Sunday, January 18, 2009

Henrietta Pashburg ~ Yreka Artist

Small dish hand painted by Henrietta Pashburg, circa 1910.

Photo copyright: Claudia A. East

Henrietta Pashburg was one of those "Victorian Ladies" that made her living painting. Hand painted china was a very popular item for many years. Henrietta was born in Yreka, California on June 25, 1876 to John and Mary (Fiock) Pashburg. She grew up in Yreka and her father made a living originally as a tobacco merchant and later offered more general merchandise. The store was on the corner of Miner Street and Fourth and is no longer standing. (You can read a post about this store and see an image here: Pashburg's Store

Henrietta graduated from the (then) quite new and wonderful Siskiyou County High School in 1896 according to records obtained from the Siskiyou County Museum. At the time of her graduation the school was only two years old. (You can read about the high school and see an image here: Siskiyou County High School. She lived in Yreka and participated in civic events was a member of the Stella Chapter # 39, Order of Eastern Star, Yreka. She even exhibited at the California State Fair in 1892 according to information on her artistic history. History indicates that she lived and worked in Yreka for a number of years before finally moving to San Francisco on a permanent basis sometime prior to 1922. While in Yreka Henrietta apparently had her own shop on Miner Street for some time but detailed information has not yet been found.

Times were likely exciting for a young woman at this time, women were actively promoting women's rights and suffrage and breaking out of more "traditional" roles. Henrietta (often going by Etta) was likely not the "typical" young Victorian woman. Apparently independent and self sufficient until she married her long time love, Mr. James Alexander Cobain, on August 9, 1932 in Reno, Nevada.

Henrietta lived and had a painting studio in San Francisco for many years but returned "home" as her family continued to live and work in Yreka or the immediate area. In 1922 she was noted in Who's Who Among Women of California. Henrietta lived a long life, passing on February 16, 1971 in San Francisco, burial in Yreka at Evergreen Cemetery.

Her china is often highly valued and is somewhat difficult to find. She apparently signed many of her pieces, H. Pashburg with or without dates under her signature. You can see another image of her work in our book, Yreka, Images of America Series from Arcadia Publishing on page 55. Seeing and often holding work someone accomplished many years ago brings a sense of the history "home".

Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2009


Anonymous said...

While going through my mother's things I recently found a single complete table setting by Henrietta Pashburg. A man named Fred Fiock was the best man at the wedding of my mother's parents in Sacramento in 1923. I would have to assume the origins of the Henrietta Pashburg china were from Fred Fiock since Henrietta's maden name was Fiock. Could be the set was a wedding gift.

Claudia East said...

What a wonderful find! That set is surely a "keeper"!