In 1908, David Knoch, a pioneer merchant of Susanville, had this modest home constructed on the corner of Roop and Nevada Streets. With the exception of the Bunnell house on the corner of Roop and North Streets, the western frontage of that block had always been vacant. When Knoch opened up the property, three Queen Anne style homes were built shortly thereafter. After Knoch’s death in 1911, the house was sold to John T. Long. It would remain in that family for three generations, later the home of Long’s daughter, Maude Tombs, and Maude’s daughter, Nadene Wemple.
What a wonderful turnout for the Lassen County Courthouse Centennial Cemetery Tour. The graves visited were Howard Meylert (County Treasurer), Augustus “Cass” Hunsinger, (County Sheriff), Harry Burroughs (Superior Court Judge), Lowell Frost (Cemetery Sexton), Doctor Z.N. Spalding (County Superintendent of Schools), W.R. Harrison (District Attorney), Wright P. Hall (County Clerk), Thomas N. Long (Honorary), William D. Minckler (County Surveyor), Russell Brownell, (County Assessor) and Henry Clay Stockton, Supervisor, District One. Subscribers, of course, receive a copy of the narrative.
This spring I wrote about the pamphlet entitled Lucky Land of Lassen that was produced and distributed at the Panama Pacific International Exposition that was held in San Francisco during 1915. In July, I published the first of two installments concerning Eagle Lake. The first account focused on the lava beds and ice caves.
“For years it has been a favorite camping place for the people of this county, and in this respect its attractions are many. It is an ideal place for camping, boating and fishing. During the summer months there is little or no rain to annoy the camper and the nights are cool during even the hottest weather. Its dry, pure air is mixed with the breath of fragrant pine, and gives to the tired mortal a new lease on life. At the southeast corner of the lake is a long stretch of swimming beach and there is another one at Spalding, a new town recently laid out on the west side of Eagle Lake, just south of where Pine Creek flows into it. Both this stream and the lake are full of black bass, cat fish, white fish and salmon trout of a kind unlike any other on the coast. It goes without saying, that on a deep lake like this, surrounded by timber and steep bluffs the boating is fine during the summer months.”
What the heck, since a portion of my day will be doing a cemetery tour as part of the Lassen County Courthouse Centennial Celebration, for those interested I do have some Lassen Cemetery real estate for sale. Personally, I three contiguous plots, and the Maurino family has an individual plot on the market. It should be duly noted the County of Lassen sells plots at $1,000 each.
Many a former county official or courthouse employee holds a belief that the courthouse is haunted. This is especially true when one of those individuals work in the building on weekends. I can safely attest, one does hear a lot of strange noises during such occasion. I am not sure if this attributed to Fred Brunhouse. Brunhouse came to Lassen County in the early 1890s as a school teacher. In 1914, he was elected Lassen County Superintendent of Schools. In the fall of 1917, he began to have health problems, that was taking a toll on him mentally, as well as physically. At noon, on March 13, 1918, when the courthouse is usually vacant for lunch, he shot himself twice in his office. It was not until two hours later when County Surveyor Thad McKay found Brunhouse’s body. Brunhouse left a detailed note with instructions to carry on the operations of the Superintendent of Schools, as well as his personal affairs.
The September 12, 2017 issue of the Lassen County Times stated there will be a tour of the Pioneer Cemetery. I hate disappoint folks, but there is no Pioneer Cemetery. It is a figment of someone’s imagination. The tour is that of the Susanville Cemetery. The nearest so-named Pioneer Cemetery is located in Alturas.
There are plenty activities associated all day long on Saturday’s Lassen County Courthouse Centennial Celebration. The program is versatile, so you can partake in one or two activities or make an entire day of it, that is your discretion.
There will be only one cemetery tour. It will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the main entrance of the Susanville Cemetery at Court and Pine Streets. Those who plan to attend, I would appreciate a courtesy note, that allows for me to do the last minute logistics. Thanks.
This mountain, for those not familiar is located a short distance northeast of Westwood. In 1864, David Johnson (1815-1904), who was better known as “Peg leg”, came to California. While en-route to the Sacramento Valley, his wife, Martha, aged 35, died on October 12, 1864, at Devils Corral, Lassen County. Johnson transported her body to Mountain Meadows where he buried her, which is known as the small cemetery at the 101 Ranch.
Peg leg was known as an old time mountain man who spent his summers in this region and wintered with his family at Red Bluff. In March 1903, his son, John W. Johnson was granted guardianship of Peg leg, who had been declared insane by the Court. Peg leg had two daughters, Mrs. Elizabeth Howard and Mrs. Mary Heckle. John had filed a request to sell the Mountain Meadows property for $800. The sisters contested the sale, as they cited the land was worth at least $1,400. The court approved John’s petition. Peg leg’s property was sold to W.C. Lucas and J.A. Virden for $800. On April 5, 1904, David “Peg Leg” Johnson died at the Napa Asylum for the Insane. His family brought his remains to Mountain Meadows in June and interred them next to his wife, Martha, and their twenty-nine year old son, Ralph, who died in 1884.
To add a little intrigue to the Lassen County Centennial Tour was the determination of selection of who is featured and who is not. Each individual, of course, has a unique tale. The county supervisor selected, while seated on the board, voted to give the contract for the construction of the first courthouse to his close friend, and that is just the beginning. These are the kind of anecdotes I have an unearthed through many decades of research. As I have mentioned before I am only doing this tour once. Do not even dare to ask for a private tour, if you value your mental health.