Bears, bulls and a Russian fort

Barbara Black and Lynne Prieto

Barbara Black and Lynne Prieto

95-year-old Barbara Mercedes Black grew up in the Sonoma County hills near the historic Russian outpost, Fort Ross. Black is a lifelong rancher, horsewoman, historian and active part of the community she grew up in. In this episode of the Story Shed, she vividly recalls her own life and the stories passed down to her by her family. Her paternal grandparents George & Elizabeth Charles homesteaded on the South Fork of the Gualala River, where they raised sheep. Her maternal grandparents George & Mercedes Call met when George was living in Chile, working as a burlap bag merchant after a vivid career putting on bear and bull fight shows with Grizzly Adams, and moved to Sonoma County after they purchased Fort Ross and the surrounding land.

Join us as Barbara shares tales of late-night dances, community picnics, and church camps held by traveling preachers. Listen to the show by clicking the arrow below, or download the mp3 here.


One response to “Bears, bulls and a Russian fort

  • Anna Hawkins

    Enjoyed your conversation with Barbara Charles Black. She is my cousin, and we have been close relatives for many years. Her beauty, intelligence and strengthand kindness have always been an inspiration to me. She is my hero. She must be 97 now, and is still sharp as ever. Glad she is doing this program, and thanks to you Jacoba for putting all of this together. Too bad Stan Hansen passed away. He was not a blood relative to us, but he knew all the family stories and shared them with me.

    Keep up the good work. The local people are of a great interest to me.

    Anna Hawkins, great grand daughter of George and Mercedes Call.

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