Monday, December 8, 2008
Winter has arrived in Yreka. However, as of this writing during the first week of December, 2008 we have had little rain and no snow this winter. However, this is not always the case. Many years we have had considerable snow and often it arrives all at once!
The image of "snowballs" on trees in Yreka on the left is of a postcard mailed around 1930, and the image was likely taken a few years prior. It is believed that this is an image of Fourth Street near Miner, before it was "widened". The building on the right side is where Dave's Clock's are now along with Edward Jones that sits on the corner of Miner and Fourth. The structures on the left were torn down during the street renovation in the early 1930s.
This month in the Yreka City Newsletter (one finds the newsletter with their city utility bill...) they present interesting information about snow in Yreka obtained from the Siskiyou County Museum archives. There is an interesting photo in the newsletter from a snowstorm in the early 1900s of Miner Street. They present information about "snow shoveling" in the infamous 1901 snow storm that dumped 6 or 7 feet of snow within two days. Within a week, wages for shoveling snow went from $1 an hour to $2.50 an hour. These were incredible wages considering the 1901 yearly household income in the United States averaged $750 a year!
Many times when heavy snowfall has occurred all at once, it often is followed by heavy rains ~ and very quickly Yreka finds itself in the midst of a flood. The above mentioned 1901 heavy snow storm did just that and the ensuing rains flooded Yreka Creek and significant damage to the train station, railroad tracks, homes, and businesses came to our residents. If a copy of the 1976 Siskiyou Pioneer is in your home library one can view some of the devastation from the 1901 storm on pages 51, 29, and 27.
Just a few years ago, either in 2003 or 2004 we had a snowfall of 3 feet in a very short time. It brought mobility within town to a grinding halt. With our past history of snowfall and then rain, Yreka is sure to experience more of the same in the future.
Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2008