Lorenz Garrecht was born March 17, 1836 in Offenbach, Bavaria in Germany. One of twelve children, he came to Shasta with an older sister who came to America to marry. They crossed the plains in ox drawn covered wagons, arriving in Shasta in 1852. His sister and her husband went on to French Gulch but Lorenz went to work in the butcher shop. He became a partner with Peter Hoff in a butcher shop, saved his money, and in 1860 he was able to return to Bavaria to bring his parents and five brothers and sisters to America.

Amalie Prehn was born July 24, 1851 in Rostock, Germany. For political reasons, her father left Germany shortly after that and joined the Gold Rush at Shasta, about 1855. He apparently did well because he sent for his wife and the children in 1858. Amalie, aged six, made the voyage with her mother, her brothers, Louis and Carl and sisters, Julia, Mary and Nettie. They were becalmed for six weeks coming around Cape Horn, almost starving when they reached San Francisco and arrived in Shasta the day after their house had burned down.

The miners who knew the famity were coming helped rebuild the house and provided food. Mr. and Mrs. Prehn were both valued neighbors in Shasta; for years Mrs. Prehn, a graduate nurse, was the local mid-wife.

Lorenz Garrecht and Amalie Prehn were married January 12, 1868 and paid $225 in gold coins for seven and a half acres and the "Garrecht House" which had been built by a Mr. Bidwell in 1853 with hand hammered square nails. The house passed to their son Louis and his wife Ruth, a Garrecht lived in the house for almost a hundred years. After years as a rental, the house is being restored by his great grandson, Richard Warren.

Lorenz and Amalie had three children:
Anna married Carl Briggs, who later moved to Redding and started the first Title Company in Shasta County. They had two daughters

Nell married William Schoonover

Louis was Shasta County Assessor from 1919 to 1935. He married Ruth Bell; they had two daughters.

Lorenz moved from the butcher business into raising cattle; he had a ranch up on the Sacramento River and at the same time he invested with some of his friends in mining. Lorenz Garrecht was one of those strong people who were called in emergencies. He carried the mail when winter streams were swollen and he was deputized to help prevent trouble when an Indian who had murdered a white man was hanged, the last legal hanging in Shasta County.

Hunting and fishing were essential for survival in the early history of the county but many of these people returned to primitive camps for the sport and pleasure of the great outdoors. Ruth Bell Garrecht wrote a lengthy description of her honeymoon with Louis--devoted to such pleasures.

Lorenz and Amalie were both active in Shasta's cultural and social affairs for many years. He died January 15, 1905 and Amalie survived another twenty-eight years. She died at her home in Shasta, July 9, 1933. Both are buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Shasta.

After Amalie's death, Louis and Ruth returned to the family home until their deaths. Their descendant, are scattered through California but none are living in the Shasta County.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - February 12, 1994

Biography Index