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Near Woodland in Yolo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Leonidas Taylor
 
Leonidas Taylor Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 15, 2008
1. Leonidas Taylor Marker
 
Inscription. Erected to the memory of Leonidas Taylor. Born in the city of Philadelphia on the 3rd of July 1832. He grew to manhood in the city of St. Louis and was killed by the explosion of the Steamer Belle opposite this spot on the 5th of February 1856; his body was never found.

Far distant from those who loved him, the waters of the Sacramento will roll over him until till that day when the sea shall give up its dead.
 
Location. 38° 38.657′ N, 121° 34.918′ W. Marker is near Woodland, California, in Yolo County. Marker is on Old River Road, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: West Sacramento CA 95691, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bryte (approx. 4.1 miles away); John Sutter Landing (approx. 5.2 miles away); Sacramento Skyline (approx. 5.8 miles away); Flood Control (approx. 5.8 miles away); Pony Express Bridge (approx. 5.8 miles away); Veterans Plaza (approx. 5.8 miles away); Hydraulic Mining (approx. 5.8 miles away); The Riversí Flow (approx. 5.8 miles away).
 
More about this marker. Made of marble, and showing obvious signs of abuse and repair, this monument has stood at this site for (likely) 150 years or more, marking the Steamer Belle tragedy and the death of Leonidas Taylor.
 
Leonidas Taylor Marker - Far shot Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 15, 2008
2. Leonidas Taylor Marker - Far shot
 

 
Regarding Leonidas Taylor. On the morning of February 5th, 1856, at precisely 7:45 AM (or 8:24 AM, sources differ), the boiler of the northward-bound Steamer Belle, exploded, killing at least 13 of the estimated 31 (or 40-60, sources differ) passengers and crew aboard. After the explosion the stern-wheeled paddle steamer was a mass of barely-floating bloody wreckage. A southward-bound steamer, the "General Reddington", happened upon the scene 15 minutes (or 3 and a half hours, sources differ) later and picked up the survivors. However, the body of one passenger, Leonidas Taylor, was never found.
 
Also see . . .
1. Belle. Marie Burnett's account of the Steamer Belle's demise, as published by the California State Land Commission, as part of their series of articles on shipwrecks in California. Includes citatations. (Submitted on February 22, 2009.) 

2. Captain Charles Houston. The captain of the Steamer Belle, Charles Houston, was killed by the boiler's explosion. He was interred in the Sacramento City Cemetery. His grave is one frequented by cemetery tours, and as such, the Old City Cemetery Committee has provided a web page with an account of the Steamer Belle tragedy. (Submitted on February 22, 2009.) 
 
Leonidas Taylor Monument Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 15, 2008
3. Leonidas Taylor Monument
In the background is a young orchard, with the saplings very evenly spaced.
 
 
Leonidas Taylor Monument Photo, Click for full size
circa 1910
4. Leonidas Taylor Monument
This photo of the monument was provided by Frank DePace. It was taken by his grandmother in 1910. She was a school teacher and it is possible that the girl in the photo was one of her students.
 
 
Sacramento River Location Where the Steamer Belle May Have Gone Down Photo, Click for full size
By Andrew Ruppenstein, July 15, 2008
5. Sacramento River Location Where the Steamer Belle May Have Gone Down
This photo shot from the top of the levee, on which both the road and monument are located. However, at the time of the accident, the levees had yet to be erected here.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on February 22, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 1,725 times since then. This page was the Marker of the Week May 31, 2009. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 22, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   4. submitted on April 9, 2012.   5. submitted on February 22, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
 
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