Tuesday, March 26, 2019

In Loving Memory

Thank you all for your wonderful comments, accolades and caring responses through this difficult time. Rick’s passing was so unexpected and it’s heartwarming to our family to receive your support.  Rick was one of those guys that you could never forget. He had a presence about him and when I first saw him 45 years ago, I knew immediately that our paths would cross someday.

Please keep me on your mailing list for upcoming shows and newsletters. I’m hoping to continue supporting the hobby as much as possible. Thank you again.
"Rick" Richard Gary Simi
December 21, 1947 - March 19, 2019


“Rick”, Richard Gary Simi passed away on March 19, 2019 at Mercy San Juan Hospital in Carmichael, CA after complications from a serious surgery.  He was 71 years old.

Rick was born in Oakland CA and was the first born boy and first boy grandchild in the Simi family. He spent his childhood moving between El Cerrito, Lake Tahoe and South Carolina before moving back to California and graduating from Harry Ells High School in 1965.

After graduation, Rick worked with his father at Berkeley Glass and received his Journeyman Glazier certificate. Later he worked with Bob Holt, who had a lightshow business during the early rock days. They produced light shows for rock concerts at Winterland, the Filmore and other Bay Area concert venues. Rick worked with many popular rock bands during the 1960-70’s and enjoyed friendships with several.

He had a passion for music all his life, as well as photography, race cars and motorcycles.  Rick had an artistic flair and was good with his hands; creating stained glass windows and working with wood. He had many hobbies and always pursued them to the fullest.  He was truly an example of a “renaissance man”.  Rick loved being outdoors; motorcycle riding, fishing, long range shooting, metal detecting, and bottle hunting. He was well-known for his knowledge of antique bottles and wrote a local history book called “Gold Rush Camps and Bottles of Sierra County”. Rick also created a popular forum-style website about collecting and researching antique bottles that has a large following of viewers.

Rick ventured into the gold country during the early 1970’s and finally found his forever home. He camped and panned for gold and ultimately bought a house in Sierra City.  This was where he wanted to plant roots. He obtained his building contractor’s license and did much of his work in the Sierra City, Downieville area. He and wife Cherry purchased the old Downieville Brewery and completely renovated it. After retiring from the building industry, and at the time of his death, he was a Federal, State and Locally licensed firearms dealer, instructor and gunsmith.

During his 49 years as a Sierra County resident, Rick was a past member of the Sierra City Fire Department; acted in the Sierra City Fireman’s Follies as the memorable French maid “Fifi”, was a past Downieville Cemetery Director; served as a Director on the Forest City Historical Society; volunteered to create exhibits and remodel the Downieville Museum; has been the Yuba Pass Chili Cook-Off three time first place winner; hosted the annual Downieville Antiques and Bottles Show, and participated in many other local activities and organizations.

Rick is survived by his wife of 32 years, Cherry; children Alex Simi (Napa), James Prince (Downieville), Chandra Baciocco (San Francisco), Natalina Simi (Oakland). Sister Renee Simi Kantor (Pleasanton) and brother Michael Simi (Rohnert Park), and several nieces, nephew, and cousins. Dear to his heart are grand-daughters Macie and Makenna Prince. Also grandchildren Jordan and Zachary Simi. Rick was preceded in death by his brother Joseph Simi and both parents.

A Celebration of Life for friends and family will be announced at a later date.

As in the lyrics from the song Truckin’ by the Grateful Dead:
 Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me,
 Other times I can barely see,
 Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been.

We love and miss you, Rick. 

Rick adored his grand-daughters and they loved him back. This is a favorite photo of mine. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Rest In Peace

Rest In Peace Rick, we are going to miss you.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Mills' Bitters A.M. Gilman

Update on the Mills' Bitters

The first listing for the Mills' Bitters in California is in, The Shasta Courier, July 22, 1854. It shows H. Gilbert of Shasta, Cal. selling it.

Here is an ad from the Nashville Union and American, Dec. 2, 1855. It shows what the Mills' Bitters was made for and from whom. It was highly advertised in Nashville, Tenn. during the 1850's.
The first listing for A.M. Gilman is in the San Francisco directory 1854. He is listed at 106 Battery St. S.F.
Next in 1856 he is at 82 Front St. and established the company name, A.M. Gilman & Co. in 1855
1861 -  324 Front St.
1862 - 414 Front St.
1864 - 409 Front St.
1871 - 322 Washington St.
1873 - 308 California St.
1876 - 308 California St. "Lick House" Billiard Saloon
1880 - 1516 California St.
There is no listing for A.M. Gilman after 1880.
The newspaper ads I found for A.M. Gilman start in 1857.
The first one is in the, Daily Alta, April 2, 1857
Next is in the, Red Bluff Beacon, April 11, 1861 and August 7, 1862

 Daily Alta, August 2, 1873
Daily Alta, Nov. 27, 1874

Daily Alta, Dec. 20, 1875

Daily Alta, June 4, 1876

Daily Alta, August 12, 1877

Daily Alta, Jan. 31, 1878

Daily Alta, August 14, 1878
This is the first and only ad for the Mills' Bitters and the very last ad for A.M. Gilman.

Strange that Mr. Gilman waited until the end of his career to produce the Mills' Bitters. After this ad in 1878, he is only listed one more time in 1880. He is listed as a merchant at 1516 California St. After that he disappears. Shortly after Mr. Cassin takes over the brand. Mr. Gilman had a 26 year run in the liquor business.  He had only one liquor business in the Santa Cruz area fail.

But, the great thing that A.M. Gilman did is produce a rare one year only Western Bitters.
Thanks Mr. Gilman