Tag Archives: Madeline Plains

Madeline Plains – Horne Ranch

Horne Ranch, 2003
Horne Ranch, 2003

In 1870, Frank Eben Horne became one of the first settlers of the Madeline Plains. Horne retired from his ranch in 1905 and turned it over to his sons. On March 28, 1917, Frank L. Horne, William R. Horne, and Arthur T. Horne, along with Raglan Tuttle and Grant M. Lorraine, formed the Horne Development Company. On April 27, 1927, the Farmers & Merchants National Bank of Reno, Nevada, foreclosed on the Horne Development Company for $38,791.11 and became the owners of the Horne Ranch. It should be duly the Glade Post Office was located there from 1908 to 1918.

In the 1990s, the ranch had a new lease on life when it was incorporated in R.C. Robert’s Spanish Springs development. This and other properties were made available to guests, whether their interest was equestrian pursuits, hunting, etc.

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Early day Ravendale. Courtesy of Dorothy Capezzoli
Early day Ravendale. Courtesy of Dorothy Capezzoli

It was the last of three towns established on the Madeline Plains.  It was reported that the end of February 1910,  that the new station of Ravendale  was rapidly being built and rumor had it that it was to become a division point for the NCO railroad.  It was also stated that J.H. Williams and G. Horton were surveying a town plat.  Whatever the case may be, it was not until  November 15, 1913, the official town plat of Ravendale, on lands owned by Jim Coe, was surveyed and recorded with the County. According to Madeline Plains historian, Don Garate, the name Coeville had been suggested for the new town, but Laura Coe already chosen a name—Ravendale.

By the way, in Susanville you can purchase Don Garate’s book Red Rock to Ravendale at Margie’s Book Nook.

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Madeline Plains

McKissick Ranch 2004
The old McKissick Ranch, Madeline Plains. 2004

This large mountain valley encompasses some 200,000 acres at an elevation of 5,200’. According to Gudde’s California Place Names, Gudde attributed the name to an emigrant girl, named Madeline, who was murdered by the Indians in the 1850s. Gudde’s source was that of H.T. Risdon who established a sawmill on Bayley Creek in 1912. What is rather peculiar is that the thoroughly researched historical works of Davis and Fairfield have no references to this murder. What is also interesting is that the name does not appear until 1854. In that year, Lt. E.G. Beckwith traversed the plains while exploring for a transcontinental railroad route. Beckwith entered the Madeline Plains via Smoke Creek Canyon and the east side of Observation Mountain. He named this the Madeline Pass. In all probability, Beckwith named the place for his daughter, Madeline Julia Beckwith, born January 25, 1853 at New London, Connecticut.

For further information on this historic account see the latest issue of the Northern California Traveler.

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Dodge Reservoir

A 1950s aerial of Dodge Reservoir.

With the Dodge Fire in the headlines, I moved this  post for today, which was scheduled for later in the month. As the post concerning wild horses initially scheduled for today will appear tomorrow.

In 1889, Albert L. Shinn formed the Union Land & Stock Company. Shinn proposed that the water from Red Rock Creek could provide irrigation for the entire eastern Madeline Plains. The reservoir was originally named Lake Lockett, for the Company’s Civil Engineer, H.M. Lockett. In the early 1890s, the Union Land & Stock Company started the irrigation project but eventually construction ceased because of lack of funds and other problems. On December 9, 1907, Henry C. Dodge acquired an option to buy the Union Land & Stock Company’s failed Red Rock irrigation system. In 1909, Dodge formed the Madeline Valley Land & Irrigation Company to undertake this enterprise. In the fall of 1909, the Company contracted with August and Alfred Anderson to build the system. In December 1909, Dodge Reservoir was completed. In 1912, Henry C. Dodge died during an altercation in Reno, Nevada. Dodge’s two sons, Carl and Dana, continued with the family enterprise on the eastern Madeline Plains. On January 14, 1949, Bernys M. Dodge, the agent for the Dodge Brothers, sold the Dodge Ranch and Reservoir to George and Jean Smith.

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Frank Heath

Frank Heath 1336

Many an interesting character has passed through Lassen County over the years. In early 1927, was World War I veteran Frank Heath. He was on a mission to ride horseback through every state of the Union on a single horse. He left Washington, D.C. on April 1, 1925 on his horse he named the Gypsy Queen. In all he would travel 11,523 miles and on November 14, 1927 arrived back in Washington, D.C. Continue reading Frank Heath