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From the Files of the Lassen Historical Society: Rosalie Alice Stratton Loveland Marr

Rose Marr and her Sister Julia in a family photo

by Susan Couso

Rose was not what most people would consider a typical Victorian woman. Her grandparents were a French fur trader named Auguste Choteau, and Rosalie, the daughter of an Osage chief who worked with the U. S. government to secure treaties with the Osage people.

Rose was born Rosalie Alice Stratton in Chico, California in 1857, one of seven children. In 1876, Rose married Charles F. ‘Frank’ Loveland in Susanville, and they moved to Grasshopper Valley, north of Eagle Lake. There, they operated a stage station which they purchased from Rose’s father, Gabriel Stratton.

It was a rugged, isolated place where life was timed by the incoming stages, and ruled by the weather. Frank took care of the horses for the stage line. He was a renowned ‘cowboy’ who had participated in the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893.

Rose took care of the passengers and operated the telegraph, along with caring for her family under some trying conditions. There were very few women telegraph operators, but Rose was not ordinary. She was tough and she ‘made do’. She also gave Frank three daughters. One, Minnie, died when she was 16-years old, but the other two girls, May and Kitty, thrived in the high desert.

The house was built that first year in the valley, and a carpenter spent the winter months finishing the inside. The girls traveled eight miles to Bailey Creek to go to school, and it wasn’t easy, but it was important.

Life was difficult, and a headstrong independent woman did not always fit well with a man of the same nature. Loneliness most likely played a part as Frank and Rose divorced in the late 1890’s.

Frank had taken off earlier in an attempt to find an easier way of making a living. So Rose was left with her girls and a need to support them. She managed a boarding house at the nearby mining town of Hayden Hill, and her girls helped her as much as they could.

Then, the mines began to fail and close. The ‘boom’ was over, and Rose’s boarding house income was gone. So she packed up and moved to the new thriving town of Amedee and worked in the Amedee Hotel. As the girls got older, they worked there too.

Rose eventually settled in the Ravendale area. She took jobs cooking for various ranches. She also became a midwife who delivered most of the babies in the area, including her own grandchildren.

Rose was known for her piano playing, and could always be found when a party was in progress. These parties lasted for a day or more, and even into her old age, Rose kept the piano going. Rose was always a lady, but she was as tough as they came. She had to be, for the sake of her girls.

The Madeline Plains became her final home. In her later years, she married James Tipton “Tip” Marr, and in 1942, she died peacefully at her daughter Kitty’s house in Ravendale.

Rose Marr

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