Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year! ~ Past and Present

It was December 31, 1982 when the Siskiyou Daily News ran this image on their front page to wish their patrons a Happy New Year.

At the time this photo was taken my family lived in the home seen in the background and my husband with the help of our (then) 14 year old daughter created the sculpture in snow as a way to bring in the New Year! 1982 was on its way out and 1983 was ready to arrive.

It has been 27 years since this photo was taken... time certainly does go by quickly. We no longer live in the "Senator Randolph Collier House" but truly enjoyed it while we were there. Many changes have occurred in Yreka during the past 27 years, but this lovely home still graces North Main Street.

As the author for this blog I would like to thank my readers for their views and time on my site and hope that the information presented here has given you both fond remembrances, and a look into the past. It is my desire that this blog helps preserve some of the history of our hometown, Yreka. I look forward to another year of Yreka History Blogging! Please return often, comments are welcome.

Happy New Year to all ~ Wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2010.
Claudia East

Note: For those of you who have a copy of our book, Yreka, Images of America Series by Arcadia Publishing you can find more photos and information on this home on pages 62 and 63.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yreka's Agricultural Hall

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

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The "Y-D" ~ The Yreka Drug Store

Photo: Copyright, Claudia A. East

At the corner of Miner Street and Broadway sits the IOOF building, and for many years the Yreka Drug Store (Or, Y-D as it was lovingly called) operated at the street level of this building. Today it houses Bella Arts and their delightful "old time" ice cream fountain!

The Yreka Drug store used to have the full quintessential 1930-40ish fountain where businesspeople, kids, teens, and families would frequent to purchase that great sandwich, special ice cream treat, or fountain drink! Today only a portion of the old fountain remains much to the great sadness of many, but the memories of past days are very much alive!

It was in January, 1935 that the Siskiyou News announced that Merle Wood, the former manager of the Golden Eagle Drug store, would open a new store in the IOOF building, The Yreka Drug. The building was "completely" remodeled and modernized both inside and out with a "modernistic" (1935) front replacing the old simple brick front. There were two places of business occupying the downstairs at this time, the east side was an office for Dr. Albert Newton who practiced there from 1935 until 1952, and the west side was the Yreka Drug.  It is not clear how many times this building may have been remodeled or updated prior to 1935, as it was originally built in 1859. However, in 1935 the contractor for the job was a William Potter and he concentrated on the main portion of the ground floor. New shop windows were installed to permit better display of goods and a new entrance replaced the previous pillars on the Miner Street portion of the building. The new store carried all the "latest merchandise" and stocked drug sundries, toilet articles, stationery and prescription goods.

In the news articles from 1935 the "fountain" area was not discussed, so when the actual fountain was installed and began it is not yet clear to this author, but both as a child and adult I certainly remember having lunch at the counter or stopping by for a coke while shopping. Others remember the fountain during the 1940s, so we estimate that the fountain was installed during this remodel even though newspapers accounts did not report much of the interior renovations at the time.  Today a portion of the old fountain remains, but the memories of past days are very much alive.  During the 1950s, 60s and 70s this was “the” soda fountain in town!  Many a high school student stopped in for a cherry coke, fries, egg salad sandwich, or the once famous “pressed toast” that was a local favorite!  During the 1980s the Drug Store was sold to a Don and Sandra Murphy of Etna.  They did extensive renovation to the interior at that time.  They were also the owners of the once historic Scott Valley Drug Store in Etna.

            If you are a visitor to our fair town, be sure and stop in and visit Bella Arts and their charming soda fountain, you can get a tiny glimpse of what life in town was like from the 1940s and 50s by just walking into the building!  Don't forget, however to try one of their most delicious ice cream treats!

Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2009  
Updated:  2015

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Bottling Works

Photo copyright: Claudia East, 2009

Viewed above is an image of the current Bottling Works Mall along Main Street in Yreka. This structure has played an important role in the life of Yrekans, and has been known as the "bottling works" for nearly 75 years. It all started when...

By the spring of 1935 the Yreka Bottling Works had already been in operation for 37 years and owned by Fred Meamber ~ the Siskiyou News ran an article about the bottling works as they moved into their "new" quarters at 412 South Main Street, Yreka (aka, Hwy. 99). Prior to the bottling plant moving to this location the building was occupied by the McNair garage.

The news article explained that the building not only housed the Coca-Cola bottling plant, but areas for all of their beverage business. They constructed a wine room near the front of the building, in the back of the building a new cold storage room was built for beer with a capacity to handle three carloads of keg beer at a time! At the writing in 1935 the Bottling Works were the exclusive distributors in Siskiyou County for Matevista wines, Beringer Brothers Wines, Buffalo, Acme, Golden Glow and Rainier beers; Coca-Cola, Hires Root Beer, Orange Crush, and 7-Up!

It was originally around 1898-1900 that Fred Meamber and his brother George purchased the Yreka Bottling Works. The plant moved in 1912 into quarters near the train depot until the present move (1935). A photo of the building near the depot in 1913 can be found in the 1976 Siskiyou Pioneer on page 63, published by the Siskiyou County Historical Society. (Reprints of this issue may still be available at the Siskiyou County Museum.)

Today one can roam through the shops in the "mall" or lunch at Nature's Kitchen and enjoy viewing the building that still has a feel similar to 1935. Parking is located in the rear just across Yreka Creek. It is another great way to enjoy our wonderful history!

*Information gleaned from The Siskiyou News, April 4, 1935, page 1 and several issues of the Siskiyou Pioneer. Copyright, Claudia East, 2009.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Major H. White Home, 1936

Photo copyright Claudia East, 2009.

The stately Colonial type home located at 414 North Main Street in Yreka, California appears somewhat hidden behind the trees, but in winter it dominates the block! This lovely home was built in 1936 by Major Harold (Harry) White and his wife Kathleen M. White. This was the first home built at this address, in 1935 this was simply a empty lot that was nearly at the edge of town along the Pacific Highway, or only recently named, Highway 99. The (almost hidden) addition on the north end of the house was added in recent years.

Major White was originally a native of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, however census records show his parents were both Americans. Major White received his commission from West Point in 1917. He served in World War I (the "Great War" and the "War to End All Wars") was wounded, and was stationed in France. Major White's class from West Point was somewhat of an exception to most... the class was graduated two months ahead of schedule because of the war and the need for trained leadership. The New York Times newspaper has an article from April 21, 1917, describing the graduation and the events that happened during the exercises ~ from being held in the "new" gym to the overhead flight of two aeroplanes with one crash landing, and listing each of the 138 graduates from the class of 1917.

The White family moved to Yreka in 1933 coming from the town of Anselmo in Marin County, California. Major White served in several capacities while here in Yreka, he sold insurance, sold real estate, and also served as Judge. He was also the Commandant of Yreka's Company M, 10th Regiment of the California State Guard. Company M was mustered into service a few days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and their objective was to protect military objectives in Siskiyou County and form a resistance to any invasion attempt.

Information about this home was found in census records, city directories, from printed material on a historic home tour from 1989, and the New York Times.
Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Allen Newton House 1895

Photo: Copyright, Claudia East, 2009

Currently sitting near to the Gold Street School is the Allen Newton House located at 325 North Gold Street, Yreka, CA a lovely Queen Ann Style Victorian. The home was originally built in 1895 and located near 202 North Main Street, currently a commercial building location. Allen Newton married local girl, Minnie Pashburg in 1894 so it is likely this was the home he built for his new bride and their future life together. When the building was first constructed it was located on the "Main Street" visible and directly accessible from the road. During the late 1920's or 1930's the house was moved back on its lot to make room for a small gas station in the front area to service travelers on Highway 99 (Main Street). Sometime after 1950 commercial buildings began popping up along the route and the home was obscured from direct view. The gas station eventually disappeared and commercial buildings took its place as well as the yard in front of the house. In about 1988, almost 100 years later, the home was moved to its present location and the owners lovingly restored the home. For those of you who have a copy of our book, Yreka, Images of America Series, one can see a partial picture of this home behind the speed boat, "Slo-mo-shun" on page 124.

Allen Newton born about 1867, was the son of a pioneer, Dr. Joel Newton, who lived in nearby Fort Jones. Mr. Newton served as the Siskiyou County Clerk for a period, and then went into the grocery business with his father-in-law, John Pashburg, Sr. and his brother-in-law, John E. Pashburg. The business was located on Miner Street and sat where the intersection of Miner and Fourth now appear. (The Pashburg Store information can be found in a previous post on this blog.) In 1923 Mr. Newton passed away without having children. His wife continued to live until 1956 and died at the age of 85.

Some of the historical information about this home was gleaned from a brochure passed out during the 1989 Annual Home Tour by the Yreka Historic Preservation Heritage Committee. Other information came from census, fire maps, and local history.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Stockslager - Farraher House 1875 & 1899

Photos: Copyright, Don & Claudia East, 2009

This unique home sits at 318 Third Street, right in the middle of the National Historic District section of homes in Yreka, California.

Fred Stockslager, of German heritage, was born in Pennsylvania in 1830. He, like many others of his time, became caught up in "gold fever" and left for California before he was 20. His mining career lasted about 9 years, but he never struck it rich or found his fortune. After mining, he eventually became a brick maker and builder. At first he co-owned a lime business and lime quarry that was located East of the Forest House in "Lime Gulch". He later operated a brick kiln to feed his building business.

It was 1875 and Fred Stockslager was awarded a contract to build a new brick jail across from the Siskiyou County Courthouse. This jail sat on the corner of Fourth and Lane Streets for 91 years. The building served as the jail, offices for the Agricultural Commissioner, offices for the Forest Service, and for many years served as the public library. The building was eventually razed and in its place was built the brick offices of the Newton & Newton Law Firm. (Photos of the "jail" building can be viewed in our book, Yreka, Images of America on pages 64 and 87.) Mr. Stockslager was also commissioned to rebuild the Catholic Church nearby in 1876 following the great fire of 1871.

The house in the photo first stood at this location in 1873. It was originally a two story brick building with a brick foundation. Mr. Stockslager built this house in which to raise his family. He was married in 1872 to Josephine Brautlacht. Here they had a family of four. Unfortunately both parents died before the children were grown. Before his death, however, Mr. Stockslager made arrangements with various families to take his children after his death and be able to work for their room and board. The home was sold at public auction along with his personal belongings and other real estate to a George Simmons of Hawkinsville for a little over $3,300.

In 1896 a local attorney, Mr. James Farraher, purchased the home for a mere $2,000. In 1899 he had this home rebuilt in the style we view today.

Historical information about the Stockslager - Farraher House was gleaned from the 1965 and 1993 editions of the Siskiyou Pioneer, as well as from the locally well-known book, Houses That Talk by Fred and Bernice Meamber that was published in 1986.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

1853 And Still Standing in Yreka

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.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thompson's Dry Diggings Monument

Today this monument sits towards the west end of Discovery Park located near the corner of Yama and Discovery Streets in Yreka. However, when this monument to Abraham Thompson and the first discovery of gold in our area was dedicated in June of 1948 the surroundings were natural vegetation, (with lots of sage brush) rocks and dirt. The plot of ground was donated to the County for the Siskiyou County Historical Society by Mr. Joseph Wetzel, descendant of an early pioneer family.

The fledgling town that grew "on the flats" just a few blocks from this monument was first known as Thompson's Dry Diggings. The town grew rapidly and enjoyed a name change or two but the name Yreka had the staying power.

This approximate spot, where gold was first discovered, was researched by Alex J. Rosborough, O. G. Steele, and W. B. H. Fairchild prior to the decision to erect this monument. On the top of the brass plaque is an artist's depiction of the gold discovery. This art work was created by a Mrs. Ruth Salinas of Mount Shasta. The brass plaque is attached to a 15 ton native boulder and has hosted the plaque for over 60 years.

The plaque reads:

"Thompson's Dry Diggings

Gold was discovered here in March 1851 by Abraham Thompson, member of a party which was enroute from Oregon to Scott Bar. Following a heavy rainstorm, particles of gold in the roots of grass pulled up by pack animals caused Thompson to wash three pans of gravel. The results convinced the party that the area was rich enough to work. In the party were Dr. F. G. Hearn, Judge Silas J. Day and a Mr. Bell, Thompson's partner. All staked claims on these flats thirty feet square, and it was named "Thompson's Dry Diggings". Within six weeks 2,000 prospectors rushed here to mine, but the need of water caused the settlement to move to the creek. And it became known as Shasta Butte City. This name being confused with Shasta, in Shasta County. Was changed to "I-E-K-A," The Indian word for Mt. Shasta. "Now Yreka" in 1852.

Erected by Siskiyou County Historical Society

It may be noted that the origin of the name Yreka, and the various names following Thompson's Dry Diggings has had alternative information presented throughout the years.
Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Gold in Yreka!

Siskiyou Gold Display, 1947

Above is a postcard image of the Siskiyou County Gold Display from 1947. There are prize winning specimens of placer and quartz nuggets within the photograph. All of the gold was mined or found in our county! This is the only known collection of its kind and this same collection was shown at the 1939 World's Fair in San Francisco, California on Treasure Island to let the world know that gold is a big deal in Siskiyou County!

Today one can view this gold collection that has been added to and is displayed quite professionally. In the foyer of the Siskiyou County Courthouse located in Yreka one finds this impressive collection of gold. The display has often been estimated at $1 million, but with today's gold prices pushing ever upward, it is everyone's guess to the real value! Our County gold display is encased by a layer of native rock and measures 8 by 12 feet and is located just a few feet from the law enforcement officers that guard the area. Although the display is protected by a thick layer of bulletproof glass and is virtually burglar proof, in 1979 a couple made an unsuccessful attempt to steal the gold collection. They apparently entered the courthouse through a bathroom window and smashed the display setting off a silent alarm. The police arrived and apprehended the two after a short chase down a nearby street about a block away.

This gold is owned by the county of Siskiyou and was accumulated a little at a time by the members of the Board of Supervisors through purchases and donations. One of the most valuable items is a gold nugget discovered by a miner in a pile of discarded shavings near Hawkinsville just a few miles north of Yreka. Also found in the collection is the "shoe nugget" found near the Scott River in 1913 and purchased by the City for $550.

The County Treasurer-Tax Collector for Siskiyou County is the person chiefly responsible for the display and the acquisition of the contents. A former Treasurer-Tax Collector, Susan Reather, said that the gold within the collection represents nearly all the mines from Siskiyou County. Mr. Mike Hendryx, the Siskiyou County Museum Curator and Director, arranges the exhibit and adds new donations from time to time with the able assistance of the law enforcement officers at his side.

A special thanks to Mike Hendryx for providing the historical information about our world class Gold Display!

Copyright, Claudia A. East 2009.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Yreka Studio & Snappy Goodrich 1930's & 40's

The ad shown is from a 1937 Yreka HS Yearbook. The image is of the building (taken winter, 2009) that housed the Yreka Studio while John David "Snappy" Goodrich conducted his business here in Yreka. The building is located almost behind the Ley Fire Station at 111 So. Oregon Street.

John D. Goodrich was born in 1899 and spent time in the Los Angeles area prior to coming to Yreka. In 1923 he married Minnie Dae Clodfelter. It has not been exactly determined what year he arrived in Yreka, but by 1933 he is listed in the Yreka City Directory operating the Yreka Studio. It is believed that the front half of the building was the Studio and the rear portion of the building served as his residence. The Yreka Studio was "the" place to have one's photo portrait taken, and he had a lively business with Seniors from the High School as well as other important events. During these years (1930's - 1940's) when one had a roll of film to be developed ~ it was taken to a photo shop and developed. One day service in automated machines was unheard of, not to mention digital images! In addition to his portrait studio, he was a active photographer in the post card business. Many of his post cards can be found from time to time on eBay, and they often command a good price! Next time you find a older postcard turn it over and look to see who the photographer or artist was, you may find a little treasure! Goodrich traveled up and down the North West taking photos for his postcard sales. By 1945 he advertised on the back of his postcards as "Snappy's Scenic Portraits of the West".

Snappy Goodrich operated the Yreka Studio for many years, in 1949 his wife, Dae, passed away and he continued for a short while in the business, but in 1951 he sold the business to a individual with the name of Young who carried on the Yreka Studio. In later years the business was known as the Yreka Studio and Camera Shop or commonly known as YS&CS.

Information on the Yreka Studio is relatively scarce while Snappy Goodrich operated the business, although his skill behind the camera will live on for many years yet to come.
Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yreka Baseball 1915

The Siskiyou County High School Baseball Team 1915

Back, L to R: Mr. Hampton, coach, Carl Rowe, Lawrence Schultz, Brice Long, Bert Orr, Elmir Orr, manager.
Middle: Evert Buckner, Glendon Terwilliger.
Front: Virgil Howard, Gerald Wetzel, Walter Hibbard.

Baseball and sporting events have been popular in Yreka since the earliest days. The first sport to excite fans was local horse racing, but soon baseball and other sports came into the limelight! The following is an excerpt from the 1915 White and Gold Siskiyou County High School Yearbook, p. 64 and 65.

Baseball practice was started the first week of school. Elmir Orr was elected manager of the team; and he arranged a three-game series with the Etna Union High School. The first game was played on the High School grounds at Yreka, September 19th. SCHS came out on the long end of a 13 to 4 score. After the game the team met and elected Carl Rowe captain. On Saturday, September 26th, we journeyed to Etna in autos and played a return game. After a close and exciting game, Etna won by one tally, the socre being 5 to 4. The championship game was played on the SCHS grounds on October 3d. By heavy hitting and good support, Rowe pitched SCHS to victory, by a score of 7 to 3. During all these games our team was supported by the entire student body, who encouraged the players by songs and school yells, and an occasional rally. The following week the Seniors and Juniors played a three-game series with the Sophomores and Freshmen. The upper classmen won the series, by two games out of three.

This spring baseball practice was started in March. Manager Orr has scheduled another series of three games with Etna Union High. The first game will be played in Etna, April 24, and a return game will be played here on May 8. In May the baseball team will take a week's trip into Southern Oregon and play games with the high schools of Ashland, Central Point, and Grant's Pass.

In 1915, if recalled correctly, the only High Schools in Siskiyou County were the County High School and Etna. It wasn't until 1918 after the original High School building was burned that other local High Schools emerged in the County.

For more Yreka sporting events please refer to our book, Yreka, Images of America on pages 108, and 109. You may find the photo of the team with the stage coach of interest, as in 1915 they traveled in "autos".

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Henry Egbert Building ~ Circa 1860

Photo copyright Claudia East, 2009.

The Henry Egbert Building sits at 320 West Miner Street in Yreka, California right next to the Franco-American Hotel. The construction of this building was more "efficient" from many of the historic structures along this section of Miner Street. The walls are common to the adjacent buildings, but the roof is supported on sides and in the middle with post and beam construction, and the original rear wall is made of sandstone dating that wall quite early.

According to information located on the historical plaque placed by the City of Yreka the New England Bakery and Temperance House was operating here as early as 1855. The plaque also notes that shade trees were once planted in front of the building in 1871.

This building first appears on Sanborn Fire Maps in 1885. The structure is actually identified as almost two structures or as a "split building" with two businesses, a grocery store in one half and a saloon in the other. In the 1888 and 1890 Fire Maps the building is shown to house three businesses, a grocery, a saloon with billiards in the back and a very small barbershop. The first public record at the county level shows Henry Egbert as the owner of the property in the Book of Deeds in 1894.

By 1897 the Egbert Building serves as offices on one part and a saloon on the other, with the small barbershop being replaced with a tiny bakery. In 1901 the building houses two saloons and a small bakery one of the saloons located here was named the "Dew Drop Saloon". It is currently not known the exact time frame, but it is told that one bakery served hot coffee and toast every morning at 6:00 a.m. By 1908 the bakery was gone, but the two saloons remain! Information for the next 20 years is unknown, but by 1927 the building was home to an undertaker on one side and a tailor with cleaning and pressing services on the other.

Around 1928 or so the new grocery store chain, Purity Stores called 320 West Miner home for the Yreka store and they utilized the entire two part structure. At this time the building was about half the depth it is now, and a portion was added in the 1930s on the side of the Franco American Hotel. Purity operated their store here until around 1938 when they moved to a new larger store on Broadway with their distinctive barrel type roof. A picture of both the exterior and interior of this building in its day as a Purity Store can be found in our book, Yreka, Images of America on page 40.

Sometime between 1938 and 1949 the Yreka Seed & Grain Company called this building home and it operated here perhaps up in to the 1960's. During the 1950's a second portion was added to the building making it the size it is today, approximately 4,000 sq. ft. Following the Yreka Seed & Grain company the building became Black's Appliances and served the community there until 2006. The building is often referred to by locals today as the "Black's Building". The City of Yreka owed this structure for a number of years and it was under consideration for a variety of possible uses.  However, the City sold the building and it is now home to the "Dulcimer Shop".

There are gaps in information about this building and anyone with specific knowledge is encouraged to comment on this post!

Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pine Grove Trailer Park

The Pacific Highway, (later known as California Highway 99) came right through Yreka. The automobile was becoming a common mode of transportation and Yreka residents did not want to be left out of this new potentially revenue producing opportunity! Everyone needed fuel, some needed repairs, others would be hungry, and still others may stop and see our sites or stay overnight or two.

It was in 1916 that an article ran in The Siskiyou News that an "Auto Park" was sorely needed in Yreka to serve the campers that were passing by. It wasn't too long before several "Auto Parks" began to pop up in town. When the Pine Grove Auto Camp and Trailer Park was in its earlier days it was "out of town". During its heyday, Pine Grove had fuel, a small restaurant, auto repair, cabins for rent, and trailer camping spaces ~ not to mention, beer.

This was a popular and convenient stop along the way, shade trees as well as pines gave protection in the warmer months, weary travelers could rest, get a bite to eat and fuel up the car before heading out to their next adventure down the road! Just remember, Yreka is about half way from San Francisco to Portland. A good stopping place.

The last owners to operate the Pine Grove Auto Camp and Trailer Park and offer all of the services were Lloyd and Edna Watson, they owned this business from the 1950's until the early 1980's. Naturally, the business changed or evolved during the nearly 30 years they were proprietors. The restaurant closed as well as the gas station and auto repair, and many of the trailers became permanent residents, although they still welcomed "overnighters". The trailer park is still there today, located near the south end of Fairlane Road in Yreka, however it is only a shadow of it's former self with most of the buildings gone.

As one drives by remember that the road once was the famed Pacific Highway right in front ~ and if the road could tell its tales of adventure we might listen to stories of slower days gone by. For those of you with a copy of our book, Yreka, Images of America Series by Arcadia Publishing you will find additional photos of Pine Grove Trailer Park on page 23.
Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sharp's Mill Teepee Burner ~ Yreka

Sharp's Mill Teepee Wood Burner, Sharp's Road, Yreka, CA

At the end of Sharps Road in Yreka, near the Siskiyou Fairgrounds, stands one of the two remaining Teepee (wood) Burner's left in the Yreka area. At one time there were as many as 13 lumber mills in our area. It is likely that this is part of what is left of the J. F. Sharp Lumber Company that thrived in Yreka for Many years. At one time it seemed that every single lumber mill had some sort of burner to help rid the mill of waste. Today we hardly think of waste as a major consideration to lumber mills as all the wood by-products (sawdust, chips, etc.) are used in such a wide variety of ways from presto-logs to strand board. But, back in the day, only about 50% of most trees were utilized in lumber products and the rest, was ~ well, waste. The teepee type metal burners were a Northwest invention and came about during World War I. This kind of wood burner was actually a new improved safety measure from the open pit burning that once occurred. These wood burners were used until the passage of the clean air act in 1970 and were eventually phased out during the next 10 years.

At one time Highway 99 passed nearby Sharp's Mill and the burner; recollections abound as a kid riding in the car at night ~ it was always an event to see the Teepee burners! They were like their own little Fourth of July display! Upwards from the Teepee one could see sparks and embers churning out into the night sky and floating upwards. Naturally, one could see the display during the day, but oh, at night ~ it was awesome to an 8 year old in the 1950's. It seemed completely magical, and the imagination of a child could find pictures in the smoke and embers, or fly high above riding on the heat waves.

These rusty and generally abandoned burners are still found sitting near roads if one keeps a keen eye out while riding along vintage routes in the Northwest. For those of you that have a copy of our book, Yreka, Images of America Series an aerial view of Teepee burners and mills on Sharps and Oberlin Roads from the 1940's appears on page 98.

Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Argonaut ~ Daniel Jenks, Yreka 1860

A illustration of the town of Yreka in 1860 by Artist Daniel Jenks.

This is perhaps one of the few early "birds-eye" images of Yreka. It was drawn of graphite and ink by an Argonaut, Daniel Jenks, from his gold mine on nearby Long Gulch Mountain.

Daniel Jenks was a middle class, educated man from Pawtucket, Rhode Island who among thousands of others was caught up in gold-rush fever and came west via sailing "round the horn" to find his fortune. Originally heading toward Pike's Peak he found his way to Yreka and arrived August 25, 1859. He landed a job as a grocery store clerk and saved his money and in December of 1859 bought a mining claim on Long Gulch Mountain. Jenks only kept the claim for a few months and when it didn't pan out he sold it and worked as a grain merchant for several years.

On his way west and during his stay here Daniel kept diaries and drew images of everyday scenes and told events of his frontier life to share with his sisters and family back in Rhode Island. According to information at the Library of Congress website these diaries are now in the Elizabeth J. Johnson Pawtucket History Research Center in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Jenks never found his riches in gold, and returned to Pawtucket and died at the young age of 41 in 1869.

Locals know and understand that Siskiyou was the "second" Mother lode, with millions of gold mined in our area during the "gold rush" era, but continuing on even today.

The image above and information can be found at the Library of Congress Website in the Digital Collections section. A transcript of a lecture on Daniel Jenks can also be found presented by Sara Duke. The information presented here is from the information available. If you haven't visited the site to research it is definitely worth the time to visit, there are many interesting local images and historical information.

One can find additional information about the Yreka area gold rush in our book, Yreka, Images of America in the introduction and in various sections throughout the book. Later "birds eye" images of Yreka can be found on pages 18, 21, 25, and 55. Other information can be obtained in our publication Yreka, The First 80 Years, available only at the Siskiyou County Museum.
Copyright: Claudia East, 2009.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Yreka's Welcome Arch

Yreka's Welcome Arch graces the corner of Miner and Main Streets about 1920.

It has been read that Yrekans first saw our own Welcome Arch in 1917. It was an exciting time with travel by automobile staging a promising future! By automobile, Yreka was the midway point between San Francisco and Portland on the Great Pacific Highway. It was a common practice by cities and towns of this era, as well as later into the century, to erect a welcome arch to announce their city along major new highways! Many times the arches had abbreviated statements to advertise the area's prized features like "water" or "climate". Yreka's arch was illuminated so travelers could see the sign from a distance and know this was a progressive town and to hail a welcome to all travelers!

The image above at first glance does not seem familiar, however, looking closely one can determine the building on the right that would have been the Siskiyou County Bank (building still standing at Miner and Third Street today) and the I.O.O.F. Building at the left just beyond the figure in the image.

In the 1930's the Pacific Highway was "modernized" and the route officially changed into Highway 99. By 1931 the portion of the new Highway 99 through the Shasta Canyon was complete, but the changes were yet to come in Yreka proper. During the mid 1930's Main Street (Pacific Highway, later Highway 99) was widened through town. It was quite the project as many buildings were demolished and front yards consumed, on one side of the street or other to make room for this wider new Highway. The building on the corner of Miner and Main that one can see in the image above just beyond the tree would have been the office of the California and Oregon Power Company (COPCO). This building as well as most of the block next to it was torn down and later new more modern structures in modest Art Deco style were built. The once elegant entrance to the Yreka Inn turned into road, curb, and short driveway. Driving down Main Street today one can see where the road was widened, many buildings have virtually no front yard but those on the opposite side of the street may appear as they did prior to the reconstruction. The Yreka Arch was taken down in the 1930s during this reconstruction of the Pacific Highway into Highway 99. It was in storage and fell into disrepair until 1976 when the local Soroptimists made the move to restore and replace the sign. The citizens of Yreka helped with funding and support and in 1977 the Welcome Arch was rededicated. It now sits at the Central Yreka Interchange but seems somehow smaller at eye level. This author, for one, is pleased that our Welcome Arch is still visible for travelers and residents alike.

Another view of the Yreka Welcome Arch and a view North on Main Street from Miner can be viewed on page 20 of our book, Yreka Images of America Series from Arcadia Publishing.

Copyright, Claudia East, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Henrietta Pashburg ~ Yreka Artist

Small dish hand painted by Henrietta Pashburg, circa 1910.

Photo copyright: Claudia A. East

Henrietta Pashburg was one of those "Victorian Ladies" that made her living painting. Hand painted china was a very popular item for many years. Henrietta was born in Yreka, California on June 25, 1876 to John and Mary (Fiock) Pashburg. She grew up in Yreka and her father made a living originally as a tobacco merchant and later offered more general merchandise. The store was on the corner of Miner Street and Fourth and is no longer standing. (You can read a post about this store and see an image here: Pashburg's Store

Henrietta graduated from the (then) quite new and wonderful Siskiyou County High School in 1896 according to records obtained from the Siskiyou County Museum. At the time of her graduation the school was only two years old. (You can read about the high school and see an image here: Siskiyou County High School. She lived in Yreka and participated in civic events was a member of the Stella Chapter # 39, Order of Eastern Star, Yreka. She even exhibited at the California State Fair in 1892 according to information on her artistic history. History indicates that she lived and worked in Yreka for a number of years before finally moving to San Francisco on a permanent basis sometime prior to 1922. While in Yreka Henrietta apparently had her own shop on Miner Street for some time but detailed information has not yet been found.

Times were likely exciting for a young woman at this time, women were actively promoting women's rights and suffrage and breaking out of more "traditional" roles. Henrietta (often going by Etta) was likely not the "typical" young Victorian woman. Apparently independent and self sufficient until she married her long time love, Mr. James Alexander Cobain, on August 9, 1932 in Reno, Nevada.

Henrietta lived and had a painting studio in San Francisco for many years but returned "home" as her family continued to live and work in Yreka or the immediate area. In 1922 she was noted in Who's Who Among Women of California. Henrietta lived a long life, passing on February 16, 1971 in San Francisco, burial in Yreka at Evergreen Cemetery.

Her china is often highly valued and is somewhat difficult to find. She apparently signed many of her pieces, H. Pashburg with or without dates under her signature. You can see another image of her work in our book, Yreka, Images of America Series from Arcadia Publishing on page 55. Seeing and often holding work someone accomplished many years ago brings a sense of the history "home".

Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ringe Pool

Yreka's Ringe Memorial Pool Complex

During the summer in Yreka local residents and especially the children enjoy a cool dip at Ringe Memorial Pool located on Knapp Street adjacent to the current Yreka High School Gymnasium and football stadium. The pool was built in memorial to Henry F. Ringe by his wife's estate following her death in 1959. The finances for the pool were given to the City of Yreka for the construction of a municipal pool in her husband's memory.

Henry F. Ringe and his wife, Nellie lived in or near Yreka the majority of their lives. Henry's father, Frederick was a leather worker and had a harness and saddlery shop at 106 W. Miner Street which he operated for over 50 years. Apparently Henry and Nellie owned and operated a ranch southwest of Norden, Oregon for awhile and Henry made saddles and his father's store in Yreka provided an outlet for his work. Later Henry operated this shop until he retired in 1916. Henry became seriously ill around 1919 and underwent surgery in San Francisco, apparently to no avail. He was in constant pain and was very despondent at times. He died on April 30, 1921.

Henry F. Ringe lived in Yreka and was listed in several census reports living on Third Street. The original home is no longer standing, and was known as the "double house" (a duplex) and Henry with his wife, lived there alongside his father, Frederick, who lived in the other half of the duplex. [This was reported as being located at 107 and 109 Third Street.] A new home in the same location, following Henry's death, was built by his wife, Nellie in 1923.

In 1960 the Olympic sized Ringe Memorial Pool was built for the enjoyment of the citizens of Yreka.

Additional information about the Ringe family and their homes can be found in the 1963 edition of the Siskiyou Pioneer, page 34; The 2001 Siskiyou Pioneer, page 39; and in the book Houses that Talk by Fred J. Meamber and R. Bernice Soule Meamber published in 1986.

Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2009