A quick look at ‘Write, If You Live to Get There’

Updated “Where to find” Nov. 16, 2014

Write, If You Live to Get There, compiled and edited by Mary K. Sonntag and Mary Jo Sonntag


Genre: Nonfiction, history

My Synopsis: Letters written among descendants of Elisha and Mary (Meachem) Phillips from 1842 to 1862. Some remained back east (Vermont and Pennsylvania), and some moved to Illinois and Kansas. Some came out west and settled in northern California, notably in the Placerville area and at Phillips Station about 20 miles south of Lake Tahoe near Highway 50. A couple hundred of these letters were saved in a chest until the Sonntags, mother and daughter, transcribed and published them “to contribute to the historical record.”

Publisher: Word Association Publishers, 2013

Format and Number of Pages: Paperback, 434 pages

Where to Find: Write If You Live to Get There and Amazon.com. Also check in the gift shop of the Lake Tahoe Historical Society Museum in South  Lake Tahoe.

How Much Read: Most

Quotes (with spelling, capitalization and punctuation or lack of it from original letters):

June 28, 1868, Aden Church Phillips in Slippery Ford, Calif., to his sister Mary Phillips in Pennsylvania (the only mention of Reno I saw):
“The Pacific Rail Road is across the mountian [sic] and the cars are running to a place cawled Reno, which is only twenty miles from Virginia City, Nevada.”

April 12, 1869, Jane Davis Waterman in Vermont to her half-sister Lydia Davis Phillips in Illinois:
“give my love to your dear children how bad they will feel to have you go to Kansas and leave them Dear sister write it you live to get there”


One thought on “A quick look at ‘Write, If You Live to Get There’

  1. Pingback: 2 ways to buy Nevada books in time for Christmas (with suggestions) | Books in the City of Trembling Leaves

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