Jacks Valley

Jacks Valley, 1921
The cement water trough at Jacks Valley, 1921

In 1865, John C. Wright located on the abandoned homestead of Thomas Pearson, who had perished in a snowstorm on New Years Day 1865. Wright as known locally was Coyote Jack, and hence the name of Jacks Valley. In 1869, he left for parts unknown. By 1880, this had become a crossroads for travelers as five different roads converged in the valley. Frank Fluery took advantage of the opportunity provided by this unique junction and established a saloon. In 1884, as one of Fluery’s patrons noted: “. . . for ten cents he will give you enough to make you happy to cause you to forget all your trials, troubles and tribulations for a time.” In 1889, Fluery sold to A. J. Conklin who operated the saloon for a number of years. In 1907, Conklin ventured into the lumber business and built a sawmill that had a daily capacity of 15,000 board feet. In 1920, Conklin sold the sawmill to William Johnson. Johnson operated the mill for three years and then sold to the Red River Lumber Company who immediately closed it. In August 1926, a forest fire ravaged the region that encompassed some 20,000 acres. The following year, the Red River Lumber Company established logging Camp 70 to salvage the burnt timber. This was one of that Company’s earliest truck logging camps. While those enterprises have long since faded into oblivion, a cement water trough remains and is still a recognized feature to travelers. In 1913, Thomas Hill and the County of Lassen constructed the water trough. For early motorists, it was a wonderful blessing, a source of water for overheated automobiles making the trip up Antelope Grade.  For the next 80 years it was popular stop to drink the water and take a break, though it appears the water line has been disconnected. The trough is located ten miles north of Susanville on Highway 139. To learn more about other places throughout Lassen County see the Lassen County Almanac.

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