One hundred years ago, the weeks of October 1905 were times when Lodians were excited about the plans for a new electric rail line, riled up about the shabby appearance of the Southern Pacific depot, proud of the town's new bank and optimistic that sweet potatoes and tobacco could become big crops for the region.
The Oct. 3, 1905 Lodi Sentinel carried the news that Frank J. Lease and his wife just returned from a summer trip to check on their mining claims in the Alaska Territory. The couple reported their journey to the northern frontier was successful and that the miners they employed had pulled out satisfactory amounts of gold. The Leases's luggage home reportedly included 85 pounds of gold dust.