Tag Archives: Politics

The Shinn Family

Shinn family plot, Susanville Cemetery, November 19, 2015
Shinn family plot, Susanville Cemetery, November 19, 2015

In my previous post about the Shinn Ranch, I promised a follow up concerning the children of Oliver & Louisa Shinn.

James Oliver Shinn, the eldest child pursued a career in newspaper business. He first gained experience working for Susanville’s Lassen Advocate.  Along with his brother, Al, they launched the Mountain Review on November 12, 1879. The newspaper continued until his untimely death the following summer. Continue reading The Shinn Family

Election Season – 1910

Emerson’s calling card.

While we have heard a great deal about the presidential race, soon the local political races will be upon us. My archives contains a wide variety of material, including campaign memorabilia. In 1910, Charlie Emerson was in a heated race to retain the office of Sheriff of Lassen County. His calling card was rather unique and very interesting. Below, is what appeared on the reverse side. Continue reading Election Season – 1910

Roop vs. Worley Mountain

FGS barn
The old Fruit Growers barn, June 2, 2015, with the mountain in question. in the background.

Asa M. Fairfield lamented that the only item named after Susanville’s founder, Isaac Roop, was a street. Incidentally, Roop himself named that street when the town was plotted. Fairfield idolized  Roop. If Fairfield and Roop had been Roman Catholic, he would had petitioned the Vatican to make Roop a saint. Continue reading Roop vs. Worley Mountain

Westwood’s Deportation – Continued

Westwood,, 1931
Westwood,, 1931

The county wanted to oblige, but it had no funds. They deferred to take any action and turned the matter over to the federal immigration officials. J.C. Borden of the Immigration Bureau was brought in to investigate the situation. What he found on his arrival was that of the forty-five applicants only a handful were eligible to receive aid to pay for their return to Mexico. Yet, the issue was also moot, as Borden noted, because all the Mexicans had gone back to work. He informed the Board, should the issue arise again, that under a federal ruling any alien who had been in the United States for three years and becomes indigent can be returned to his native land with the cost borne by the federal government. Continue reading Westwood’s Deportation – Continued

Westwood’s Deportation of Immigrants

Westwood's Old Town, home of many of its immigrant workforce. Courtesy of Hank Martinez
Westwood’s Old Town, home of many of its immigrant workforce. Courtesy of Hank Martinez

One of the more unusual annals in Red River’s history was deportation. Red River hired a large percentage of foreigners whether it be Scandinavians, Italians or Mexicans. With the downturn in the lumber market, the company was forced to layoff some of its workers. If they thought that the layoff was temporary, they allowed the affected worker to remain. By 1930, however, Red River sought alternatives, as they could no longer bear the financial burden. Continue reading Westwood’s Deportation of Immigrants

Lassen County Courthouse

Lassen County Courthouse
The old courthouse block as it appeared around 1912.

In June 1915, Lassen County voters approved a $125,000 bond measure to build a new courthouse, to replace the old wooden constructed in 1867. Since it was deemed to use the existing site, the old one would need to be moved, while the new one was constructed. So in September 1915, the courthouse was put on rollers and moved fifteen feet to the property line along Lassen Street. It would remain in place there and used until the new courthouse was completed, mainly for storage, and the county offices found temporary housing in the Lassen County Jail.

In November 1916, the county advertised for bids for the sale of the old courthouse in anticipation of moving into the new facility. Plenty of people inspected the building. The county did not know when the building would be available. In January 1917, the county received two bids for the structure one from Sierra Packing Company for $50 and the other from Charlie Emerson for $60. The county rejected both and decided to auction it off. When that event would happen no one knew. There were delays in moving into the new building, one of the big obstacles was that of the cost of furniture. During the first week in April moving into the new courthouse began in earnest.

On April 28, 1917, the auction was held with George Bennett’s winning bid of $85. Bennett immediately sold it at a higher undisclosed amount to Dan Armstrong who tore down the building and used it for scrap lumber.

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Honey Lake Valley & the Civil War

Tanner Ranch
Tanner Ranch, with Skedaddle Mountain in the background

The far west was certainly not immune to the various political/social impacts of the nation’s Civil War.

In future posts we will be exploring numerous events and conflicts that transpired locally influenced by the Civil War.

Take for instance, there was once a district in the region known as the Honey Lake Valley known as the Tule Confederacy, as large contigent of settlers were southern sympathizers. Yet, by 1900, the term had been shortened to the Tules. In the last few generations this term, too, has faded away. Some may also heard the region known as Seven Bridges.

Lastly, as a final remnant is Skedaddle Mountain. It was so named by a term the southerners of the Civil War used to “flee.”

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Never Sweats

Unionville, 1880. Courtesy of Nevada Historical Society

An obscure mining term of the early 1860s. To be a Never Sweat was considered to be a non-conformist. In Nevada, for instance, one could hold an interest in a mining claim and not work it. One could wait for others to prove the claim. Should the prospects be favorable, the Never Sweat could recover his interest by paying an advance on the accumulated costs. In 1865, Nevada passed an “Act for the Encouragement of Mining.” That change in laws abolished the practice of a Never Sweat and the term faded into oblivion, with the exception of the bestowment on the Honey Lakers. Continue reading Never Sweats

Atlas Fredonyer

Fredonyer Summit
Ira and James Purdy posing at Fredonyer Summit, Christmas Eve, 1930

A lot has been written about Atlas Fredonyer early activities in the region. Among other things he filed a land claim in what would later become Susanville, since that town’s founder neglected to do so.

In 1862, Fredonyer was found guilty and sent to prison of a sexual assault charge involving his fifteen year old step-daughter, Sally. Many were of the opinion that Fredonyer did not commit a crime. A petition was circulated and California Governor Stanford pardoned Fredonyer the following year.

After his pardon, Fredonyer seemed to have disappeared, as he never returned back to this region. A few years ago, I finally found out what became of him. He surfaced in a most unusual way in 1880 in San Francisco. Fredonyer it should be noted used the title of “Doctor” to what extent of medical training he had, is not clear.  At this time he was suffering from bowel blockage. He attempted perform his own colonoscopy, which a bottle, which got lodged in the colon.  The heavy set Fredonyer was finally taken to St. Mary’s hospital. A colostomy was performed to remove the bottle.  He did not recover from the procedure and died in San Francisco on August 10, 1880.

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