Pit River
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 10:43AM
Jo Giessner

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.~

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