Martin EdenThis illustration from a contemporary Whiskey ad is as close as we can get at this time to knowing what Martin Eden looked like. Jack London borrowed his name for one of his more famous novels. Several people remembered Eden in Bob Glotzbach’s book, Childhood Memories of Glen Ellen. Peggy Thompson remembered him “hauling hay and doing very heavy manual labor work. He had immigrated from Sweden and lived in a little one room cabin on Uncle George’s property. He’d walk up and do a day’s work and walk home.”

Anita Larkin said “Martin Eden was a frequent customer, and I remember once he came in, and i gave him change for a five dollar bill. He came back the following week and informed me that he had only given me a two dollar bill and returned three dollars; I remember that vividly.”

According to Glenn Purcell, “He lived right across the road and across the field on the Thompson property in a small cabin, probably eight by ten, pretty small. The shack’s still there; you can see it from the road, and it’s about ready to fall down. I always remember Martin as having a white beard and wearing black rubber boots. My father told me that Martin had been around for a long time and had showed him at one time how to pitchfork a steelhead. One night he went out with my father, carrying a lantern, and they went down to the creek in back of George Thompson’s house. Martin stood with the lantern in one hand and a pitchfork in the other, and he got two steelhead swimming in circles, smaller and smaller circles, until they got right under the lantern, and then down with the pitchfork. He got one of them. ‘There’s my dinner,’ he said to my father.”