Category Archives: History

North Street, Susanville

Did you ever notice that North Street runs in an east-west direction? It does not make sense, until you go way back when Susanville was first surveyed. There you find the answer to this perplexing issue. You see, North Street was most northern street in the town. The same thing happened in the 1920s with an adjoining subdivision to the south, in which South Street became the most southern street.

North Street, Susanville
Looking east on North Street from Weatherlow during the 1938 flood. Courtesy of Betty Barry Deal

In addition, when North Street was laid out, it ended at Weatherlow Street. It was not until 1910 when it was extended to connect with Halltown to the east.

Carlton Goodrich

Goodrich Barn
The old Goodrich barn as it appeared in the 1920s

In 1861, Carlton Goodrich settled at Mountain Meadows and would become one of the largest property owners there, as his ranch totaled over 7,000 acres. He located his ranch house just west where the highway crosses Goodrich Creek, approximately across from where the old chimney stands. It became known as Mountain House and was a popular stop for weary travelers. In April 1875, Sylvester Daniels paid Goodrich a visit while touring the region and wrote, “I love these mountain folks. No aristocracy among them.” When Goodrich died in 1886, due to estate issues and the subsequent sale to John Crouch, the popular establishment closed. When the Red River Lumber Company established its Westwood operation, they transformed the old Goodrich ranch into a dairy.


Susanville Logging

Susanville Logging
“Tunney” Zunino, Susanville Logging, 1951

In honor of my father’s birthday, this post will be brief. He began his logging career working at Camp Harvey. His next venture was with his brother James, and they formed Purdy Brothers Logging. This grew into a larger outfit known as Susanville Logging. Circumstances beyond his control saw that company dissolved in the early 1960s. The next re-incarnation was L&M Logging. Just some random related photographs for your enjoyment. Continue reading Susanville Logging

Brand Project

The interior wall at the Pioneer courtesy of Lassen Ale Works

Last summer while having dinner at the Lassen Ale Works, nee the Pioneer, one of my companions remarked in a philosophical manner that each brand represents someone dreams, whether fulfilled or not. For several months the topic would surface, when we were at that establishment and I, of course, would enlighten said companion on any given brand. Continue reading Brand Project

Byers County

Byers' Store
Byers’ old Baxter Creek general store that was later moved his Tule ranch and operated by his nephew, Jim McClelland, May 1975

Many people may not realize but the original proposed name for Lassen County, was Byers County. So who was Byers, and why was he to be honored? In 1858, James Davis Byers (1825-1902) purchased some property along Baxter Creek near Janesville. However, he remained a Quincy resident for sometime. In February 1863, Byers served as a Plumas County Deputy Sheriff, and played a significant role in the Sagebrush War. The final result of that conflict led to the creation of Lassen County the following year. Plumas County Assemblyman Robert A. Clark introduced the legislation to create the new county. Clark proposed to name it Byers County, but Byers declined. Byers suggested that it should be named after Peter Lassen, and thus the Lassen name was applied to the new county.

More about Byers in a later post, though by 1880 he was one of the ten wealthiest people in Lassen County.

Old Lucy

Old Lucy
Old Lucy

On September 29, 1929 Old Lucy a colorful character on the streets of Susanville passed away, purportedly at the age of 125. While she best known as Old Lucy, she also had another Anglo name, Sally Norman. Dubbed a “picturesque” Native American of the era, she was a familiar sight as she ambled about Susanville, bundled up in numerous clothes, walking with the aid of a stick. People who knew her back in the 1870s considered her old back then. While her age was exaggerated when she died, documents placed her age at around 100.

Camp A – Fruit Growers

In the summer of 1920, Fruit Growers started their logging operations near McCoy Flat Reservoir, while their Susanville mill was still under construction. Since logging then, was seasonal in nature, they wanted to make sure they would have a steady supply of logs ready when the new mill would be placed into operation in the spring of 1921.

Camp A
Camp A, Fruit Growers Supply Company, 1921

Camp A was the first of ten railroad logging camps of Fruit Growers Lassen Operation. It opened on July 1, 1920. The operation was comparatively small, only logging 720 acres that season. On April 29, 1921 the first woods crews were dispatched by rail, where they encountered three foot of snow on the ground. The first item of business was to remove the snow from the railroad spurs, so that the timber fallers could start work. Within in a weeks’ time, logs were already being shipped to Susanville. In addition, a second camp, known as Camp B, opened three miles to the north of Camp A. Between the two camps, they housed over 600 men.

Tomorrow: The Chester Causeway

Roosevelt Pool

Roosevelt Pool
Remnants of Roosevelt Pool, February 21, 2015

It is only fitting to begin the daily post with some current and past history combined. In mid-February saw the demolition of one of Susanville’s notable landmarks, the Roosevelt Pool. It is part of the effort to build a new swimming pool adjacent to it. The pool it should be noted had set idle for nearly a decade when it was condemned in December 2004.

How the pool came to be is an interesting one. In 1912, the Lassen Weekly Mail announced that Lassen County had purchased some property near the proposed railroad depot site for a new hospital and cemetery. However, that was not the case. Yet, the county realized it had to seek a new location for its hospital and cemetery.

Continue reading Roosevelt Pool