Tag Archives: Red River Lumber Company

Westwood’s People’s Church

People's Church
People’s Church, circa 1919.

In the spring of 1917, Fletcher Walker brought up the topic that Westwood was in need of a house of worship with his father, T.B. and wrote: “We have come to a time when it seems inadvisable to put off further the building of a working church. The Sunday school had 255 last Sunday and the condition of the school in one of the old cook houses is such that the congestion prevents efficient work.” Continue reading Westwood’s People’s Church

Control Burns

Bunnell’s Resort, Big Meadows. Courtesy of Philip S. Hall

While my Red River series covers a tremendous amount of material on the Red River Lumber Company, there were some topics were not addressed. In 1938, the topic of controlled burns was being discussed, as the company had done it in its earliest years until Clinton Walker’s departure in 1913. Below is an excerpt of a 1938 memo Clinton wrote to the Board and the experience of a control burn at Lake Almanor. Continue reading Control Burns

August Topics

Camp 38
Camp 38, Red River Lumber Company, 1922. Courtesy of R.S. Pershing

Due to a variety of issues, such as the Dodge fire, the proposed listing for August has undergone numerous changes. First and foremost, the paid subscribers requests receive priority. As soon as I finish those topics such as Susanville’s Bordellos, the R.J. Scott affair, Susanville Coca Cola Bottling Works and the Secret Valley Paiutes, I will take care of the other requests, such as McClelland Ranch which has been moved from August 21 to September 29. In the meantime, enjoy the surprises.

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Forthcoming Posts

Camp 38
Camp 38, Red River Lumber Company

Here is a glimpse of forthcoming posts from July 1 to July 15.

Murrer’s Upper Meadow 7/1/15
Westwood Millpond 7/2/15
Murray Dunham 7/3/15
Leon Bly 7/4/15
Upper Smoke Creek 7/5/15
Camp Bunyan 7/6/15
Susanville Reporter 7/7/15
Black Rock Toll Road 7/8/15
Steward House 7/9/15
World War I Living Memorial 7/10/15
Drakesbad 7/11/15
Janesville Flour Mill 7/12/15
Eagle Lake Bass 7/13/15
Brand Project Update 7/14/15
Jurgen Jensen Family 7/15/15

Order of Camels

B.R. Zimmerman was a popular Susanville bar owner for many years. In 1919, he converted his famed Owl Saloon into a produce store.

Order of Camels was a fraternal organization opposed to prohibition. The camel was an ideal symbol as it could go for long spells without a drink. As we know they did not succeed in stopping prohibition. In a peculiar move, a local chapter was organized on June 10, 1920, nearly a year after prohibition took effect.

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Lassen’s Most Influential Person

The Fernley & Lassen Railroad under construction, February 1914.

On January 29, 1912 a contract was signed in San Francisco that would forever change Lassen County. On that historic date, T.B. Walker signed an agreement with the Southern Pacific for the construction of the Fernley & Lassen Railroad.

T.B. Walker with his need for a railroad transformed Lassen County in countless ways. It brought an era prosperity that has seen before or since. The huge influx of population provided a huge market for the local farmers and ranchers. Take for instance, there was not a single dairy, by 1920 there fifteen.

Of course, if opened the door to the timber industry, and transformed Susanville in a major lumber manufacturing center. What was thought with sustained yield and other forestry practices it was believed that it would remain the dominant industry for well over a hundred years if not more. Within fifty years, the writing was on the wall, and Lassen County’s citizens sought a new industry—prisons.

In future posts we will explore those exciting times, as well as T.B. Walker.

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Garfield Oates

Masonic Hall
Westwood Masonic Hall

Garfield Oates began his career as a mechanical engineer with Diamond Iron Works in Minneapolis. In the fall of 1912 he was sent to Westwood to supervise the construction of Red River’s sawmill, as it was designed by Diamond Iron Works, who supplied most of the machinery. After the completion of the mill, Red River offered him a position of resident engineer which he accepted. Oates designed many of the landmark buildings of Westwood including the Auditorium, Masonic Hall and Theater. He was very active in community and served many years as the president of the Westwood Auto which was a defacto Chamber of Commerce for Red River. After all, Red River did not need a chamber, since it was company town, so there was no need to attract businesses to locate there. Yet the Auto Club promoted Red River products. He died in 1934 after a four day bout with a gall bladder attack.

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Clear Creek

Clear Creek
Clear Creek as it appeared in 1899.

The idyllic community of Clear Creek has a long history before it took on a new life in the 1920s by the Red River Lumber Company. It was first settled in 1872 by Henry “Hank” Landt who migrated back and forth between Big Meadows (Lake Almanor). Landt wore many “hats” from being a resort operator, fisherman, fur trader and sawmill operator. On August 5, 1875 he filed for thee water rights to Clear Creek to protect the development. the trout fishing ponds that he had established. In 1890, Landt sold the property to Orman Folsom and moved to Susanville. of Folsom never did anything with the property, it was an investment, like so many others had. In 1909, Folsom sold to for Thomas B. Walker, of the Red River Lumber Company for $6,500

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