Captain Loomis

Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, "Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued is just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."

In many ways, this reflects the life of Lester Loomis. Lester Loomis was one of those unique individuals who was respected and remembered by those close to him as well as those who only met him briefly. His courage, intelligence, common sense, honesty, and respect for all people had a lasting impact on those around him. He had an inner strength and confidence that guided him through the myriad adventures of his youth, and helped him meet the challenges he encountered as he pursued his vision of life.

His life unfolded in three stages. He was born in Illinois in 1863; his family migrated to California in 1874. His early years were marked by independence and adventure, which prepared him well for his future life. His marriage to Grace Williams in 1886 was the start of the second major phase, one in which he suppressed his pioneering spirit and used his many skills to care for and provide security for his family.

And finally in 1913, as he approached fifty years of age, he began the third phase, his journey into the mountains, to create the life he wanted, one marked by hard work, joy, and peace; to "sit down quietly", and to ultimately find the happiness he yearned.

I have attempted in this section to capture the history and spirit of Captain Lester Loomis, presented in a series of chapters describing major events in his life.