune, Healdsburg Enterprise, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Amador Ledger.
17. HT 28 December 1916.
18. HT 4 September 1902.
19. VWL 13 September 1856.
20. CDA 17 December 1865, CDA 20 December 1865.
21. SCS 15 February 1868, SCS 14 March 1868, advertisement appears in subsequent issues through 1868 and into 1869.
22. SCS 23 August 1879, RRF 28 August 1879.
23. AL 22 March 1879, AL 24 May 1879, AL 11 October 1879, SCS 13 July 1878, SCS 27 July 1878, 21 December 1878.
24. AL 3 April 1880, AL 24 April 1880, AL 15 May 1880, AL 26 June 1880, AL 21 August 1880, AL 28 August 1880, Al 11 September 1880.
25. AL 7 Aug 1880, AL 2 October 1880.
26. SCS 15 November 1879, AL 7 August 1880.
27. AL 7 August 1880, AL 14 August 1880.
28. AL 22/3/1879, AL 7 February 1880, AL 7 August 1880.
29. AL 12 April 1879, 30 December 1880 (date reconstructed). (In George Madeira Papers, Healdsburg Museum).
30. AL 10 July 1880.
31. AL 17 July 1880.
32. AL 23 October 1880.
33. AS 5 January 1881.(In George Madeira Papers, Healdsburg Museum)
34. AL 2 April 1881.
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Last Updated: 2/9/2009