Wednesday, December 9, 2009
The Agricultural Hall viewed here once sat at the southeast corner of Center and Fourth Streets. Today the area is used as a parking lot for Siskiyou County Title. The building was used for about 45-50 years and then torn down. It is estimated to have been built around 1910. Prior to this structure there was an earlier building used for the Agricultural Hall that was one block south on Fourth Street. It was actually the earlier jail that was once used and later the building housed the County Library for many years. Today the law offices of Newton and Newton occupy the space where the first Agricultural Hall operated.
The Agricultural Hall helped serve the large horticultural needs that Siskiyou County had and the commissioner would instruct new settlers about local growing practices and help provide them with the newest information on profitable methods of farming.
This was a very active building in Yreka and was used for many community activities. During the fair agricultural exhibits were set up in the hall and displayed for fair goers before there was a permanent fairgrounds. Many dances were held here and numerous news articles mentioned Agricultural Hall as the place they were held! The community hosted dinners and get togethers here, and even one of the ladies Library groups held several events when raising money for the Carnegie Library funds. In World War I a dinner and musical concert event was held here for the Siskiyou County draftees before they headed off to fight the war to end all wars.
The image is from a postcard that was mailed in 1913 to a woman in Oakland from Anna Gillis and in the correspondence she mentions the picture is of the Agricultural Hall and she said "it is great"! In 1915 Siskiyou County promoted this hall in its special publication that was given out at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Yreka was very proud of this building! It is sad to note that in its later years the building was simply used for storage by Montgomery Ward (Ward's was directly in front of Agricultural Hall) and then the once lively building that saw so many events and people within its walls became a parking lot.
If you have a copy of our book, Yreka Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing you can see a photo of the first hall as well as this one on page 87. There is also a photograph of the interior during a fair exhibition on page 120.
Copyright, Claudia A. East