Heart Wood is a work of fiction inspired by many historic people, organizations, and events. The fictional characters of Eliza and Silas Baxter were inspired by my Great-Grandparents, Emily Anna and Charles Rossiter Hoppin who lived in post gold-rush California, 1850s-1915. After ten years of research for Heart Wood, I am pleased to share this selection of oral history, documents, news clippings, scrapbook pages, and photographs.

About Charles and Emily Hoppin

Charles Rossiter Hoppin came to California with the 1849 gold rush, then returned to Niles, Michigan twenty-five years later to marry Emily Anna Bacon and bring her to his Yolo ranch near Woodland, in the northern Sacramento Valley of California. After his death in 1903, Emily not only ran the 800-acre ranch, but rose to power on the local and state level, fighting for women and farming, water and land use, prohibition and peace.

What I know of their lives comes from hearing family stories and reading news clippings of Emily’s speeches (always eloquently laced with poetry) and of her hotly contested election to President of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs, 1915. Sadly, she died two months after taking office. I grew up hearing her legendary stories told by her daughter (my grandmother), Dorothea Maria Hoppin Moffett.

Many of Emily and Charles’ actual words were woven into Heart Wood from the original interviews, speeches, and writings compiled in this section. Although spoken a hundred years ago, their words still speak to the present and touch the future!

Biographies of Emily Anna and Charles Rossiter Hoppin

Charles Hoppin: Letters Home

Photo Gallery