#6834 San Quentin, 1876 - Outlaw Series LbNA #20112
|Plant date:||Jan 20, 2006|
|Found by:||Children of the Forest|
|Last found:||May 7, 2017|
|Last edited:||Jan 20, 2006|
George Brittain Lyttle alias Dick Fellows, alias Richard Perkins, alias G. Brett Lytts, alias Robert Kirkland was born in Clay County, Kentucky in 1846. He chose his various aliases trying to keep his family name from being tarnished.(Google George Brittain Lyttle and you will find an extensive and highly regarded family tree in Harlan, Kentucky). Many reports indicate he was a robber of some repute while in fact history shows he was a dufus. James B. Hume, Wells Fargo’s chief lawman, regarded Fellows as one of the most desperate outlaws he had to deal with. I tend to think Mr. Hume was building Fellows reputation up so that Hume’s reputation would be enhanced.
Dick Fellows started his life of crime in 1869 when he unsuccessfully attempted to hold up the Coast Line stage outside of Santa Barbara. He was promptly arrested and sentenced to San Quentin. On April 4, 1874 he was pardoned and was able to stay out of trouble for a year or so.
During the early part of December 1875 there was a shipment of $240,000 bullion heading through Caliente to Los Angeles from the Cero Coso mine. Dick rented a horse and went after the stage. The horse bolted, and threw him to the ground. Upon his regaining his senses he found that the horse had fled and he walked back to town. Figuring that the return stage would be another good target he rented another horse the next day and held up the stage. After the stage driver threw down the Wells Fargo box Fellows waved the stage on. Fellows tried to mount the horse while hefting the strong box, but the horse bolted and Fellows was left to carry the box. Knowing that a posse would soon be on his trail he hurried off in the direction of town.
In the darkness he fell off of a 12foot embankment onto a newly built railroad track and the fall caused him to break his leg. Finally he came across a tool shed where he fashioned some homemade crutches and found an axe. He broke open the strong box and fled toward Bakersfield. After stealing another horse Fellows was captured east of Bakersfield and gave up with no trouble. Fellows using the alias Richard Perkins attempted to bribe the Deputy Sheriff, but eventually plead guilty to stage robbery and was sentenced to 8 years in state prison. On the night of his sentencing Fellows pulled up some floorboards in the makeshift jail and disappeared into the night. He was caught shortly in Santa Clara by the local sheriff and whisked off to San Quentin where he remained as #6834 until May 16,1881 when he was released for good behavior. Dick Fellows tried to go straight working for a newspaper and then as a Spanish teacher. Since most of California was populated by Spaniards there was very little call for a Spanish Language professor. He returned to robbing stages in the central coast area and unfortunately for Fellows once he was successful in his methods he did not change and shortly was back in prison, but this time for life.
After the turn of the century he reestablished contact with his family in Kentucky and he received his pardon on March 8, 1908. He walked out the prison gates and like Black Bart disappeared, never to be heard from again.
I had several ideas on creating the stamp image. Originally I thought of carving Mickey Mouse, or maybe Bozo the clown, but instead choose Dick’s likeness as he appeared after his 1882 capture. Fellows is a prime example of “Crime doesn’t pay.”
From Hwy 58 take the Caliente turn off just west of Tehachapi and head to the Post Office. From the Post Office head back north 2/10 of a mile to the right turn onto the Cal Bodfish Rd. There will be a refuse transfer station located at this intersection. From this intersection drive 1.8 miles to a dirt turnout on your left. Stop here and observe the tunnel at approximately 180 degrees. There are two telephone poles located on the top of the hill above the tunnel. There are two roads leading up to the telephone poles as well and you should take the upper one as it is not as steep. From the most southernly telephone pole walk west along the barb wire fence. Count verticals excluding wooden ones and gate ends and stop at the 14th up right metal pole. The letterbox is located at the base under some movable rocks.
Note: If you wait a while for a train to pass, you will have an excellent view of it’s coming and going. Don’t forget to wave and get a horn blast in return.
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