Rancho San Buenaventura
Friday, December 14, 2012 at 10:22AM
Jo Giessner

1844 December 22-San Buenaventura -26,632 acres located in Shasta County the most northern Mexican Land Grant established in California granted to Pierson B. Reading by Manuel Micheltorena. The grant was located along the west bank of the Sacramento River from Cottonwood Creek on the south to Salt Creek above Redding on the north..~

1849 October 13, Gloucester Telegraph (Gloucester, Maine) - Major P. B. Reading, whose name is identified with the earliest Anglo Saxon explorations of California, has recently returned from a trip into the interesting region of Trinity River. He started from the Sacramento [river] about the middle of June, traveled up Clear Creek, and crossed the ridge dividing the waters of the Sacramento from the streams flowing into the ocean, by the only practicable route. His camp on this ridge was one night above the snow line. Trinity River was found to possess auriferous sands, and as the party followed up the stream, the ore was found in great abundance. They averaged for the few days remaining there about $10. each, per day.~

1851 December, George McKinstry, Jr. letter to Edward Kern in Philadelphia:  " . . .Pierson B. Reading in on his farm raising wheat and pumpkins in abundance--I camped on his rancho some six weeks last summer. He was the Whig candidate for Governor but could not make it. It was said his friendship with Captain Sutter cost him the Squatter votes. He has been wounded twice in Bear-Hunts since you left--shot in the hand two years ago and broke his leg badly two months ago. Next time it will be his head if he doesn't quit. He plans to go to Philadelphia on the 1st of April next and marry; about time, I think--squaws and niggers won't do. Old Snyder and Sam Hensley both married. Bidwell too damn prosperous to speak of. . . "

1852 March 27, Samuel J. Hensley Testimony in United States Land Office:  "In February 1844, I was on the head of the Sacramento River rafting logs down the river. I saw this place and recommended it to Mr. Reading. He asked me to give him such boundaries as I would take for myself if I wished to obtain it. I did so, and gave him the boundaries commencing at the mouth of Mud Creek, thence down the Sacramento River to the mouth of Cottonwood Creek, following the east bluff of said creek one league, thence northerly to Mud Creek, thence down Mud Creek to the point of beginning."

"Major Reading took possession in 1844. I spent 10 days with him on the place, looking out a suitable location for fields and buildings. He decided on a place and left a Frenchman by the name of Julian in charge to build a house and keep possession."

"He placed horses on the place and afterward a quantity of cattle. The Frenchman built a house and corral. It was afterwards burned down by the Indians. Julian was later killed by the Indians."

"In 1847, after the Mexican War, Major Reading went to the ranch with horses and cattle, built a house and put some 40 acres under cultivation with fruit trees and grape vines growing."

1854 April 28, Shasta Courier (Shasta City, CA) - A steamboat has made a trip up to Major Reading's Ranch, just south of Clear Creek and they claim that with the removal of a few rocks in the canyon, it will be passable to make regular trips this far.~

1854 August 22, Daily Placer Times and Transcript (San Francisco, California) -SHASTA PEACHES - The Shasta Courier says, of some peaches presented by Major Reading, "they are the product of trees three years old, and in respect both to appearance and flavor, are certainly equal to any specimens of this fruit that we have ever seen."~

1855 June 28, California Farmer & Journal of Useful Science (Sacramento, California) - Casuality - We regret to learn, says the Shasta Courier, that Major P.B. Reading was thrown from his horse a few days since and badly hurt one of his ribs having been broken by the fall. We are happy to state, however, that although his hurt is exceedingly severe, yet it is not at all dangerous.~

1855 October, Major Reading made visit to Washington D.C. on business regarding the title to the land. While there he met Fannie Washington.~

1856 January 11, United States Supreme Court approved P. B. Reading's title to Mexican Land Grant - Rancho san Buenaventura.~

1856 February 8, California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences (Sacramento, California) - The Supreme Court of the United States has confirmed the title of Major P.B. Reading to his immense ranch, on the Upper Sacramento.~

1856 March 13, Pierson B. Reading and Fannie Washington became husband and wife.~

1856 May 10, Shasta Republican (Shasta City, CA) Major Reading and his bride have arrived at his home in Shasta County.~

1857 January 17, Patent Date to  P. B. Reading for Rancho San Buenaventura. Main watercourses:  Sacramento River and Cottonwood Creek.~

1857 June 18, San Francisco Bulletin - BIRTH - At Buenaventura, Shasta Co., June 1st, the wife of Major P.B. Reading, of a daughter.~

1860 September 28, California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences (San Francisco, California) - Major P. B. Reading informs the Shasta Courier that he has finished thrashing his grain. His wheat yielded forty-five bushels to the acre, and his barley seventy bushels to the acre - the barley weighing fifty-five pounds to the bushel. These crops were produced on land which has been under cultivation for the past thirteen years - Sacramento River bottom-land.~

1861 August 14, San Francisco Bulletin - BIRTH - At Buena Ventura ranch, Shasta County, August 5th, the wife of Major P.B. Reading, of a son.~

1868 May 29, San Francisco Bulletin - Death of P.B. Reading - We learn that Major P.B. Reading, one of the oldest and best known American citizens of California, died at his residence in Shasta county this morning at 3 o'clock.

Major Reading had been a resident of California nearly a quarter of a century, and has been identified with the settlement and cultivation of the upper Sacramento country, where he has owned and improved one of the finest ranches in the State. He came here first as a hunter and trapper, and in that capacity left Sutter's Fort, the present site of Sacramento in the spring of 1845, with thirty men, to trap for otter and beaver along the streams of the district now known as Trinity county. This party was probably the first band of white men who ever explored that rugged region. The principal stream they encountered was given the name of Trinity, which it has ever since borne, in the belief that it emptied into Trinidad Bay as laid down in the Old Spanish charts. Beaver and Otter were quite plentiful on the Trinity streams and along the headwaters of the Sacramento as late as 1850, and some of the old Canadian trappers sought them even so recently as 1851.

Reading returned to the Trinity when gold was discovered in 1848. with a party of 60 Indians whom like nearly all the old rancheros then in the State he employed to help him in mining. This party not only extracted gold in the river banks, but they found it in the gulches and creeks in the vicinity of the present town of Shasta, which locality was known as Reading's Springs and was the scene of one of the principal mining rushes in the summer of 1849.

Since 1850 Major Reading has resided on his ranch on the upper Sacramento and has been known to thousands by his urbane and hospitable manners. He had some prominence as a member of the Whig party at one time and we think was several times nominated for office though not an office seeker. In 1851 he was the Whig candidate for Governor against John Bigler, and thousands of old Whigs still assert that he was elected, and only prevented from taking the office by the sharp practice of throwing out the vote of a precinct near the Oregon line on the pretense that it was in Oregon, although the same vote was afterwards admitted to decide the seat of a Democratic Assemblyman. After the war began his Southern proclivities led him into the Democratic party.

He was a man of gentlemanly and honorable traits and useful life. He leaves a wife and children.~

1868 June 2, Quincy Whig (Quincy, Illinois) - Mr. P. B. Reading, one of the earliest American settlers in California, where he has resided for the last twenty-five years, died in Shasta county on the 29th inst. In 1851 he came within a few votes of being elected Governor on the Whig Ticket.~

1883 October 20, Real Estate Transfer G. C. Frisbie to A. Barnes, 10 1/2 acres Reading Grant; $920.~

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