Bank of Lassen County

Bank of Lassen County
Bank of Lassen County at Main and Gay Streets

Established in 1892, it was Lassen County’s first financial institution. Wells Fargo operated infrequently, mainly during the 1870s and 1880s, in Bieber and Susanville, but their services were limited.  During the late 1800s, Susanville’s Jewish merchants, such as Marcus Nathan, David Knoch and William Greehn, lent money to those in need and the loan was secured usually by a property mortgage.  It was a wide array of citizens who saw the need for a bank, including the aforementioned merchants. Its first office location, was unique, located in the Pioneer, a local saloon established in 1863, and still in existence today. It was simple logic, as Susanville’s business district was prone to devastating fires, and the saloon owned the largest fire proof safe in town.

John Cahlan
John Cahlan, President of the Bank of Lassen County in his office.

In 1912, with the railroad arriving to Susanville, it would bring tremendous growth to the region. The bank would need larger quarters and it purchased the Oakes & Philbrook furniture store located on the corner of Main and South Gay Street. In 1933, the board of directors agreed to a merger with the Bank of America. Unlike other financial institutions of the era, the Bank of Lassen County was in sound condition. However, the board thought that a larger institution like the Bank of America could provide more services to the community.

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