Nora Alice Pogue Montgomery

Compiled from "The Early Days" by Nora Montgomery and newspaper archives. Presented on March 21, 2015 at the Lemon Cove Women's Club Annual Open House, and enacted by students from Sequoia Union School, Lemon Cove, California.

My name is Nora Alice Pogue. I am now twelve years old. I am the youngest daughter of JWC and Nancy Blair Pogue, and the second to be born, August 10, 1883 here in the Pogue Hotel.

picture of Nora Montgomery

Nora Pogue

An older sister, Bertha May, was the first born here, but she did not survive. My other sisters and brothers are quite a few years older. One sister, Martha Louisa (we called her Lydia) was already married before the family built this place in 1879. My parents thought this spot would be great for a hotel and home. Silver was being mined in Mineral King, lumber and timber were being hauled down from the high mountains, and the Kaweah Colony had been established on the North Fork of the Kaweah River. They were right! We had drivers, miners, colonists and their families staying here. The single men often slept on pallets in the attic - hot in the summer, cold in the winter, but it cost less than renting a whole room.

Father replanted his small citrus trees – four each of lemons, limes and oranges – near this hotel. He was even persuaded to enter some of his lemons into the Los Angeles Fair, receiving a very high award. That really spurred the planting of citrus here. Small tracts were sold for $15.00 and planted in lemons. That’s how we got our name – Lemon Cove. Then my father had the town site surveyed on 15 acres near our house, and by 1895 we had a town and post office.

I grew as Lemon Cove grew. The hotel was thriving with travelers coming and going from Mineral King and Sequoia Park. But we considered the hotel to be our home until Mother died in May of 1891. My sister Lydia and her husband, Hamilton Moffett, moved back to help father manage the hotel. I’m glad to have my older sisters and brothers to help father and me. It was tough without mother.

picture of Nora Montgomery as a child

Nora Pogue, 3 Yrs Old

My sisters Nancy Eugenia (we called her Genie) and Sarah Eva were both teachers at our small one room school until they each married. In fact, Genie’s wedding was the first here at the hotel, in 1889, with the whole countryside attending the ceremony and supper. It was quite an event!!

I am quite an active child. There is so much to do - school, seeing my friends, and our weekly family trip to Visalia in our horse and buggy. I love when we all go up to Mineral King and camp out at Sunny Point. When I grow up I would like to have a cabin up there!

This year, my friend Lena McKee and I founded a literary society. Meetings are spread by word of mouth, and everyone in the community comes. There is singing, recitations and drama. Lena and I feel quite important with the success of our venture.

Well, I need to get home to work on my schoolwork. It was nice to meet you all.