Historic Ledger Book Donated

Aug 12, 2022 by

Historic Ledger Book Donated

Peek and Sanguinetti CASH Ledger

An historic Mokelumne Hill ledger book has been donated to the Mokelumne Hill History Society by Helen Bierce of Sutter Creek.   The opening page is inscribed “Cash Book, Peek and Sanguinetti, Mok Hill, from October 1888 to ….”   The first notations made between June and November 1891 were in beautiful penmanship and listed some local names (Freeman, Danz, Burlesen, and Nuner) along with two locations—Jackson and Mokelumne Hill.

The Peek partner was certainly William Pratt Peek (b. Vermont 1828) who in 1854 opened the “William P. Peek Livery” and was one of the prominent teamsters in the region.  He and his wife Irish-born Sarah Allen raised seven children in Mokelumne Hill, providing several prominent generations of Peek offspring.

It took quite of bit of sleuthing by historian Lee Bibb to identify Peek’s partner Giovanni Sanguinetti. Giovanni’s parents immigrated from Chiavari, Italy, in the 1850s, settling in Murphys.  One of five children and born in Murphys, 29-year-old Giovanni entered into business with W.P. Peek in 1888 as inscribed in the Cash Book ledger.  However, cash entries don’t begin until June 1891.  The elaborate script was likely executed by Peek, reflecting traditional American schooling. Apparently, the business did not continue long as entries ceased after six months, at the end of 1891.

After seven years on the shelf, in January 1898 the book was taken up by Giovanni’s younger brother Henry, then 30 years old and a partner in the Lower Italian Gardens of Mokelumne Hill.  Henry’s entries began in January 1898 and are distinguished by simple script, use of Italian, and creative spellings for local delivery sites.  The entries appear to record wholesale produce delivered by Lower Italian Gardens to towns and locations in the vicinity.  One page is used for each month, listing daily destinations with payments recorded.  Delivery locations include Mok Hill, Gwin Mine, San Andreas, Jackson, Rail Road Flat, West Point, and Valley Springs.  The last entry is January 1910.

Historic treasures such as this provide personal glimpses into our community’s rich past. The book will be preserved in the Mokelumne Hill History Society’s Archives, located at the Library, along with many other town documents.

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