The History of Amedee and Honey Lake
By Tim I. Purdy
7×10; 66 pages, illustrated;
This classic work was Purdy’s humble beginnings. As mentioned elsewhere, about “Buster” McKissick’s exploits, he was also a talented teamster, and Amedee gave him a wonderful place to showcase those skills.
In 1881, Lewis W. Brubeck, grandfather of famed jazz musician Dave Brubeck, located next to a group of hot springs on the east side of Honey Lake.
In 1890, the Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad extended its line north to Brubeck’s and transformed the latter into the commercial hub of Northeastern California, to be named Amedee. It became an overnight boomtown, boasting two hotels, a commercial center, mineral baths and more. The town went into a slump in 1900, when the railroad extended its line north. By 1907, Amedee was in the midst of a revival with the dry farming experience attracting numerous homesteaders to the area. In 1912, it was serviced by another railroad, the Fernely & Lassen. However, the good times did not last long, and by the 1920s, the town was nearly abandoned.
Honey Lake is a remnant of the ancient inland sea known as Lake Lahontan that once covered Northwestern Nevada and portions of Northeastern California. Honey Lake is a playa body of water, at times of drought the lake dries up. When the lake is full it has served many purposes, from one large ice-skating rink, commercial boating enterprises, and of course, its water has been used from reclamation purposes.