Caleb C. Carriger. Among the valued and esteemed men who came to Sonoma Valley in its pioneer days were the Carriger brothers....His father, Christian Carriger was of German birth, and his mother, Lovisa (Ward) Carriger, was born in England. After marriage they located in Carter County, Tennessee, and there all of their children were born.
When Caleb C. Carriger was a small boy the family moved to Andrew County, Missouri where stories reached them of the great fertility and delightful climate of lands west of the mountains. The Carrigers as a family were noted for daring and adventure. It is believed that the proposition to brave the dangers to be encountered in coming to this coast, met with no opposition from any member of the family. April 27, 1846, the family started with the intention of going to Oregon but later determined to make California their destination. The journey was attended by dangers, privation and great suffering. On Yuba River, Sept. 26, Christian Carriger, the head of the family died at the age of sixty-seven years. Sadly and tenderly the family buried him in his lonely grave, and then pursued their weary way.
The first place reached in California was Johnson's Ranch on the Bear River. From there, slowly but without unnecessary delay, the family made their way to Sonoma Valley, reaching Sonoma Oct. 6, 1846, and making that their home. Daniel, Nicholas and Solomon, the three eldest of the boys, at once in enlisted in the war for the acquisition of California. Daniel and Solomon under Freemont and Nicholas in the Navy. Each did good service. Daniel, a year or to after, died at Sonoma. Nicholas lived to acquire great wealth, his death occurring in 1885. Solomon, who a few years ago returned East... lives in Tennessee, in the county of his birth. One sister who came to this coast later, Mrs. Phebe Whittington, now lives in Oregon; and another sister, Mrs. Lovisa McAllan, lives in Missouri.
Caleb C. Carriger, whose name heads this sketch was born in Carter County, Tennessee Nov. 11, 1832, and he was in his fourteenth year when his family left Andrew County, Missouri, to cross the plains and mountains to this coast. His home was made with his widowed mother in Sonoma for several years. She passed to the better life many years ago. In partnership with his brother, Solomon, Mr. Carriger bought 640 acres of land on the west side of the Sonoma Valley, nearly due west of Sonoma. Upon a portion of that purchase he yet lives. In the thirty years that Mr. Carriger has kept a record of the temperature of this location, but once has the temperature registered as low as twenty above zero, and that was in the winter of 1887-8. Oranges grow abundantly and profitably from his property. From 170 trees a single crop is marketed for $700. Apricots, prunes, plums, quinces, pomegranates, pears and lemons all thrive aty this favored place, and produce abundantly.
Source: History of Sonoma County- 1889, by the Lewis Publishing Co., 113 Adams St., Chicago, IL
Submitted: Monica Schirmer Eshelman