A - Lists

Mexican Rule Governors:  1836-1842, Juan B. Alvarado; 1842-1845, Manuel Micheltorena; 1845-1846, Pio Pico.~

1846, Sacramento Valley men at Bear Flag:  E Merritt, R Semple, William Fallon, William B. Ide, H. L. Ford, G. P. Swift, Samuel Neal, William Potter, Sergeant Gibson, W.M. Scott, James Gibbs, H. Sanders, P. Storm.~

1850, First five Governors for California:  Burnett, McDougal, Bigler, Johnson, Weller.~

1879, Second Constitutional Convention (1878-1879) attendees from Website Counties:

Butte:  Marion Biggs, Biggs Station, born Missouri, age 55, Farmer, Democrat, 3rd District; Augustus H. Chapman, Chico, born New York, 51, Lumber Dealer, Republican, Plumas/Lassen/Butte; Mark R. C. Pullman, Cherokee,  54, Mining Company, Democrat, Butte; Josiah Boucher, Chico, born Pennsylvania, 59, Farmer (Dayton), Republican, Butte.

Colusa:  Benjamin B. Glascock, Spring Valley, born Missouri, 35, Farmer, Democrat, Colusa.

Del Norte:  James E. Murphy, Crescent City, born Maine, 32, Lawyer, Democrat, Del Norte.

Humboldt:  James N. Barton, Ferndale, born Ohio, 48 Farmer, Democrat, Mendocino/Humboldt/Del Norte; Wilbur F. Huestis, Eureka, born Virginia, 42, Legal Clerk, Republican, 3rd District; William J. Sweasey, Eureka, born England, 73, Merchant, Independent, Humboldt.

Lassen:  Erza P. Soule, Susanville, born Ohio, 51, Milling, Republican, Plumas/Lassen.

Mendocino:  Ferdinand O. Townsend, Ukiah, born New York, 33, Farmer, Democrat, Mendocino.

Shasta:  Alexander R. Andrews, Shasta City, born Kentucky, 49, Lawyer, Democrat, Trinity/Shasta; David C. Stevenson, Millville, born Ohio, 57, Merchant, Republican, Siskiyou/Modoc/Trinity/Shasta.

Siskiyou:  Jehu Berry, Yreka, born Ohio, 52, Lawyer, Democrat, Siskiyou/Modoc.

Tehama:  Henry C. Wilson, Tehama City, born Kentucky, 51, Farmer, Democrat, Tehama.

Trinity:  Wiley J. Tinnin, Weaverville, born Mississippi, 49, Merchant, Democrat, 3rd District.~



The name California designated a utopia of gold, pearls and beautiful black women several decades before some navigator applied it to a point in what is now Lower California. In 1569 the great cartographer Mercator placed the name on the peninsula which we now call Lower California; from there the name spread north. - Erwin G. Gudde, 1949

1846 June 26, Morning News (New London, Connecticut) - It will be remembered that there are two Montereys in Mexico, one on the Pacific, in Upper California, the other one on the Rio del Tigre, near the Rio Grande - Bangor Courier

As there are but two Montereys, and one of them is in Upper California, how can there be two in Mexico?~

1849 November 23, Richmond Whig (Richmond, Virginia) -

"Dr. Semple, the President of the California Convention, is seven feet high."

The above is circulating through the papers, North and South. Like other accounts from California, it is exaggerated, unless he has grown some five inches since he was thirty years of age. The last time we saw him (some twelve years since) he was 6 feet 7 inches - He was then upwards of thirty years of age. We presume he has not grown much since.

He had a brother, (who died 10 years since) whom "T.F. Marshall once told us was second to no man he had ever known in intellectual strength. He was 6 feet 9 inches. He had, besides, some four or five other brothers averaging from 6 feet 3 to 6-9. Senator Semple of Illinois, was the lowest of the family, and he was 6 feet, 2 or 3 inches.

This family was raised in Burke's county, Kentucky - away off in the back woods. Their father (the only brother of our father who left male descendants) was for many years a member of the Virginia Legislature. When a young man he emigrated to Kentucky, where he raised a family of the tallest boys we have ever seen. - Fredericksburg News~

1852 February 3, Daily Union (Washington DC) - The State capital question has been so settled as to authorize the next legislative session to be held at Vallejo.~

1855 October 29, Daily Placer Times and Transcript (San Francisco, CA) - One of the most gigantic of the water works in our State, is the Clear Creek Ditch in Shasta county. It will be completed in about ten days. Of it the Shasta Courier says:

The ditch was commenced about the 1st of March 1855 - is forty-two miles in length from the had, near the Tower House, to Middletown - has about ten miles of side ditching in addition, and is now at the end of eight months, within ten or fifteen days of completion.

Along the line of the ditch there are three flumes of an aggregate length of 1720 feet. The first, the Clear Creek Flume is 620 feet long and 46 feet above the water. The next, over Whisky Creek is 650 feet long and 65 feet wide. The last, which spans the upper Salt Creek, is 420 feet in length and 50 feet in height. Each of these flumes is 5 1/2 feet wide, and three feet high and supported by tresses placed 16 1/2 feet apart, the lower bents being constructed with five and the upper bents with three uprights - the whole being of timbers one foot square and well braced.

Near Middle-town the company have constructed a Reservoir, capable of containing a body of water covering fifteen acres to a depth of eight feet. The most remarkable portion of this gigantic work, however, is the Tunnel which is at a section of the main trunk about three miles distant from Shasta in a southerly direction. This Tunnel is drilled through a solid rock - is about 460 feet in length, 5 1/2 feet high and 5 feet in width, of arch shape, and occupied in its completion two sets of hands at either end, night and day, for a period of three months.~

1857 March 7, San Jose - The San Jose Pioneer Beet Sugar Mfg. Co. was organized here today, with capitalization of 500 shares at $1,000. each. So far subscriptions have been taken for 160 shares.~

 1900 April 17, Anaconda Standard - Chrome ore has been a California production for 40 years. It is mainly produced in Tehama, Shasta and San Luis Obispo counties. Only ore carrying over 50 per cent is worth working. It is about $10. per ton in San Francisco and is shipped round the Horn to the East, where it competes with duty free chrome from Russia, Turkey and the black lake district in Canada.~

1910 December 15, Riverside Independent Enterprise (Riveside, CA)- Corning, Cal, Dec 14 - New York capitalists, said to be affiliated with the Morgan interests, have bonded approximately 65,000 acres of land in southern Tehama and northern Glenn counties acquiring thereby 16,000 acres for a reservoir in the basin of Dry or Little Stony creek a valuable dam site and 50,000 of the 150,000 acres that are susceptible to irrigation between Orland and Corning and the foothills at the west.~


California Counties

Did you know? The bill set forth in 1850 as California first talked of subdividing into counties had 25 and named a bit differently.

San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Branciforte, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Mount Diablo, Marin, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo, Mendocino, Sacramento, Coloma, Sutter, Butte, Yuba, Colusi, Shasta, Trinity, Calaveras, Tuolomne, and Mariposa.

Instead, on 15 February 1850 the legislature passed an act creating 27 counties.

San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Marin, Sonoma, Solano, Yolo, Mendocino, Sacramento, Sutter, Butte, Yuba, Colusi, Shasta, Trinity, Calaveras, Tuolomne, Mariposa, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Napa, San Joaquin, and Santa Cruz.


California Fair - Sixth Annual

1859 September, Sacramento Daily Union - Sixth Annual Fair of the State Agricultural Society 


Native Wines - "Sainsevain Brothers send also a fine lot of their table wines and Sparkling California."

California Glass, Pickles, Catsup, etc. - "Baker & Cutting, San Francisco - A special feature in this display are some gherkin bottles, blown in San Francisco, the first native glass manufacture that has yet appeared; they are very creditable specimens, but susceptible of improvement in color and texture; a  stand filled from top to bottom with almost every conceivable variety of pickles and catsups, is also a worthy show of native manufacture; several kinds of vinegar are exhibited, together with champagne cider, stencil ink, etc. etc."

Shingle Machines - "Made in Wisconsin; agent and exhibitor, L. Bishop, San Francisco. It is a bed, seven feet in diameter, with five bolt holes, in which the shingle bolts are placed; it revolves horizontally, and the shingles are cut with the grain by a circular, running horizontally, and secured to a mamstrel. It will cut 40,000 shingles in ten hours, and will average, steady work, 25,000 to 30,000 shingles per day. The patentee is K. Freeman. The machine is not in operation, some objection being made by the Fair Managers to its running."

"Next in order we must enumerate the beautiful Durham stock entered by R. J. Walsh, of Stony Creek, Colusa County. The stalls occupied by these animals have been grand centers of attraction, good judges of stock being lavish in their praise of the fine points exhibited. Every one who passes seems to be struck with their sleek appearance, evident docility and noble bearing. They must be seen to be appreciated, and will alone well repay a visit to the Cattle Grounds. They are a benefit to the State and a credit to their owner Mr. Walsh."


California First Brands Registered 

The California Department of Food and Agriculture, Livestock Identification website has a list of the First Brands Registered in Each County in California. There is also a list of the Cattle Brands of California Missions. I extracted the information for the counties on the H&H website.

Colusa - Daniel Griswold - 1857

Del Norte - Henry Haley - 1877

Glenn - Warren Green - 1901

Lassen - Thomas Watson - 1864

Humboldt - R. M. Williams - 1855

Modoc - John Caldwell - 1874

Plumas - R. A. Fairchilds - 1854

Shasta - Thomas Asbury & Bros - 1860

Siskiyou - Samuel B. Jackson - 1852

Tehama - P. W. Hayes - 1856

Trinity - James Hoadley - 1862


California Fishing & Hatcheries

1858 March 22Lowell Daily Citizen and News - The California Farmer says a fisherman with a single net, in 28 days, took from the Eel River 16,000 salmon. At Smith River 500 were taken in 30 days. At Rogue River, in Oregon, this noble fish is more plentiful than in Connecticut in olden times.~

1878 January 29San Francisco Bulletin - Catfish are being shipped to Virginia City, Nevada, from the sloughs of the Sacramento River.~

1907 December 18, Evening Tribune (San Diego, CA) - Redding, Cal, Dec 18 - The three United States fisheries at Baird, Battle Creek and Mill Creek in Shasta and Tehama counties have taken 75,000,000 salmon eggs in the season now closed. Three hundred thousand were shipped today from Baird in this county to Buenos Ayres, Argentine republic. They will be sent first to London and thence to South America and will be five weeks in transit.~

1929 April 21Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) - ". . .The output of the California fish hatcheries for 1928 includes approximately 52,000,000 trout and 27,000,000 salmon. California operates 25 hatcheries and 12 egg taking stations, its work being confined almost wholly to trout and salmon."~


California Mountain: Lassen Peak 

Did you know that as early as 1836 the mountain was mapped as Roger's Peak? In 1851, Scholfield's map called it Mt. St. Joseph, and in 1855 and 1857 maps designated the formation as Lassen's Butte. By 1879, Peterman's map called the mountain, Mount Lassen. The "official" name is Lassen Peak as of 1915.~

1938 Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, United States Government Printing Office:  Events of Historical Importance

1820 - Arguello exploring party first to record and name Lassen Peak (St. Joseph's Mountain).

1850-51 - Last lava flow from Cinder Cone.

1864 - Helen Brodt, first white woman to climb Lassen Peak; made the ascent with Major Reading. Lake Helen named after Helen Brodt.

1906 - Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone National Monuments set aside May 6 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

1914 May 30 - First known eruption of Lassen Peak since coming of white man.

1915 May 19 and 22 - Two major eruptions of Lassen Peak occurred on these dates and resulted in the devastation of several miles of fine timber and forest land.

1916 - Lassen Volcanic National Park created by act of Congress.

1921- Lassen Peak ceased to erupt and subsided into a state of quiescence.

1925 - Active development of park began. Lassen Peak Loop Highway started.

1931 - Lassen Peak Loop Highway completed. Three-day dedication celebration held in park.~



California Names

From the Historical-Onomatological Record, names on the Northern California land for the counties covered by this website. The names are the current geographical terms of importance. The dates indicate when each name or its original form came into existance.

About 1800:   Point St. George (1792); Trinidad Bay (1775); Cape Mendocino (1587); Point Gorda (1775); Point Delgada (1775) and Point Arena (1794) - all coastal locations. The original and present locations of Pt. Gorda and Pt. Delgada are not in agreement. The Pt. Arena name was actually current before 1794.

Names applied in the later Spanish period:  Smith River (1851); Siskiyou (1828); Klamath River (1826); Shasta (1814); Cascade Range (1823); Trinity (1845); Pit River (1820); Colusa (1824); Sacrmento River (1808); Feather River (1841); Cape Vizcaino (1811); Navarro River (1844).

New names applied in the early American period:  (to be continued)


California Northern Forts Established

Did you know Fort Far West was established in 1849? [sqaure bracketed info added by Jo]

May H. Southern listed the northern California forts beginning with Fort Reading in the May H. Southern Scrapbook - binder 1 in the Bogg's Collection at the Shasta County Library, Redding:

Fort Reading - 26 May 1852 [currently Hawes Ranch near Redding]

Fort Jones - 15 Oct 1852 [Scott Valley in Siskiyou County]

Fort Humboldt - 1853 [30 Jan 1853 on high cliff overlooking Humboldt Bay then in Bucksport, now Eureka]

Fort Crook - 1 Jul 1857 [Near Fall River Mills, Shasta County]

Fort Bidwell - 1866 [1865 named for John Bidwell, in Modoc County]

And, Norris A. Bleyhl in his 1984 publication -  Three Military Posts in Northeastern California 1849-1863 brings to our attention:

Fort Far West (Cantonment Far West) - 28 Sep 1849 - on the north bank of the Bear River in Yuba County

Camp Bidwell - 1 Aug 1863 - Chico area, Butte County, exact location unknown to Bleyhl


California Railroad(s)

1869 - 1887, The California and Oregon railroad began north from Marysville in October 1869. Trains ran to Chico, Butte County on 2 July 1870. Trains came into Tehama in Tehama County on 28 August 1871 and on into Red Bluff in December of 1871. Redding received her first train 1 September 1872. It wasn't until April 1883, that work resumed through Shasta County and on into the Siskiyou mountains. Trains were running to Dunsmuir in August 1886 and on north to Hornbrook by May 1887. The summit of the Siskiyous was crossed at an elevation of 4,135 feet. On 17 December 1887, the last spike was driven and Shasta County was linked up north and south by steel rails.~

1869 October, California and Oregon railroad building starts north from Marysville, Yuba, California.

1870 July 20, Trains run into Chico, Butte, California.~

1871 August 28,  Trains reach Tehama, Tehama, California.~

1871 December, Trains run as far as Red Bluff, Tehama, California.~

1872 September 1, Redding , Shasta, California received her first train.~

1881 December 3, Shasta Courier - The Scott Valley folks are preparing to build one or more wagon roads to intersect the line of railroad in Shasta Valley [Siskiyou County].

Parties recently down from the Pit and Fall River Valleys also inform us that the old Immigrant Road from Fort Crook up one of the forks of Fall River via the New York Ranch and Sheep Rock to the line of the railroad survey in Shasta Valley will be improved and undoubtedly become the route over which the freight of the two first-mentioned valleys will mainly pass when the railroad gets in operation.

It is stated that a good free road can be laid from Fall City and Burgettville over this route at a small expense and that the distance to the railroad will be less than 55 miles.~

1882 June 12, San Francisco Bulletin:  Railroad from Willows to Tehama - Work was commenced today to connect the northern branch of the Central Pacific Railroad, which now terminates at Willows, with Tehama and Shasta line of the road. This will make a short cut of thirty-seven miles across Colusa county, and when completed will shorten considerably the time necessary to travel between San Francisco and the northern counties. Shasta and San Francisco will then be in a direct line of communication by way of Tehama and Woodland, much more direct than the old way via Roseville Junction on the main line. There will then be a line of road up both sides of the Sacramento River as far as Tehama. It is thought that this road will be completed ready for through trains by next fall.~

1883 April, railroad work resumes through Shasta County and on to Siskiyous.~

1886 May, A turntable is being located at Gibson's, fifty miles above Redding. It is expected that cars will run through by the 1st of June.~

1887 July 30, North Star newspaper of Mott, Siskiyou, California - There is a force of 6,000 or 7,000 men at work on the Oregon and California grade [railroad], which is nearly completed [most are Chinese on the Siskiyou Mountains between Yreka and Ashland]. They are expected to reduce the staging to twelve miles by the 16th.~

1898 July 3, Philadelphia Inquirer, Redding, Cal., July 2 -  OFFICIALS SHAKEN UP, RAILROAD MEN IN A WRECK NEAR REDDING, CALIFORNIA - A special train carrying a number of officials of the Union Pacific Railroad has been wrecked between Smithson and Delta, about thirty-five miles north of Redding. Although receiving a severe shaking up none of the officials were injured. The engineer and firemen were both hurt, but not seriously. The engine jumped the track in a cut, but the coaches held to the rails. Traffic was delayed about four hours.~

1901 May 14, San Diego Union - The Denny-Bar Company [Siskiyou County] appealed to the commission [Railroad] to compel the Southern Pacific to make a refund of $453.69, for an alleged over-charge on sugar shipments to Gazelle. It was shown that the rate on sugar in carloads to Gazelle was $17.40 per ton, which until recently ws $2.10 in excess of the sum of the local rate to Redding added to the local rate from Redding to Gazelle, the rate to Redding having been cut to meet the competition of the Sacramento River boats. After the company demanded a refund, the railroad advanced the Redding rate. The commission decided to ask Vice President Stubbs for an explanation of the company's action in advancing competitive rates.~

1909 Nov 11, Oregonian (Portland, Oregon) - Redding, Cal, Nov 10th - Another cave-in on Tunnel No. 1 near Coram, where the wreck of last week occurred, has postponed the clearing of the Shasta Route of the Southern Pacific until next Saturday at the earliest. There is only one through train now running from here.~


California Recalled by Thomes & Toomes

1890 November 29, Themis (Sacramento, CA) - "I have just received the following information from Albert G. Toomes, now of Tehama, who formerly lived at Monterey and is well known in that town where he resided from 1842 to 1851" - -

I sat down with my old partner Thomes a few days ago and got talking of old times in California and all that sort of thing. It occurred to us to make a list of our ancient companions and the hard journey we made from Independence twenty-seven years ago and since our sandy hairs are getting gray, and we often remember those blessed old reminders of gay Monterey. Some claim that we were the first regular emigrants who ever started from the States to Californa and those who came before us dropped in by mere chance as old trappers, whalesman, and sailors from the lands and Boston ships.

Our party was divided in two companies who left Independence the 6th day of May 1841 and we got into California on the 10th of November of the same year. The first company was headed by Robert H. Thomes who crossed over by the way of Salt Lake, and the second was headed by William Workman who went by the way of Santa Fe and the middle route of Los Angeles and both got into the country about the same time.

We were all armed with rifles and mounted on horseback and had literally to smell our way every day of that long, hard journey of 176 days; but we arrived all safe and hearty, and nearly every one of the emigrant mentioned  have either died in the State or still reside here. But I never want to cross those hard deserts and big mountains again, except on railroad; and, you bet, I shall run over to old pike on the Fourth of July - 1870 car or may hop on those of 1869 - as I hate salt water. 

I have mentioned in sub-joined lists those of many "foreigners' then so-called who lived in California before my time; but several have escaped me, as I have never seen a proper list of the names of the first immigrations.

You know when Thomes and self got our ranchos up here from Micheltereno and Jimeno; this place was out of the world, and league farms to be had for the asking, but it is quite different now. The Indians once so numerous, are all gone and the rail cars will soon rush by our doors and land is worth $20. per acre.

The house we built for Governor Jimeno in 1845, was one of the best jobs we ever did in our lives, for the old gentleman not only paid us well, but got us our farms without any of the trouble others had. Here is the list of our old friends:

Pioneer Companies by the overland route of the Mary's, Ogden or Humboldt river in 1841 - in company no. 1 - Robert H. Thomes, now of Tehama, Mr Bartlett, Joseph Childs, Major Rickman, Talbot H. Green, Josiah Belden, of San Jose, Charles Weber, of Stockton, Henry Hubert, John Bidwell, of Chico, Charles Flugge, Mr. Barrett, Mr. Brolasky, Charles Hooper, Grove C. Cook, Benjamin Kelsey, Andrew Kelsey, Mr. Kelsey, all of Sonoma,  Mr. Henshaw, Green McMahon, Nelson McMahon, Mr. Patten,  Mr. Dawson and brother, Mr. Chandler, Michael Nye, Mr. Walton, Mr. Swartz, Mr. Jones, James Littlejohn.

In company No. 2 of 1841, William Workman, John Roland, and Benito D. Wilson of Los Angeles, Albert G. Toomes, of Tehama, William Knight, William Gordon, William Moore, Isaac Given, Mr. Pickman, Frank Given, Frederick Bachelor, Mr. Teabo, Frenchman, Wade Hampton, Dr. Meade, Dr. Gamble, Hiram Taylor, Mr. Lindsay, Col. McClure.

There were three or four others in these two companies whose names I have now forgotten, and many on the list are still living in the State.

We suffered great hardships, and got into very tight pinches for food and water, but we made up for it when we got among the fat beef and venison of California.

In the company which came across in 1843, were:  Major P.B. Reading, Major S.J. Hensley of San Jose, Major Jacob R. Snyder, of Sonoma. William Blackburn of Santa Cruz, James and John Williams, Isaac Williams, of Los Angeles, and two others whose names I have forgotten. This company crossed over the Pit River mountains and came down the Sacramento valley to Sutters Fort, and their history is better known than ours.

When I arrived on the coast, in 1841, I found living in different parts of the country the following old American and foreign settlers: 

In Los Angeles - John Temple, Abel Stearns, William Carpenter, Richard Locklin, Mr. Vignes, William Wolfskill, John J. Warner, Mr. Williams, and Stewart and Sam, two American colored men; and it really is a good thing to see a darkey once more as in old Missouri.

At Monterey - Thomas O. Larkin, David Spence, John B. R. Cooper, James Watson, William E. P. Hartnell, George Kinlock and wife. George Allen, James Stokes, William Watts, Ernest Romio, from Germany, William Foxson, Mr. McVicker, William Garney, James Meadows, and James McKinley.

At Santa Cruz - Isaac Graham, Henry Nail, Job F. Dye, now of Idaho, William G. Chard, Jacob Majors, Peter Lassen, John Sinclair, Dr. Dickey and several others I have forgotten.

At Yerba Buena or San Francisco - Mr. Ray and wife, of the Husdson Bay Company, Hickley & Spear, merchants, Teal & Titcomb, merchants, Sherreback & Voiget, of the hotel, William H. Davis and Daniel Sill - ____ Davis, blacksmith, _____ Andrews, carpenter,  Robert T. Ridley, John Coppinger Elias Grimes and Mr Johnson.

At Santa Barbara - David E. Hill, Lewis Burton, Ziba F. Branch, Isaac Sparks, A.B. Thompson, Thomas Robins, Nicholas A. Den and Alfred Robinsons.

At San Diego - William Shooks.

At Sonoma and the Bay - Jacob P Leese, Victor Proudon and George C. Yount of Napa.

W.D.M. Howard and Joseph P Thompson of San Francisco I believe were after my arrival one or two years besides these were W. A. Richardson of Saucelito, John Gilroy and David Littlejohn who had lived in the country many years and our well-known friend Captain John A. Sutter.

[the lists and names may be misspelled and jumbled as a result of the old newspaper copy.] ~


California Religious Denominations 

1859, According to the State Register and Year Book of Facts for California, 1859 - The 221 number of churches in California were the following:

Baptist = 40

Congregationalist = 13

Episcopal = 15

German Lutheran = 1

Hebrew = 5

Methodist = 58

Presbyterian O S = 8

Presbyterian N S = 12

Roman Catholic = 68

Unitarian = 1



California School Items

1870 February 3, Shasta Courier - A bill repealing the dog tax is pending in the legislature. We hope this county [Shasta] may be exempted from the repeal, as the revenue derived from tax on dogs goes tot he general school fund and amounts to about $600.00 per annum. We have heard no complaint against paying that tax in this county, and it benefits the schools materially.~

1886, The school facilities are good for so sparsely settled a country. Wherever the necessary number of children can be collected to form a district, a public school is established.

Religious services are held in the school buildings in absence of churches, and the intellectual and moral standing of the people is as good as can be found in any community with similar advantages. - from a promotional pamphlet pasted in a scrapbook and photocopied.~

1926 July 2, Evening Tribune,  Sacramento, July 2 - Announcement that six county school superintendents will retire from office at the end of their present terms was made today by Will C. Wood, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The retiring superintendents are:  S.M. Chaney, Glenn County; Roy Good, Mendocino County; Miss Irene Burns, Placer County; Mrs. Charlotte Cunningham, Shasta County; Miss Harriet S. Les, Yolo County, and Ira C, Landis, Riverside County.

"In practically every instance," declared Wood, "the superintendents are retiring because they cannot afford to continue serving under their present salaries. The average salary paid in the counties mentioned is only a little over $200 per month. The rural schools of California are losing the leadership of these very competent people. I hope the next legislature will make it possible for county superintendents to receive a living wage and thus continue their service to the schools."~

1939 February 21, San Diego Union, San Francisco, Feb 20 (AP) - Earl Warren, Attorney General, stated in an opinion today that Shasta Union High School District probably could not maintain successfully a court action to compel Pacific Construction Co. to provide school facilities for children of employees working on Shasta dam.

The opinion was requested by Lawrence W. Carr, Redding District Attorney, who said construction of this dam unit of Central Valley's project had "caused a great influx of people into Shasta County and a great increase in the number of students in the school district."

The opinion stated should a deficiency arise in school funds the question could be submitted to the courts to determine whether the children themselves could require the company to provide necessary school facilities.~


California Services

Found in the book, Sierra Crossing, First Roads to California by Thomas Frederick Howard -

1854, "California Stage Co., Office, Orleans Hotel, Second Street, Between J and K, Sacramento, J. Birch, President, Daily Concord Coaches, Leave the Orleans Hotel, Sacramento, carrying the U. S. Mail, vis:  Marysville and Shasta, Touching at Charley's Rancho, Bidwell's Rancho, Hamilton, Oak Grove, Clear Creek, Lawson's, Tehama, Campbell's Rancho, Red Bluffs, Cotton Wood Creek, One Horse Town, Middletown, Covertsburg, Shasta, Yreka and Pitt River Diggings. . ."

Spellings as on ad. The flyer also lists stops for Placerville, Coloma, and Mokelumne Hill and Sonora routes.~

1860, Wells, Fargo & Co. was aggressive in opening service for express mail and gold shipments from the beginning of the California gold rush. Toward the end of the 1850's, however, they experienced armed robberies that hurt the company's bottom line and reputation. They responded by hiring armed guards and paying lawmen to pursue the suspects.

Along with Angeles Road and Iowa Hill, Shasta and Trinity Center showed up on the Wells, Fargo & Co. profit and loss statement for their express department in 1860. Wells Fargo claimed almost $50,000. 00 in crime related expense that year.~

1888 October 12, San Francisco Bulletin, Washington, New Money Order Offices:  . . . Swazey, Shasta County; Tehama, Tehama County; Berryvale, Siskiyou County; Maxwell, Colusa County. . .~



California Stage Robber: Black Bart

Black Bart "Hits" in Shasta County:

25 October 1879, Black Bart performed his tenth robbery in the state on the Roseburg, Oregon-Yreka-Redding run, between Bass Station and Buckeye. This was a night robbery. Only a small amount was reported lost in the robbery of the Wells Fargo box, but an estimated fourteen hundred dollars was taken in cash from the mail pouches. Jim Smithson was the driver.

Two days later on 27 October 1879, Black Bart performed his eleventh robbery while in Shasta County on the Alturas-Redding stage road, twelve miles northeast of Millville near the Canyon House. An undetermined amount of money taken from express box and mail pouches. Bandit fled west toward Sacramento River and town of Red Bluff, fifty miles away. Ed Payne was the coach driver.

His 12th robbery was in Sonoma County, and then he hit again in Shasta County. 1 September 1880, on the Weaverville-Redding road near Last Chance Station, on Trinity Mountain. The bandit ordered stage driver Charley Creamer [sp] to throw down the express box and mail sacks, then unsuccessfully attempted to open an iron box attached to the stage while he held creamer at gun point beside his team. Wells Fargo's loss amounted to little more than one hundred dollars. Contents of the mail pouches unknown.

Robberies 14 and 15 were in Jackson County, Oregon; numbers 16 and 17 happened in Siskiyou County. Then he was back in Shasta County for numbers 18 and 19.

8 October 1881, Black Bart hit on the Yreka-Redding Road at Bass Hill, fourteen miles north of Redding, at midnight. He took advantage of bright moonlight to halt the stage and force the driver, Horace Williams, off the stage while he smashed the Wells Fargo box. Loss for Wells Fargo, $60.00.

11 October 1881, The Alturas to Redding Stage was being driven by Lewis Brewster. As Brewster was stopped at Montgomery Creek to make a harness repair, Black Bart approached and asked for the Wells Fargo express box. The loss was undisclosed.

Coming over from Plumas County where he made his 24th robbery, Black Bart again visited Bass Hill. Here he made his second holdup of driver Horace Williams, and his 25th in his career on 17 September 1882. Unknown amount from the mail pouches, but a mere 35 cents from the Wells Fargo Express!

It seems as though Charles Boles, alias Charles E. Bolton, alias Black Bart enjoyed robbing stages in Shasta County. He must have made more money than known as he took the time and risk to carry out six robberies in our area. - Information from Black Bart Boulevardier Bandit by George Hoeper, 1995.~

1967, Black Bart Rock near Willits in Mendocino County, is so named for the robbery of a mail stage here by the elusive road agent, "Black Bart,"a lone highwayman, traveling on foot, who robbed 27 coaches in the Sierra and Coast Range mountain country between 1875 and 1883. Always polite, fastidiously dressed in a linen duster and mask, he used to leave behind facetious rhymes signed 'Black Bart, Po-8," in mail and express boxes after he finished rifling them. A laundry mark on a handkerchief dropped near the scene of one robbery in Calaveras County eventually led pursuers to San Francisco, where "Black Bart" was discovered to be the highly respectable Mr. Charles C. Bolton, ostensibly a mining engineer who frequently made trips to the mines. A stay in San Quentin from 1883 to 1885 cut short his career. ~ Taken from California, A Guide to the Golden State, American Guide Series, Completely revised, 1967.~

1980, W. H. Hutchinson, a professor at Chico State when I was there, (I graduated in 1972), wrote a book entitled CALIFORNIA The Golden Shore by the Sundown Sea in 1980 and I was able to pick up a revised edition from 1984 in a used bookstore in Fort Bragg, California. I quote here, his words about the legendary stagecoach robber, Black Bart.

" Black Bart - who signed himself 'The P O 8,' in a truly awful pun - was one Charles E. Bolton, or Boles, who holds the distinction of staging the first successful stagecoach robbery in the state, and this not until the early 1870's. He was a mild-mannered little man of incredible endurance, who lived most of the time in San Francisco, enjoying its amenities, and only took to the road when his purse was becoming bare. He told his friends in the city, including members of its police force, that his absences were occasioned by having to look after his 'mining properties' in the mountains.

Over a span of years, he robbed about twenty-six stages, never killing anyone, never wounding anyone, never retaining ladies' purses, and always using an unloaded shotgun as his means of moral suasion. Legend holds that in each looted treasure box, he left a derisive bit of doggerel, or 'P O 8-try' (poetry). Wells Fargo, which bore the brunt of his extractions, has but two of these verses, and his reputation as a practicing poet seems to have been exaggerated. The following sample may support this premise:

'I've labored long and hard for bread

For honor and for riches

But on my corns too long you've trod

You fine-haired sons of bitches.'

Black Bart finally was apprehended because he dropped a handkerchief bearing a San Francisco laundry's mark.He had just stopped his last stage with the time honored shout of 'Throw down the box!' when he was shot in the rump by the rifle of a youngish rabbit hunter who was nearby. A hoary legend holds that Bart was released from prison on his promise not to commit any more crimes, including the writing of verse!'~


California Trails

1853 March 31, Sacramento Weekly Union  news from Shasta Courier  - A new trail, leading from French Gulch to Yreka, has been opened. This trail leads up Clear Creek to French Gulch, crosses the Trinity divide and strikes Trinity River at Sherman and Pendleton's ferry, about six miles below Varry's well known ranch.~



California-Oregon State Line

1852 January 24, Salem, Oregon Territory - The Oregon territorial legislature has asked that a survey be made to determine whether Shasta Butte City and neighboring country are in Oregon or California. If they lie within Oregon, they will add several thousand to the population.~

Note:  Yreka was known as Shasta Butte City.


Pit River

The name Pit River was derived from the the pits constructed by the Indians to catch game. An adding of an extra "t" was as insulting as the attempt of certain parties to change the name of Hat Creek to Poinsett. Joaquin Miller noted as an expert on the early names of the streams in northern California, declared "Pit" as the proper spelling.~

1859 October 14, Liberator, A telegram dated Yreka, 6th September, says George H. Dobbins is herewith informed, that on the 13th inst, the Pit River Rangers attacked a rancheria of Beaver Creek Indians numbering two hundred, seventy of whom were killed. Three of the Rangers were wounded.~

1860 September 4, San Francisco Bulletin- J. W. Chaffee was recently drowned in Pitt [Pit] River, near Lockhart's Ferry. The Shasta Courier says that a jury of citizens, in the absence of a coroner or justice, held an inquest upon the corpse, and found that deceased came to his death by drowning, while under the influence of liquor. There seems however, some mystery about the case, as complaint had been made that "Sam Lockhart" caused Chaffee's death. The local authorities were about to inquire into the matter.~

1880 May 8, San Francisco Bulletin - Says a Burney Valley correspondent of the Redding Independent:  Pit River is higher than ever before known; two spans of the Pitville bridge went down on the 5th and the water is almost up to the bridge at Fall City; it cannot stand if the river should rise one foot more. The people have weighted it down with rocks, but that will not amount to much.~

Did you know one of the more noticable chalk cliffs is located along Highway 299E near the Hat Creek and Pit River bridges. Carbon the community (so named for dark soil) and Albion School (so named for white chalk) were both located near here. According to the May H. Southern Scrapbook- binder 1- when the local Indians prepared their warpath attire, the white paint came from the chalk cliffs of the Pit River.~