Leaving Illinois in the early 1840’s Elijah and Suzannah Bristow pack their wagon and, with others, head for California seeking the “new life” out west. Suddenly a breeze, still holding the reins to oxen a warm western sunset sparks emotion, elation Elijah stands reins to the oxen loose in his hands.
Suzannah turns toward her husband and said, “Elijah dear what are you doing?”
The golden light of the sun transfixed Elijah and without answering or looking at his wife started signing, “Got a dream boy got a song paint your wagon and come along.”
But Elijah was on a roll and intoxicated, “Where am I going I don’t where am I headin’ get I ain’t certain all that I know is I am on my way. When will I be there…
Suzannah looking every bit nervous and uncomfortable as the other wagons have noticed Elijah sudden outburst, she tugs on his shirt, “Honey the others are looking please sit down. Now!”
Brought back to reality Elijah stops looks down at his wife then notices he is standing with his right hand holding the reins and his left hand extended skyward as if leading the charge, “Oh, what sorry honey that sunset spark something in me.
With that the Bristow’s settled in and continued with the others to a new beginning.
South of Eugene, Oregon off of Highway 58 there is a marker, pictures below, noting the arrival of the first pioneers in Lane County. One of the photographs is a replica of the fireplace of Elijah Bristow’s cabin long gone but the stones used in this model are from that cabin.