The Glengarrian, 22 Jun 1894

Glengarrians in California

To the Editor of the Glengarrian:-

Sir – Knowing that you like to follow the fortunes of the men of Glengarry, it will interest you to learn that the Caledonia Club proceedings at Stockton, San Joaquin, Co., California, this year were mainly engineered by Glengarry lads.  The Chief of the Club is Malcolm McRae, who with his partner AR McDonald, runs a thriving wholesale and retail grocery business in Stockton.  Both hail from Glengarry, and Mrs McRae too comes from the same airt, where she was formerly known as Miss Mary McDougald.  Another lady who graced the games by her presence is Miss Mary Ann McDonald, from the South Branch.  John D McDougald a prominent contractor here, also takes a keen interest in all that appertains to auld Scotland, and as for his brother Willie A McDougald, the suit of clothes that he wore at the games, was “a sight for sair e’en.” It was the very rig that oor ain Robbie Burns would have work when he went out to visit his bonnie Jean – a donce Ayrshire suit with nae Hielan fall-uls.

In the tug of war, which was the most important event of the day three Glengarrians pulled for Scotland. The contest was between eight Germans and a like number of Scotch.  Of course the Scotch won as is proper and fitting.  In the Scotch were three brothers McLaurin.  Their father was Duncan McLaurin, once a resident of Breadabane, County of Glengarry.  About 1852 he removed to Bruce County and later on his family came to California.  Mrs McLaurin who spent her girlhood days in “fa Lochaber” now lives in Stockton, where she is affectionately and carefully ministered to by an unmarried daughter.  There are six McLaurin lads and three of them pulled for Scotland in the tug of war.  They are all thriving and prosperous ranchers on the tule lands of San Joaquin County.  There are John and Dan, Douglass and Willie, Colin and Archie.  A proud man was Donald Weir when he was awarded first prize as piper, and led the march in the uniform of the gallant 42nd.  The reel in his pipes is as clear and shrill as when it used the resound in Glengarry when Donald was younger, and aiblins keener to dance himself than to pipe for other folk.

Amongst the other Glengarrians connected with the Caledonia Club in San Joaquin county are AC McDonald and William and Duncan McDougald of the well know firm of McDougald, Sangster and Company.  Among Glengarrians there is but little chance of old associations being forgotten.

Were one to ask me, “Saw ye my lad wi’ his tartans and philibeg?” I can truthfully say that I saw nearly every Glengarry lad in San Joaquin county at Goodwater Grove in all his bravery at the Caledonia Club’s holiday.

Yours, etc.

Walter Roberts, Stockton, Cal, June 6th 1894

[I think it would be an interesting study to do, on the presence of Glengarrians in California.  I know from my own family tree that two of my great-grandmother’s brothers [Cashion] settled in California, and also another Grant relative whom they went into business with.  What were the connections, how long did they linger? Was there continued communication?  Were there specific waves of movement?  Was it a family migration or just the single men?]

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