Alpha & Terms

Entries in this Category "Sacramento River" are designated first by the terms:  Barge, Bridge, Creek, Dam, Ferry, Snag-Boat, Steamer. The articles are mostly associated with the river in the length from its origin to the city of Sacramento. Scroll through to enjoy!


Barge: "Governor Hayes"

1877 December 17, San Francisco Bulletin - The Colusa Sun of the 15th instant has the following concerning the sinking of the barge Governor Hayes in the Sacramento River:  Last Sunday morning the barge Governor Hayes, in tow of the steamer Dover, Captain Brewington, ran on a log at what the boatmen call 20-mile bend just below the Grand Island mills, and sunk. It seems that she made it over the log, but broke and went down, nose foremost, in 18 feet of water. She had on board 10,300 sacks of wheat, worth at Jacinto, $3 a sack, belonging to Dr. Glenn. Some 3,000 sacks were taken off the barge in a more or less damaged condition, and was sold at from 25 to 75 cents a sack. The barge has been raised, and will not be a total loss. The loss on the wheat is about $30,000. We learn that was fully insured. It seems that this log lies in a short bend of the river, where it cannot be avoided, and that it has given more or less of trouble to all the boats on the river. It was no one's business however, to remove it, although a small job, and so it remained. The Government ought certainly to give us a small appropriation towards keeping the river free from snags. If the Government will not, it would pay Colusa County to have a small amount of work done.~


Bridge:  Hale

1860 May 12, Shasta Courier - Proceeding of the board of Supervisors, Shasta County - Ferry license granted to John X. Hale to keep the toll bridge across the Sacramento on the Pit River Road at a point about one mile below H.C. Hartman's house, Sugarloaf Township.~


Bridge: Squaw Hill > Woodson

1921 October 22, Red Bluff Daily News - 90 Years Ago (2011) - Bordwell & Zimmerman, contractors for the Squaw Hill Bridge, now in the course of construction, are rushing work there with all possible speed, to avoid delays later from high water, it was stated today by County Surveyor W.F. Luning. The swig span pier has been completed.~


Creek: Gregory 

1908, In Shasta County, the Antler(s) Post Office was established 5 February 1908 from the Gregory Post Office that had been established in the location in 1900, after the Central Pacific Railroad built a station in 1898. The same location had served as the Smithson Stage Station in 1879.

The Gregory Hotel, 32 miles N of Redding and about 100 yards from the Sacramento River, built by James Franklin "Frank" Gregory (1863-1936), in 1901, became popular with hunters and fishermen. Before long, several sets of antlers adorned the walls, thus the name change to Antler(s) in 1908.

Frank Gregory was the first Postmaster for both Gregory and Antler(s), often assisted by his wife, Martha Ellen "Mattie" Nelson Greenwood Gregory (1856-1952). Mattie was also active as an operator for the Telephone Company of America.

There was Gregory Creek flowing 1.5 miles into the Sacramento River named for this family.

1914, The Antler Post Office closed on 15 January 1914 when the mail service for the area relocated 7 miles N to Bayles.~


Creek: Middle Creek

In 1899-1900, Waugh (of Waugh's Ferry and Hotel) was the post office for Middle Creek, a station on the Southern Pacific Railroad, three miles north of Redding. At one time Middle Creek was a prosperous mining camp, there being one hundred miners, or more, engaged in working the placers at the mouth of the creek and on the bars of the Sacramento River. There are yet several mines in the vicinity that are worked on a small scale. When the railroad was built, Middle Creek was made a station to accommodate the people of Shasta, and a depot and hotel were erected.

Andrew Cussick ran a saloon; Mrs. M. Cussick operated the hotel and was postmistress; P.M. Epperson was the agent for Southern Pacific Railroad and Wells Fargo; E.W. Richardson was a farmer and Frank W. Whipple a resident miner. - Shasta County Directory published 1900.~


Dam:  Shasta

1950 June 6, Omaha World Herald - Shasta Dam Nearly Ready for Business - The main structure of the California Central Valley Irrigation and Flood Control program is Shasta Dam. On June 17 [1950] it will release water for the first time when the dam is dedicated as part of the Shasta Centennial Ceremonies. The dam's spillway towers three times the height of Niagra Falls.~


Ferry > Bridge:  Ball's

William Ball, Proprietor

Ferry replaced by bridge in 1897.~


Ferry > Bridge:  Bend

1892, Established across the Sacramento River by Herbert Kraft with Jake Davis as the paid operator. After Davis, Went Goodridge took over operation for about 12 years. Then the County of Tehama took over until a bridge replaced the ferry in November 1932.

1932, Bend Bridge dedicated.


Ferry > Bridge:  Jelly's

See:  Jelly & Jelly's Ferry under Tehama County.


Ferry, Ballard > Bridge, Centennial

1874, Ballard Brothers, Curtis and Charles, were issued a license to build and operate a ferry and pontoon bridge across the Sacramento River at Red Bluff, at the foot of Pine Street. In operation in 1874 until completion of bridge in 1876.

1876, Centennial Bridge completed and ferry closed.

1876 November 17, Weekly Journal Miner - The Board of Supervisors of Tehama county, California, have done themselves an honor and the people a great service by bulding a substantial bridge across the Sacramento River, at the town of Red Bluff. It is a pleasure for people to pay taxes when they can see real benefits like that arising from it.~


Ferry:  Adams

1853, Adams Ferry

1861, Ferry License granted for Sacramento River to Adams in 1861. - Rosena Giles in A History of Shasta County California, 1949.~

1871, Adams Ferry has a Shasta County Post Office address of American Ranch which is 24 miles southeast of Shasta. Sacramento River crossing - W. J. Adams, hotel proprietor and general merchandise. S. Darrah was a lumber dealer at the location. - The Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1871-1873~


Ferry: Government 

1854, In Mansfield on the Condition of the Western Forts 1853-54 edited by Robert W. Frazer:

". . .There is a ferry over the Sacramento River eight miles to the northward [from Fort Reading], belonging to this department, that has been offered for sale, very properly."


Ferry:  King's

1880 March 16, San Francisco Bulletin -The Chico Enterprise says:  The stage running from this place to Colusa on Monday morning of last week was prevented from crossing the river at King's Ferry by the swamping of the ferryboat a short time before it reached there. The high wind lashed the water into fierce waves that came rolling down over the buoys and carried them away, and in a few minutes the ferryboat was full of water and sunk. The express and mail matter was sent over in a skiff.


Ferry:  Moon's

Ferryboat built and operated across the Sacramento River near today's Vina, Tehama County, California by William C. Moon.


Ferry:  Roycroft

1883 June 2, Shasta Courier -The Roycroft Ferry across the Sacramento River will meet a long-felt want and prove a benefit and accommodation to the Anderson, Cottonwood, Millville, Burney Valley, and Fall River country. The site selected is immediately below the mouth of Cow Creek where favorable landings are found.

The new wagon road from Millville to this ferry will be shorter than any other route travelled and avoid the crossing of any creek. It is thought by some that the new ferry will result in such marked benefits that it may be superseded in the near future by a free bridge at or near that point. Indeed, it is intimated that Red Bluff businessmen interested in property in the county stand ready to guarantee the construction of such bridge provided the results expected from the establishment of the ferry follow.~


Ferry: Immigrant, Wells > Bridge: Anderson Free Bridge

Originally called the Emmigrant or Immigrant Ferry, it was established in 1852 by Drury D. Harrill & Company (Samuel Francis, Charles Smith) on the Sacramento River for travelers using the Noble's Trail.

Francis and Smith sold their part to Captain A. S. Wells in 1853, and he became Harrill's partner. The ferry became the sole property of Wells in 1854, and became more known as the Wells Ferry. Frank Perry bought the business in 1881, but the name remained to most as Wells Ferry.

The newspapers reporting where to locate the free bridge in 1886, called the location Well's Ferry when the Board of Supervisors made the decision. When the bridge was completed and the ferry service discontinued, the name changed to Anderson Free Bridge.

Edna Saygrover writing in the 1962 SHS Covered Wagon, A Trip to Mount Lassen in 1903,   Leaving Redding in a four horse wagon:   ". .  . We reached the Anderson Free Bridge at noon where we had lunch. The 'Anderson Free Bridge' was so named because prior to the time the bridge was built everyone had to pay a toll to cross the Sacramento River on a ferry."


Ferry: Shaw, Davis, Reid > Bridge:  Diestelhorst

Perhaps the first ferry in Shasta County across the Sacramento River. By August 1851, it was referred to as "Old Shaw Ferry" owned and licenced by John Hull and Company. Located 2 miles below the mouth of Middle Creek where the Diestelhorst Bridge located in 1915.

This particular ferry had a series of owners or operators. In 1856, it is recorded that Major P. B. Reading sold 83 acres that included the landing on which Green's Ferry was operating to Gilman Davis. It then became known as the Davis Ferry until he sold the parcel to Gottlieb Diestelhorst in 1859.

Ed Reid licensed the ferry in 1860 and operated it from the Reid Brothers farm on the north side of the Sacramento River until 1915 when the Diestelhorst Bridge replaced ferry service.~~


Island:  Bloody

8 miles north of Bend between the Sacramento River and Battle Creek Shasta-Tehama Counties. Named on both Bend and Ball's Ferry quadrangles.

A source of much debate by locals and local historians.

David L. Durham, California's Geographic Names, 1998, cites:  "Samuel J. Hensley named the feature after he had an encounter with some Indians there in 1844 (Hoover, Rensch and Rensch, p.548)."

Here is an article by Rosena A. Giles, of the Shasta Historical Society,  published October 17, 1946, as a final installment for the story of Ball's Ferry:  "FREMONT SLAUGHTER OF INDIANS GAVE BLOODY ISLAND GRIM NAME - I have not spoken of Bloody Island lying on the opposite side of the river from Major Reading's grant. Since the history of Bloody Island and Battle Creek are part of Ball's Ferry history I must include them - they are woven in the same fabric.

When P. B. Reading and S. J. Hensley, who were a part of the Walker-Chiles party in 1843 who left the Missouri emigrant train at Fort Hall and came on their own through the Pit River country over an unknown route, reached Sutter's New Helvetia, and shortly were each employed. Reading as a clerk and Hensley to raft logs down the river. At that time Indians were in possession of all this country, the Wintuns on the west side of the river, a pleasure seeking, peaceful tribe.

In sharp contrast, the Nozas on the east side were violent trouble makers. Their tribal center was Bloody Island, as the Wintun's place of annual meeting from all over northern California was the north side of Cottonwood Creek. This placed them in close association as only the river divided them. The pleasure of the Nosas was to annoy the Wintuns, make trouble with them, with the men rafting on the river and with Reading's trappers. And, with any stranger, red or white, who came that way.

This continued from 1844 to 1846 when John C. Fremont made a historic sortie on the area north of Nozi (or Noza) creek, as Fremont marked it on his map of the area. From this battle which annihilated the Nozi Tribe, Hensley named the island Bloody Island; and the Nozi Creek became Battle Creek.

An oak tree for many years stood on the Wilcox property where Fremont's men camped and built a fire against the oak trunk. A hollow resulted from the burned side and the children played for years under the Fremont Oak before it broke on the pitiless axe of progress.

Nothing remains now of Ball's Ferry except the name. Ball's Ferry still clings to the river site; to the low grass-covered hill to the east and to the rich pasture lands to the west, to the bridge and the road that leads onto it.

Gone are the old families; the Halls, Balls, Gordons, Longs, Heatons, Winsells, Wrights, Giles, Charles and T.D. Goodman. Only the descendants of two families remain, the D. L. Govers and Elbert Wilcox, Jr. and family. Gone are  all the great men whose footings once indented the land:  Major Reading, Capt. Hensley, Capt, Sutter, Gen. Bidwell, Gen. Sherman, Peter Lassen, Joaquin Miller and John C. Fremont.

There is no trace now of the mill save the waters of the race that drop endlessly into the pit to find their way to the river. Nothing of the blacksmith shop, the store, except the bare excavation in the hillside of the homes, of the hotel. Even the beautiful hand hewn stones of the double fireplace are ignominiously hidden in the walls of somebody's cellar; the recreation hall was torn down and carted away for its lumber.

No, nothing remains except the deep, deep well with its cistern of sparkling cool water, and a few grave old lilacs that burst into glorious bloom at each recurring spring."~



Sacramento River

1844 - "Sutter's need (for wood) sent Samuel Hensley up the Sacramento in 1844 to cut and raft down logs for New Helvetia. This was the first attempt to tap the northern Sierra Nevada for timber and Hensley's Indian fight on this logging chance gave its name to Bloody Island." - W.H. Hutchinson, California Heritage A History of Northern California Lumbering (Also see:  Island:  Bloody)

1850 January 14, Sacramento City - Sacramento City Hit by Disastrous Flood - On the night of the 8th there was a great gale, accompanied by heavy rain. The next day the Sacramento River began to overflow. By the 10th the water had spread over a great part of the city. People and animals tried to reach higher ground.

". . . On an average the water rose six feet in the city, while the river was up 25 to 30 feet. Lumber is now selling for $220 to $225 a thousand feet for rebuilding."~

1850 - In the fall of the year, when the salmon were running, the Native Americans were observed building a dam or weir across the river at the upper end of the settlement that became Colusa to catch the fish. This caused the early teamsters to call the location Salmon Bend.~

1852 September 28, Daily Placer Times and Transcript (San Francisco, California) - The work of clearing the Sacramento, between Monroeville and Colusa, of snags, is nearly completed.~

1855 June 18, Shasta Courier - The Shasta Courier understands that the California Steam Navigation Company are having three of their boats so altered as to be able to run to Red Bluffs all summer. It is intended that they shall draw but 12 inches of water.~

1873 September 29, San Francisco Bulletin -The body of a man, aged apparently 40 years, name unknown, was found in the river one mile below Colusa, on Saturday evening. Thirty dollars in coin were found in one of the pockets.~

1874 January 26, San Francisco Bulletin (San Francisco, CA) The Sacramento River on Friday reached the highest figure for two years - 20 feet, 9 inches. At dark it had receded one inch, and probably will continue to fall until another rain storm or a "big thaw" occurs.~

1876 November 17, Weekly Journal Miner (Prescott, AZ) The Board of Supervisors of Tehama County, California, have done themselves an honor and the people a great service by building a substantial bridge across the Sacramento River at the town of Red Bluff. It is a pleasure for people to pay taxes when they can see real benefits like that arising from it.~

1881 April 11, San Francisco Bulletin, State News in Brief - There was a time when the passage of the steamboats as far up the river as Red Bluff attracted no particular attention, but now they are very rarely seen above the north line of Colusa. An extensive comment appears in the papers of that locality on the fact that a light draught stern-wheeler was seen last week at Squaw Hill, ten miles below Tehama.~

1884 May 10, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio) - ". . .Farley presented a concurrent resolution of the Legislature of California relative to appropriations already made by Congress for the improvement of the Sacramento river, but which according to the resolution the Secretary of War refuses to permit to be expended on the ground that the amount of debris constantly floating in the river makes an expenditure of money useless. The resolution urges the expenditure of money. Referred to the Committee on Commerce."~

1909 February 3, Salt Lake Telegram - Red Bluff, Cal. Feb 3 - The Sacramento River, swollen by the rains of this week, has reached the 30 feet 6 inches mark, two feet higher than ever before since a record has been kept. It is still rising.

The stream which is now cutting out a channel east of this town, has carried away over $25,000 worth of lumber and uprooted sycamore trees two feet in diameter. The large warehouses at the steamboat landing have been anchored to the shore by ropes. The engine room of a planing mill east of town is filled with water and the mill has shut down.

The east approach to the Southern Pacific bridge across the Sacramento River at Tehama has been carried away, impeding railroad traffic between San Francisco and Oregon. This was a long trestle, and its reconstruction will take considerable time. The Dibble Creek bridge, just north of Red Bluff, is in great danger.~

1909 July 24, San Diego Union, Associated Press, Red Bluff, Cal, July 23 - Three government surveyors began today the preliminary work on the great Iron Canyon reclamation project involving the construction of a dam across the Sacramento River midway between Red Bluff and Redding.

W.W. DeBeard will have charge of the canal below Red Bluff. G.S. Strout of the reservoir site and C.L. Weber of the office work.

The survey was ordered by Secretary of the Interior Garfield before he retired from office. When completed the work will place 120,000 acres of land in Tehama County under irrigation.~

1914 July 9, Duluth News-Tribune (Duluth, Minnesota) - Kennett, Cal. July 8th - AUTO SPEEDS DOWN SIDE OF MOUNTAIN - MACHINE LEAPS CLEAR ACROSS A FERRY BOAT INTO SACRAMENTO RIVER - ONE DROWNED - Mrs. Elizabeth Webber of Berkeley, Cal., was drowned late today at the end of a wild ride down a mountain side in an uncontrollable automobile which shot from the bank of the Sacramento River, leaped clear across a flat ferry boat and plunged unto the river.

With Mrs. Webber in the automobile were Z.K. Horton and his mother, Mrs. C.E. Horton. The Hortons swam ashore, but Mrs. Webber was carried down the rapids and drowned before the eyes of her companions.

The body of Mrs. Webber was not found until four hours after the accident by searchers at Keswick, 12 miles below.

Five thousand dollars in currency lies at the bottom of the river in the wrecked automobile.~