California State Historical Landmarks in Shasta County
Properties of historical importance in California are currently designated as significant resources in three state registration programs: State Historical Landmarks, Points of Historical Interest, and the California Register of Historic Places. Below is a list of the State Historical Landmarks for Shasta County. This data is provided by the Office of Historic Preservation - California Department of Parks and Recreation and is also available in the California Historical Landmarks Book.
NO. 10 READING ADOBE - This was the home of Pierson Barton Reading (1816-1868), a California pioneer of 1843. He was a major in Frémont's California Battalion which fought in the Mexican War. He was a signer of the Capitulation of Cahuenga and discovered gold in 1848. Major Reading is buried nearby.
Location: Near entrance to Reading Island Park, 213 Adobe Rd, 5.8 mi E of Cottonwood
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: BALLS FERRY NO. 11 NOBLE PASS ROUTE - William H. Noble, accompanied by a party of citizens, showed the route for a wagon road across the Sierra Nevada in May 1852. It was from this point that emigrants got their first glimpse of the Sacramento Valley.
Location: Lassen Volcanic National Park, on park Hwy, 0.2 mi E of park marker no. 60, 3.7 mi from NW entrance on State Hwy 44 NO. 116 BATTLE ROCK - Battle of the Crags was fought below Battle Rock in June 1855. This conflict between the Modoc Indians and the settlers resulted from miners destroying the native fishing waters in the Lower Soda Springs area. Settlers led by Squire Reuben Gibson and Mountain Joe Doblondy, with local Indians led by their Chief Weilputus, engaged Modocs, killed their Chief Dorcas Della, and dispersed them. Poet Joaquin Miller and other settlers were wounded.
Location: On lawn at entrance station, Castle Crags State Park, 1 mi W of I-5 (P.M. 63.6), Castella NO. 120 DERSCH HOMESTEAD - Here in 1850 'Doc' Baker established a stopping place for emigrants on the Lassen and Nobles Trails. George and Anna Maria Dersch took up a homestead on the land in 1861. A history of troubled relations between Indians and settlers led to an Indian raid on the ranch in 1866 in which Mrs. Dersch was killed. A posse was formed and killed most of the Indians at their Dye Creek Camp.
Location: Rte 1, Box 273, Dersch Rd at Bear Creek, 10 mi E of Anderson NO. 131 WHISKEYTOWN - Settled by gold miners in 1849, the town was first called Whiskey Creek for the stream on which it was located, but later the name was changed to Whiskeytown. A barrel of whiskey lost off a pack mule christened the stream with the popular drink of that day. The town is inundated by Whiskeytown Reservoir.
Location: Intersection of Whiskey Creek Rd and State Hwy 299, 11.3 mi W of Redding on Hwy 299 NO. 148 BASS HILL - On the summit of Bass Hill a remnant of the California-Oregon stage road crosses the Pacific Highway and descends to the Pit River. Because this was a favorite 'holdup' spot in stage-coach days, a marker has been placed there in memory of W. L. Smith, division stage agent of the California and Oregon Stage Company, and of the pioneer stage drivers along this road.
Location: Bridge Bay Resort parking lot, Bridge Bay turnoff and I-5, 6 mi N of Central Valley NO. 166 FRENCH GULCH - Founded nearby by French miners in 1849, the town of Morrowville, relocated here, was the center of one of the state's richest gold producing areas. Total production was over $20,000,000. One of California's first stamp mills operated at the nearby Franklin Mine. From 1856 to 1858 French Gulch was the trailhead on the western branch of the California-Oregon Trail. St. Rose Catholic Church was founded in 1856. As a supply and stopping place, the town rivaled Shasta.
Location: 3 mi E of Hwy 299 (P.M. 8.6) on Trinity Hill Rd, French Gulch
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: FRENCH GULCH 15 NO. 32 READING'S BAR - Major Pierson B. Reading and his Indians washed out the first gold in Shasta County on a bar at the mouth of the canyon of Clear Creek in March 1848.
Location: Clear Creek Bridge, on Clear Creek Rd, 6.9 mi W of old Hwy 99 W Redding NO. 33 SOUTHERN'S STAGE STATION - This is the site of the famous Southern Hotel and Stage Station built by Simeon Fisher Southern. The original building, a log cabin, was built in 1859. During a half-century many noted people who made early California history were entertained in this hotel.
Location: On old Hwy 99, 0.7 mi SW of Sims exit, 6.9 mi S of Castella NO. 355 FORT CROOK (SITE OF) - Established July I, 1857 by Lieutenant George Crook for protection of the immigrants and settlers, Fort Crook was later commanded by Captain John W. Gardner and Captain McGregor. The boundaries of the fort were set at one mile in every direction from the flagpole. Abandoned June 1, 1869.
Location: SE corner of McArthur Rd (County A -19) and Soldier Mtn Dr 2 mi NW of Glenburn NO. 377 PIONEER BABY'S GRAVE - Charles, infant son of George and Helena Cohn Brownstein of Red Bluff, died December 14, 1864. He was buried near land established by the Shasta Hebrew Congregation as a Jewish cemetery in 1857, one of the earliest such cemeteries in the region. Since there was no Jewish burial ground in Red Bluff, Charles' parents made the arduous journey to Shasta to lay their baby to rest. Concern for the fate of the grave led to the rerouting of Highway 299 in 1923.
Location: 0.75 mi W of Shasta on State Hwy 299
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: REDDING NO. 379 FORT READING - Fort Reading, established on May 26, 1852 by Second Lieutenant E. N. Davis, Co. E, 2nd Infantry on the orders of Lieutenant Colonel George M. Wright, was the first and largest fort in Northern California. It was named in honor of Pierson Barton Reading and stood in a clearing of 10 acres. The fort was abandoned in June 1867.
Location: 0.6 mi E of intersection of Deschutes and Dersch Rds, 6 mi NE of Anderson NO. 483 FATHER RINALDI'S FOUNDATION OF 1856 - In the summer of 1853 Archbishop Alemany of San Francisco sent Father Florian Schwenninger to take over the mission of Shasta County. In the later part of 1853 a small wooden church was built. In 1855 Father Schwenninger moved over to Weaverville and Shasta's new priest, Father Raphael Rinaldi, decided to build a structure of cut stone to replace the small wooden church that had served since 1853. In 1857 the cornerstone of the church was laid, but for some reason its walls never rose, the foundation can still be seen (1963).
Location: NW corner of intersection of Red Bluff Rd and Crocker Alley, Shasta
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: REDDING NO. 519 BELL'S BRIDGE - Erected in 1851 by J. J. Bell, this was an important toll bridge on the road from Shasta City to Tehama. Bell's Mansion, erected in 1859 on Clear Creek, was a favorite stopping place for miners on their way to the Shasta, Trinity, and Siskiyou gold fields.
Location: SW corner of old Hwy 99 and Clear Creek Rd, Redding NO. 555 LOCKHART FERRY - Established by Samuel Lockhart in 1856 as a link in the first wagon road from Yreka to Red Bluff, the Lockhart Ferry crossed below the confluence of the Fall and Pit Rivers near this spot. After a massacre in December 1856, the ferry was reestablished in 1857 below Fall River Falls.
Location: On State Hwy 299 (P.M. 91.3), NW of Long St, 0.3 mi W of Fall River Mills NO. 58 OLD CALIFORNIA-OREGON ROAD - This marks the location of the main artery of travel used by pioneers between the Trinity River and the northern mines of California and Oregon.
Location: NW corner of Hwy 99 (P.M. 7.12) and Spring Gulch Rd, 1.7 mi N of Anderson NO. 759 SITE OF FIRST SCHOOL IN FALL RIVER VALLEY - In 1868, the first school in Fall River Valley was built near this spot. The windowless building was of log construction and measured 20 feet by 30 feet. About 1870 the first sawmill in the valley was built at Dana, and lumber was obtained to put a floor in the schoolhouse and build school desks.
Location: On State Hwy 299 (P.M. 99.0), 0.4 mi W of Lassen Co line, 3.6 mi E of McArthur NO. 77 OLD TOWN OF SHASTA - Founded in 1849 as Reading's Springs, the town was named Shasta June 8, 1850. It was the second county seat for Shasta County, 1851-1888, and the metropolis of northern California during the 1850s. Here, until 1861, the road ended and the Oregon pack trail began. It is the home of the Western Star Lodge No. 2, F. & A.M., whose charter was brought across the plains in the Peter Lassen party of 1848. In 1851, Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff, pioneer physician and Shasta's first and only alcalde, built his home. The Shasta Courier was founded in 1851. The entire business section of Shasta was destroyed by fire in 1853.
Location: Shasta State Historic Park, State Hwy 299, NW corner of Main Stand Trinity Alley, Shasta NO. 78 CLEAR CREEK - Five miles up the creek, at Reading's Bar, is the site of the discovery of gold by Major Pierson B. Reading and his Indian laborers in 1848.
Location: Old Hwy 99 and Canyon Rd, S Redding
See Also: Statewide Historical Landmarks listed by County
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This file last modified on: Friday, October 15, 2004.
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