Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Monday, November 19, 2012
Gone, but not forgotten!
Located on the northwest corner of Main and Miner Streets, Yreka, CA
Photo: Courtesy of Yreka Preservation
In 1851 while Yreka was in its early infancy, Jerome Churchill arrived at the “flats” and erected a general merchandise store in a tent on what is now the Northwest corner of Miner and Main. Almost everything constructed during that time was temporary -- merchants stayed in business as long as the miners came and money was to be made. Unfortunately Churchill’s tent, according to research, burned twice during the first few years, so in 1855 he built a permanent structure from brick for his store on the corner of Main and Miner. In 1871 the “great conflagration” happened and the building was burned out. One third of Yreka burned that fateful day in July. The building was repaired from the walls and continued to be home to a general merchandise store for a number of years.
It is not known when the general merchandise store was moved elsewhere, but for several years the building was home to at least two or three different saloons. It housed the Last Chance Saloon, (not to be confused with the long established Last Chance Saloon previously in neighboring Hornbrook) and later the Branch Saloon (later renamed the Bella Union Saloon). It is roughly estimated that the building was home to the saloons between 1890 and 1915.
In 1919 a newspaper article said that the Electric Supply Company was busy moving into the building and that the back half of the building would become home to the California-Oregon Power Company (COPCO) for a repair shop. It was only two years later that the California-Oregon Power Company purchased the building from Churchill and occupied the entire structure. [If you have a copy of the book, Yreka, Images of America you can view a portion of this building as it appeared when owned by the power company on page 20.]
In 1933 the power company was getting prepared to replace the building with a newer more modern one that would be two stories high and sport a full basement. For several reasons this never materialized and the offices were moved. For a number of years COPCO was at home in the DeWitt & Peters Building (the current Elks Building) at the corner of Miner and North Oregon Streets.
In 1934 major changes were happening in Yreka. The State of California decided there was a definite need to widen Main Street a full twenty feet from city limit to city limit. Main Street at the time served as the State Highway 99 and the traffic had increased considerably from former days. To accommodate the new requirements twenty feet was slashed from property fronting Main Street. In some blocks the entire twenty feet was taken from one side only, at other places it was half on one side and half on the other. The State wanted a straight shot through town.
Once the construction was finished, the Lot 1, Block 28 at the northwest corner of Main and Miner was an empty lot. The building had been razed and the J. P. Churchill Building was gone forever. The current building located at this spot was completed in 1937. Today this corner is home to the Miner Street Sports Bar.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Below are interesting tidbits:
· In the film a scene was filmed at the Ft. Jones Community Hall and the building was turned into the Benteen Community Hospital.
· Rodeo scenes were shot at Pleasure Park Area in Etna and local residents dressed up in 1930s style clothing and became part of the rodeo crowd.
· The Gillis Mansion on the corner of North Oregon and Yama Streets was used for interior scenes. The home (in the movie) belonged to the “evil” cattle baron (Chuck Connors). The filming was done during daylight hours, but the windows were draped with black curtains on the outside to simulate nighttime.
· The “first voice” one hears when the movie begins is the voice of Ron Lillard. Ron a local man, was the manager of the Siskiyou Golden Fair at the time. During the opening credits he is heard as a country-western disc jockey on a car radio.
· Some of the places (as listed in 1978) to look for in the film include: Lake Siskiyou, the former Siskiyou Stockyards, Little Shasta’s Johnson Ranch, Edgewood’s Gragnani Ranch, the town of Callahan as the town of Benteen, the Park Motel in Yreka and the City Hall at Fort Jones. Also the line shack at the Ben Brazie Ranch, mountain scenes at the Fred Burton Ranch (Forest House Ranch), party scenes at the Gillis Mansion, (then the Gordon Dunlap Home) and a kitchen scene at the Roland Dexter home in Montague.
Note: Information was obtained from a file in the Meamber Collection at Yreka Preservation. The Meamber's assisted the filmmaker in providing historical information about the Depression Era and about Siskiyou County and Yreka for this film.
Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2010. This article, written by Claudia East, was recently published in the monthly newsletter, Echoes, by Yreka Preservation.