Local author to appear at Barn Owl Books Saturday

Terry Collins, author of “Vast Horizons, an American Family Odyssey, 1838-1853,” will be visiting Barn Owl Books in Quincy from 1 to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, June 22, for a short reading and book signing. An interesting early history of one of the pioneer families that ultimately helped shape the history of Plumas County. This photo was taken right after Mr. Collins had presented nine Chester High students with scholarships that potentially represent $3,000 a year each for up to 10 years. Photo by Greg Scott

The westward expansion of America in the mid to late 1800s and into the 20th century left an indelible mark on many families as they made the history we now know.

It is always rewarding when we have an opportunity to have a glimpse into some individual family history that ultimately shaped history here in Plumas County.

Such an opportunity is now available with the release of a new novel by Terry Collins great- great-grandson of Truman D. Collins, who came west in the 1800s and who’s grandson, Truman Collins, ultimately built Collins Pine in Chester.

The title of the book is:  “Vast Horizons, an American Family Odyssey, 1838-1853.”


Collins describes the book as, “A short novel, based on the true story of my great, great grandfather, touching on the Trail of Tears, the Mexican War, and the Oregon Trail, including an obscure event known as ‘The Lost Wagon Train of 1853.’ It is the story of a family that was caught up in the westward expansion of America. … The names of the characters, the events and dates are true and historical although the personalities reflected and dialogues are of my own creation.”

“I was inspired to develop this story into a novel,” Collins explained, “after I found a scrapbook that was passed down through my family by my great, great grandfather on my mother’s side. My objective was to capture the above-mentioned historical events through the eyes of a family that lived through those times.”

Collins will be at Barn Owl Books in Quincy, from 1 to 4:30 p.m., on Saturday, June 22, for a short reading of the first two chapters followed by a brief explanation about the book and taking questions from the audience.

He will then be available until 4:30 p.m. for anyone that would like to have his or her book signed.