Museum the New Llano Colony

Charles "Charlie" Anderson

Birth: He was born in Sweden around 1852. He immigrated to the US in 1881 and had been naturalized by 1930.  

Family Information:  


Pre-Colony History: He joined the colony while it was still located in California and was one of the members of the colony when George T. Pickett was first named General Manager.  

Home in Colony: In 1930 he was a lodger with the John Aiton family.  

Job in Colony: He worked in the gardens. He also helped clear colony lands by burning the stumps left behind by the logging industries, in the process making charcoal for the colony blacksmiths. This work required "digging, shoveling, chopping and arranging for the proper draft".

It was with great satisfaction that he spoke of the thousands of stumps he'd removed or turned to charcoal and he was justified -- in fact, he was sometimes referred to as "Charcoal Charley".  

Other Info:

In 1929 the theater program featured camera pictures of Llano, California and Newllano which were shown on a white screen while George Pickett paid tribute to the Auld Lang Syners who had been part of the pioneer days of the colony including: Peter, Dora and Harold Kemp; L. Roedemeister, Dad Thomas and Mr. Fox; Septer, Runa and Rhea May Baldwin; Chas. Anderson, Anton Van Nuland and Theo Landrum; Susan and Albert Moore; William and Mrs. Newman; Arthur, Donna, Donna 2nd and Dolores Goble; and George Pickett himself.

Post-Colony History:  

Death: He died in March 1934 and was buried in the colony cemetery. Since he'd been a radical all his life colonists gave him a "red" funeral with the "Internationale" sung instead of a religious piece. Comrade Weatherwax read a passage from the Communist "Manifesto."

When Bob Brown discussed the funeral with Chet Page later, glad that the music had not been religious "cater-wallin'", Chet remarked, "You've got it wrong, Charlie was fond of music. He wouldn't have mind the hymns. He wasn't a bit narrow-minded."

After his death, his son, Irving Anderson, visited the colony to settle his affairs.  

Sources: Photo Archives; "Can We Cooperate" by Bob Brown; US Census: 1930; "Llano Colonist": January 5, 1929, March 9, 1929, March 26, 1932, April 11, 1933 (Reprinted from the Colonist, May 17, 1924), November 17, 1934  


Charcoal Charley
Hand-written on back of photo: "Charles Anderson (Charcoal Charley); Used pyrolitic process to produce charcoal. Photo furnished by Joseph K. Lentz".

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