Dayton, Lassen County

Thomas J. French. Courtesy of Elburna McClelland
This was a wide spot in the road better known as Mapes Ranch, near Litchfield. In 1868, Thomas French and Andrew Litch formed a partnership and purchased the Shaffer Brothers ranch, hence the origin of the name for a nearby school and mountain. On January 27, 1873 the Dayton Post Office opened Thomas French as the first and only postmaster. Litch at the same time opened a small store that the Shaffer’s had previously operated. The post office closed on January 18, 1875, but that was not the only change on the horizon. Later that year French and Litch dissolved their partnership.


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