Poison Lake Revisited

Poison Lake
Poison Lake, 1916
I originally posted this back on March 27, 2015 and it received a number of comments. The original post: A shallow lake with water that was found to be unfit to drink by the emigrants on the Lassen Trail. The travelers also found that Lassen’s Trail was not “fit” for travel either. In 1916, it was part of the Honey Lake Valley Irrigation District’s scheme to tap into this and other lakes and small streams, to transport it all the way to the east side of Honey Lake for reclamation purposes.

On October 21, 2015 Jake Martin an archaeologist for the Eagle Lake Ranger District wrote: I use your Lassen County Almanac all the time to supplement my report writing with historical information! In the past I have run across an interesting note about the etymology of Poison Lake. This was found within the journal of Gorham Gates Kimball who was driving sheep to Idaho [in 1865], annotated by Edward N. Wentworth. It mentioned that Poison Lake ‘was so named from the effect of the bites of small red spiders which frequented the surface of the water.’ Apparently, merely washing your face and hands was enough to receive bites and experience red inflammation.

Unfortunately, my copy of that sheep drive has no reference to Poison Lake. It does make reference to being attacked by horse flies along Pine Creek.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *