(see Mariposa County Place Names)
as found in the Oakland Tribune, December 24, 1944-
editorials by the KNAVE
"In regard to your inquiry about the old bank in Pleasant Valley region of Mariposa County together with mention by E. L. Short and Mr. Steele's assumption that this may have been 'Barretts Crossing', " Roy G Thompson writes, "I am wondering  if this could possibly be my grandfather's
 home, store and ferry known as ' Split Rock Ferry' originally.  My grandfather's name was William G. Smith.  He was one of the earliest settlers of Mariposa County and though I only know of his early days by hearsay through his second daughter who was my mother and several of his sons, the story of Split Rock Ferry as the origin of the 'family' has always been one of some interest.  William G. Smith was , I have been told, a volunteer sergeant in the U. S. Army, participating in the invasion of Mexico from Vera Cruz and after the war his unit came to California  and he was honorably discharged at Monterey.   At least he is supposed to have located there in 1847 and being a wheel wright by trade his services were in demand.  With the discovery of gold he disappeared into the interior and reappeared  in San Francisco in 1851 with approximately $150,000 in gold to meet his betrothed who had come to join him.  They were married at old Saint Mary's Church on  California Street, I believe, and he took his bride to the home he had prepare for her at ' Split Rock Ferry,' where the five children, two girls and three girls (sic) were born.  My mother and uncles in times past, (they have all passed) on ) visited the old site and frequently described the old stone houses, one of which was the home and the other the store, the situation sounds very much as described by Mr. Short.  The buildings were fallen into ruin and the ferry installations had long since disappeared. Smith had many interests in Mariposa County, having among  other things constructed and owned the first grist mill, at Coulterville I think 'they' said.  The  ferry was the only crossing for many, many miles to 'the Chinese diggings,' in which my grandfather had some sort of interests.  He being away from home on some mission, his  wife was forced to 'entertain' Murietta and his band on one occasion.  They wanted to be ferried across in order to rob the Chinese miners.  My grandmother managed to keep them at the store on the basis that her husband, only, could run the  ferry  and sent her oldest boy to warn the  Chinamen.   As recounted he swam the river and warned them and on his return, Smith's wife managed to work the ferry for which she was rewarded by the bandit liberally, besides a considerable patronage at the store and later she and boy were still more liberally regarded by the grateful Chinese miners who had managed to secrete their stock of hard-won gold.   At this store there was supposed to be a safe or at least  a place of safe-keeping for gold and gold dust.

"Days of evil fortune fell upon this pioneer family," Thompson continues, "seemingly all at once.  A fire destroyed the grist mill and also a hotel in one of the communities; something, maybe a bridge, did away with the usefulness of the ferry; the Chinese mines petered out, so Smith pulled up stakes moving his family to Sonora for the Winter (which I do not know) while he made his way over the Sierras to the Comstock and the next year he moved his family there where he engaged in the hotel business running several miners' hotels in conjunction with certain mines.  Here he and his wife died within a few weeks of one another, leaving five orphan children, the oldest fourteen, with no certain knowledge of their parent's relations.  The oldest boy, Sam, got work in the mines as water boy, which job because it was under-ground paid four dollars a day as required by  the miners' union.  With this as a nucleus he managed to 'keep his family' more or less 'together' in obedience to his father's  dying admonition, seeing them each educated and well raised in respectable pioneer family homes.  This may or may not be the original name of this crossing, but split Rock Ferry was the result of a wheelwright's skill, the opportunity of a discharged soldier at the close of a war offered by the Fremont Grant and the indomitable will and perseverance of the pioneer American here in California."
transribed by c feroben- April , 2019