Ash Valley

Ash Valley School
Ash Valley School, as viewed from the cemetery, 2002.
Ash creek and valley were named by Adin G. McDowell who settled along its banks in 1869, establishing what became the town of Adin. Those not familiar with the valley it is located between Adin and Madeline. In 1869, Solomon Geller, one of the Madeline Plains first settlers, had the distinction of being Ash Valley’s first Anglo resident. By 1873, Geller had plenty of company with the arrival of Walter Briscoe, David Finnegan, Peter Hagan, George Sturdevant, Milbern Hill and Joseph Richardson, mostly bachelors as he was—a stigma the valley would carry for many years. Hagan received the distinction of being the first person buried there in 1878, and thus the Ash Valley Cemetery was established. These gentlemen would soon witness the arrival of the Bath and Fulstone families, whose descendants continue to ranch there.
In 1892, the Adin Argus correspondent provided the following glimpse of the conditions found at Ash Valley: “Farming in the Valley has been looked upon as unprofitable for years past but experience has taught us differently. Every old plow has got the rust of idleness knocked off and assumes a brightness equal to the owner’s ambition. The fact is, if a rancher can cut two tons of hay off one acre of land by plowing and sowing, it will surely cost less than to cut two acres of swamp land for one ton of hay and get a much poorer quality of hay. We would harvest lots of grain in our valley if a market could be had. Mr. Spooner has enough oats on hand at present to supply Lassen County for a year.
“Mr. Moll is waiting for favorable weather when he will commence to sow his wild oats for experiment. Mrs. Spooner is having an addition built to their residence and improvements in the shape of building will be lively soon. Mr. Moll will soon have a new one under headway, and if we could get lumber, there would be still more hammers in use. Mr. R. F. Comfort will have his house finished in a short time. There are more old bachelors in our Valley to the square inch than in any other part of the State, and still we don’t seem to catch on. But still we all wear a smile that denotes happiness and content and live to forget the past and look to the bright side of the future.
“Big Valley and especially Adin, ought to be proud of its neighbor, Ash Valley, it being the prettiest in the northern part of the State, corralled by one side by juniper capped hills and on the other by lofty pines for which the Sierras are widely noted. It furnishes the water to run their mills, trout for its angler’s good sport, water for stock and in fact, the best of society.”

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