Saturday, June 13, 2009
Photos copyright, Claudia East, 2008.
Located just a little more than 4 blocks from the National Historic District along Miner Street in Yreka sits a small and fairly hidden cabin at 646 North Street. Driving by one might easily miss this building because of the trees, bushes and greenery ~ and the once prominent sign that stands near the front door and at the curb is somewhat hidden under tree branches. The sign proudly announces that this is known as the first log house, built circa 1853. According to historical information the east portion of the cottage (near the sign and at the front door) is the oldest portion of the house. It was originally a small square room built of logs, typical of its time. At some point later in time the exterior logs were were covered with board and batten and it is said that the interior walls were plastered with a few logs still being exposed. In 1879 the cabin was enlarged with a kitchen, a bath and two bedrooms and the exterior was faced with clapboard siding.
In 1862 a man with the name of Thomas Campbell moved here with Sarah, his wife. Thomas was a miner and farm worker born in Ireland in 1826; while his wife, Sarah, born in Massachusetts in about 1836, was known as a woman noted for her kindness, and as a general nurse and midwife. The small log cabin came to be known as the "Auntie Campbell House".
One hundred years after this cabin was built, about 1953, the Wilcox family purchased the building and the home next door. The cabin was used as a guest house and they created a lovely yard between the two. There are still old fashioned rose bushes that bloom in the summer sunshine.
Historical information about this oldest house in Yreka was gleaned from a Historic Home Tour Brochure from the 1990's that was prepared by the Yreka Historic Preservation Heritage Committee.