Whitehead Slough – Lassen County

Whitehead Slough, near the old Whitehead Ranch. May 24, 2017

Once the Susan River flows past Standish it starts breaking up into various sloughs. Whitehead Slough was named for John Wesley Whitehead.  On September 10, 1886,  Whitehead, then a resident of Pyramid Lake, Nevada purchased 321 acres in the Tule District from Joseph D. & Sarah Smith for $3,000. In 1920, Whitehead retired and moved to Pacific Grove. On April 5, 1922, Whitehead sold his ranch to David and Royce Raker for $1,000.

Remnants of the Whitehead diversion dam. May 24, 2017

One final picture . . .

Whitehead Slough where it enters Honey Lake, 1984.


Clinton Walker’s Correspondence

Westwood, 1931

When Red River Lumber Company moved to California, its founder T.B. Walker, intention that this was to be his five sons operation: Gilbert, Willis, Clinton, Fletcher and Archie. Clinton, was at odds with his brother’s handling the affairs, and left the company in 1913, but was brought back into the fold during the company’s financial crisis of the 1930s.  The Minnesota Historical Society has a large collection of the company records and from time to time I will share some excerpts from the letters between the family members that provides some interesting insight in how the company operated. Continue reading Clinton Walker’s Correspondence

Milford Creamery Update

Lakeshore Creamery, Milford, 1903

Last month, I lost a dear friend David Wemple (1931-2017). While a contemporary of my mother, I had known David for forty years. The truth be known, I was probably still wearing diapers when I started researching.

Two years ago, I asked David, the story behind the Milford Creamery’s demise and he wrote:  “The main trouble with the creamery was too many bosses and too few laborers. They had to put a lot of money into both buildings, the creamery and the milking shed, that they built. This milking shed may still be standing. It could be that Joe, their father, helped monetarily with the venture. Anyway, the short of it is, the brothers simply didn’t get along that well. My great grandfather, Joseph C. Wemple was, according to Dad, [Claude Wemple] was generous to a fault and John, the oldest son told Dad on one occasion that it was not uncommon for Joe to have in excess of $10,000.00 in cash in his house. This was money from the flour mill located in Milford. I remember these mill stones. They were eventually broken up with a sledge hammer to rock up a spring with.”


Fairfield’s Pioneer History of Lassen County

As mentioned in yesterday’s post about Asa M. Fairfield, his epic tome on the early history of Lassen County was released in 1916. It is not the easiest read in the world. However, for the researcher and/or genealogist it is a true gem. Fairfield in his Forward states he did not begin his history until 1909, though he does also mention listening to the old timers while growing up. I mention this as he does cite several people who passed on way before 1909. Yet, there are people who have remarkable memories. I knew one such person, Philip S. Hall, who not only listened to all the banter around him growing up, but retained.

Fairfield’s History has been reprinted several times. It is still available and can be purchased locally at Margie’s Book Nook.


The Mural Tour

One of the panels on the LMUD building. December 26, 2016

It was my intention to conduct a Susanville Mural Tour today. However, due to other time constraints I have not had ample time to assemble the program. As I have previously mentioned that the tour not only gives background on each mural, but the building in which they adorn. For example, there is a bit of irony with the Purity Grocery mural on the LMUD building, since that building was constructed in 1940 for Safeway, Purity’s competitor. My goal now is sometime in July.


Eagle Lake Nature Programs

Pikes Point, Eagle Lake circa 1917. Courtesy of Wyn Wachhorst

Eagle Lake Nature Programs Presents “Snakes at the Lake with Dr. Amanda Sparkman,” Saturday, June 17, 7:00 p.m. Merrill Amphitheater, County Road A1, Eagle Lake, South Shore. (in the event of rain, event will be postponed or canceled).

Eagle Lake Nature Programs kicks off its 2017 Summer Programs with, “Snakes at the Lake with Dr. Amanda Sparkman.” Dr. Sparkman, of Westmont University in Santa Barbara, California, and currently doing field study at Eagle Lake, has been involved in researching Eagle Lake garter snakes since 2005, but the original study of these snakes began 40 years ago. “We’re interested in the ecology and evolution of these snakes, including how they’ve adapted their growth rates, reproduction, lifespan, and behavior to different habitats surrounding Eagle Lake, as well as how they are responding genetically, physiologically, and demographically to current environmental change.” This year it will be particularly interesting to see how or if the increased precipitation has affected the snakes at all. Continue reading Eagle Lake Nature Programs

Time Flies

The 1964 TR4 Triumph before the accident.

Just the other day, it was interesting to note that the Lassen Ale Works at the Pioneer celebrated its fifth anniversary.  Then I just realized that it was five years ago on June 15, 2012, that the Lassen County Fair Manager crashed into my parked Triumph. In addition, it was five years ago at this time when Lassen College Board of Trustees hired Dr. Marlon Hall, as the new president.

The aftermath.



The Summer Solstice Tour

Sunrise Chamber, 2015

Were you aware that the Belfast petroglyph site also serves as ancient observatory?  This event only occurs on the morning of the summer solstice when the sun enters a chamber highlighting a variety of glyphs, among other things. It is quite the sight to see.

sunrise chamber
The sunrise chamber.

Last year we had a small delegation that made the trek. This is an early morning excursion and I mean early as we gather at 5 a.m. to make the trek. In preparation attendees receive in advance John Rudolph’s paper, “An Ancient Solar Observatory.” If there is enough interest we can make the trip again this year. Please let me know. One final note the solstice occurs on Wednesday, June 21.

On Tuesday, June 20, I will send an email with all the details.  However, if it is overcast there is no sense in going.

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