Trinity County California Towns and Areas- Historical placenames of towns
Trinity County Areas & Towns
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Trinity County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. Parts of the county were given to Klamath County in 1852 and to Humboldt County in 1853. Klamath County ceased to exist in 1876 after it was dissolved due to corruption and wide spread electoral fraud.
The county takes its name from the Trinity River, named in 1845 by Major Pearson B. Reading, who was under the mistaken impression that the stream emptied into Trinidad Bay. Trinity is the English version of Trinidad.
Publications Consulted for information contained:
- Big Bar- Established in 1849, one of the first settled areas of Trinity had a population of about 60 and it's own Post Office. The United States Forest Service a station there and continues to monitor the use of mining claims iin the area. Located West of Weaverville on Highway 299
- Big Flat- In the 1850s a very productive gold mining area, with a population of over 400, with hotels, stores,
and a blacksmith shop. Today there are campgrounds, motels and restaurants. There are many stretches of "White Water" in the area that modern day rafters enjoy.
- Burnt Ranch- Settled in 1853 and victim of an Indian raid in 1854, during the raid several buildings were burnt and hence the name. Eventually, hostilities calmed down and a Post Office was established in 1858 to serve the community of
- Carrville- In 1854 James Carr purchased the Curry and Noyes Ranch. Located between modern day Trinity Center and Coffee Creek and the very Highway 3 that he worked so hard to establish as the California-Oregon Highway. His store and Post Office served mines by pack mule.
- Coffee Creek- It's name came from the "coffee colored" water in the creek as a result of the mining activities.Coffee Creek Road is the gateway to the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area that are still one of the most beautiful parts of Trinity County and America. There are several resort type businesses in the area today offering cabins . RV parks, horseback riding, guided fishing, rental homes, hiking, mountain biking and otherrecreational activities for visitors from all parts of the world..
- Covington Mill- Named after the Saw Mill that was established by brothers Guy and Virgil Covington, who came to the area near Trinity Center from the Washington State area in the late 1800s. In the 1950s when Disneyland was being constructed, much of the wood was milled here in Trinity to build the Magic Kingdom.. Many worker and family cabins survive today from the turn of the century.
- Dedrick- None of the towns commercial buildings of this area that was settled in the 1890s are standing today.
Located ajacent to the upper part of Canyon Creek, the area was aparently widely known for the "dance halls" and other adult recreational spots. Today, the area is a favorite for the fishing and the hiking trails. There continues to be mining activity in
some parts of the area year around.
- Del Loma- Located between Big Bar and Burnt Ranch on Highway 299, this area owes it's growth to the automobile. It is located aproximately half way between Eureka and Redding, in the 1930s because of the growing popularity of the "motor car" Del Loma had motels and restaurants for weary travelers to enjoy.
- Denny- Originally calle "New River City", is located aproxiamately 20 miles off of Highway 299 and has been
a colorfull community since the 1890s. In the 1970s it garnered nationwide attention during the "Mining Wars" when the Federal
Government sent men with automatic weapons in to protect the members of the Forest Service that were trying to enforce
the minning laws against many who had illegally built cabins and other permanent structures on Federal Forest Lands. Shots were fired and even the local Sheriff's Department sent deputies up the road in twos, often in unmarked cars when called to the area. It was one of the last populated areas to get telephone and electricity. There were also several major forest fires in the 70s and 80s in this area.
- Diggersville- See "Minersville"
- Douglas City- Known as "ground zero" for the major gold discovery by Major B.P. Reading in 1848 in what is known as the Trinity River. The name "Douglas" reflected the national election period that Steven Douglas and Abe Lincoln participated in their historic debates. Douglas city sported a 40 peice "brass band" in the 1860s and a population of about
200. These days there is a small gas station-store, Post Office, Volunteer Fire Department and Motel. If you follow Stiener's Flat Road out of Douglas City, you will find developed BLM campgrounds and many fine fishing areas. Steel Bridge Road sports great fishing with a BLM primative campground at the end of the road. You will find a motel, cabins and RV parking in the area. The water nearest highway 299 is Weaver Creek with many places to pull over and enjoy the water. There are several areas to raft and kayak on the creeks and rivers.
- Forest Glen- In 1913 Arthur Jeans built a Hotel, Store, Stable and Garage for weary travelers on the new
Red Bluff to Eureka Road. The resort-hotel that was reputed to be Trinity's most popular burnt to the ground in 1950. Access to the nearby South Fork of the Trinity keeps fishermen seeking salmon, steelhead and trout. Several USFS campgrounds are in the are along highway 36.
- Hayfork- Located in the large inviting Hayfork Valley, you will see immediately why it is the second largest community in Trinity County. The scenic valley floor and the surrounding mountains compliment the modern frontier-like lifestyle. The local ranches, homes, business, government and professional services all share that special
way of life that is Hayfork. Early September it is host to the Tribal Stomp for 3 days of family fun and entertainment.
Originally called South Fork and subsequently Hay Town, then Hayfork because of the large amount of Hay and food grains for the produced in the area. The Natural Bridge, a geologic formation is nearby. In 1921, the county government established a county fair, it was so successful that the money earned was used to purchase what is now the Hayfork Fairgrounds. There is an annual Trinity County Fair each year since, except during WW2.
Hayfork Valley Website -
Hayfork Chamber of Commerce -
Natural Bridge Site -
- Hawkins Bar- Located near Burnt Ranch, was a turn-of-the-century mining area.
- Helena- Established by French-Canadian prospectors from Oregon in about 1849. It's soil and weather seemed to support many acres of orchards for local produce. There were two hotels, a butcher, brewery, blacksmith and a sawmill. The modern day placename "Helena" was named for the wife of Mr. Meckel the owner of the hotel, when the post office refused the original placename "Northfork" that was already in use. Today many of the original buildings still stand on what is now private land. Today's Helena, located about 2 miles East of "Old Helena", between Junction City and Big Bar on Highway 299.
- Hettenshaw- You can not get to the town from anywhere, anymore..The school closed in 1967 when it consolidated with the Mad River School District. The Post Office closed too. There are many fine ranches, many of them over 150 years old in the lovely valley area in Southern Trinity.
- Hoaglin- It is hard to see where the Hoaglin Valley and the Kettenpom Valley start and stop. At the turn of the 20th century, there was a large amount of wheat and other grains grown in the area that also had it's own mill. Over twenty-five years ago Louisiana Pacific Land Company purchased large tracks of land in the area and it is doubtful that the area will grow in size.
- Hyampom- Established in 1828, by Captain Jedediah Strong Smith. The word "Hyampom" is a Wintun Indian
word, but today it is unclear what it's actual complete meaning is...lost in time. The Hyampom Valley's original residents were Northern Wintun, Whilkut and Chimariko indians, in 1864 they were rounded up and sent to US Government reservations. In 1924 the road to Hayfork opened about 35 years after it was surveyed in 1889. South Fork Mountain, the longest mountain in the world looks down at the picturesque Hymampom Valley. Today's Hyampom
still seems isolated from the modern world, but ofcourse your laptop connects to the internet
and the satellite TV reception is just fine there. The waters of of the South Fork and Hayfork
Creek offer fishing, boating and rafting. There are campgrounds and day use areas ranging from primative to deluxe by most standards. For the less adventurous the Bed and Breakfast and Housekeeping cabins complete with modern appliances can be found. In recent years wine grapes have been planted, harvested and turned into award winning wines.
- Indian Creek- This townsite of this Trinity placename has little left to testify that it ever existed, Indian Creek
itself is reputed to be one of the best Steelhead spawning creeks in the county.
- Island Mountain- In far Southwest Trinity, Island Mountain was established by the the Northwestern Pacific Railroad and the Island Copper Mine. There is a tunnel through Island Mountain via a trestle over the Eel River. that Northcoast products are shipped through.
An interesting fact is that to get to Island Mountain in Trinity County, you have to go to Humboldt County first!
- Joss House- Taoist Temple from 1870s, State Park in Weaverville.A "must see", rich in history and http://users.snowcrest.net/wb6fzh/tcjoss4.htmlbeauty.
Joss House State Park - California Historical Site Marker
- Junction City- Established about 1850 this is the place name of the world famous La Grange Mine, one of the richest and longest producing gold mines in the world. It has it's own electrical generation plant from 1904 to 1964 that supplied the mine's equipment with power and sent the extra as far as Eureka. Few if any buildings are left of the original Junction City, as floods and the meanderings of mining activity have taken their toll. Many estimates of the dollar value of the gold taken from this area alone place the amount at about 4 million dollars.
- Kettenpom- This placename usually brings to mind the Kettenpom Store, established in 1950, that
had the only phone in area for years and the nearest source of Fuel, food, rest rooms, showers and sundries for many miles. This Southern Trinity scenic valley has many large ranches.
- Lake Mountain- The Miller Ranch is the most significant landmark of this Southern-most Trinity County community. It's ties perhaps closer to Mendocino County than Trinity.
- La Grange Mine- West of Weaverville, along highway 299
almost to Junction City. California Historical Marker next to roadway at overlook.
California Historical Marker
- Lewiston- History is everywhere in Lewiston with many buildings much
the same as they were 100 years or more ago. The nearby lake and river provide both
fishing, boating and other water related activities. The town features unique stores and
places to eat and drink while you ponder your next activity. The Brown Bear Mine and other gold mining activities and being on
the stagecoach road established Lewiston in the 1850s. Then the construction of the Dam
brought an increase in population in the 1950s to support the workers at the Dam Project.
The recently restored Lewiston Bridge that allows you to cross the Trinity River is a must see, while functionaly it is clearly part of
the history, but a big part of the modern day activities of the area. There is a Fish Hatchery near by and some of the
best fishing areas in California in this area that include the "Fly Fishing Only" area. The
growing custom of "Catch and Release" to allow the fish to increase the fish population is
a local tradition. Lewiston Lake is just 7 miles North and a few minutes away by car with areas hike, bike and fish
everywhere you look.
The Lewiston Peddler's Faire during the first weekend in June is a big event with entertainment, hundreds of antique-collectables venders, lots of free parking, The Old Lewiston Hotel that sheltered stagecoach passengers more than 100 years ago, now is
a place for modern day folks to eat and drink. Local Bed and Breakfast or motels can
provide a place for you to rest after you toured the many local historical sites.
- Lewiston Lake- www.fishtrinity.com
- Mad River- This placename refers to an altercation in 1849 within a band of explorers seeking a route to the
Coast. The river has many homes and summer refuges downriver of the Ruth Dam. The Mad River Store provides fuel, groceries, and even an RV park. Local places to eat include a cafe, full-service restaurant and gormet burger bar. Emergency medical and dental care is available too. There is a Post Office and USFS Ranger Station. There are campgrounds, Cabins, and motel space in the area. The ridgeline is complimented by a nicely designed modern group of apartments for USFS employees that are headquartered there.
- Minersville- Another gold mining area that is beneath the waters of Trinity Lake. Formally known as
"Diggersville". In the 1850s the general area had a population of about 3,000 if you included Ridgeville, Minersville, Sebastopol,
Diggerville and Van Matre Ranch today the inhabitants are mostly fish, empty salmon egg bottles and things that fall off houseboats. In 1959, everything was leveled for the rising waters of Trinity Lake. The local telephone company in the area
lists the resorts and marinas at the lake's edge as Minersville. It almost sounds like you may be dialing the twilight zone.
There are campgrounds, private homes, USFS ranger station, resorts, marinas, houseboats and boat launch areas all in
what used to be "Minersville".
- New River City- See "Denny"
- Peanut- In 1908 the US Post Office recognized "Peanut" and opened an office. Most of the early buildings are gone, the stores, schools and many of the large homesteads. It is located on Highway 36 at the junction of the road that heads for Hayfork.
- Post Mountain- Located on Highway 36 , East of Forest Glen.
- Ridgeville- A famous mining town located on the ridge between Stewarts Fork and East Fork of what is now
Trinity Lake. It was a rich gold mining area rivaling Weaverville in size in the late 1850s, but by the 1870s it was almost a ghost town. Appropriately, one of the few identifiable landmarks left is the graveyard.
- Ruth- See "Ruth Lake"
Ruth Lake CSD
- Ruth Lake- In Southern Trinity, Ruth Lake was created by the Humboldt Water District building a dam across the Mad River, forming a
9 mile long, 1/2 mile wide dam. It is largely a resort area but you will timber, ranching and mining in the area. Today you will find
stores, campgrounds, resorts, rental cabins, antique store and the first part of every August, the Ruth Rodeo.
Ruth Lake CSD www.fishtrinity.com
- Salyer- Mr C.M. Salyer is the namesake for Salyer. With the completion of the Trinity River Highway in 1923
Salyer that is located at the junction of the South Fork and the Trinity Rivers. It has easy access and quality salmon or steelhead fishing. There is still employment in the woods and mining in the area.
- Trinity Center- Established in 1851 and located 40 miles North of Weaverville, on Highway 3 you will find a Grocery Store, Gas Station, Restarurants, Post Office and various services. This is the location of the original Scott Ranch. The activities support both the Lake and the Trinity Alps Trail activites, with horseback riding, pack trips, hiking, camping, lodging, licensed guides, supplies and information. The "original"
Trinity Center was covered with water in 1961 when the hydroelectric and water storage project created Trinity Dam and Lake. The early residents used the waters to help them mine for gold, and grow agricultural products, now it provides electricity and recreation. The water now provides irrigation for vineyards that produce award-wining wines, local agriculture and sustains livestock on some of the remaining ranches. Each Labor Day weekend the Airport at Trinity Center is the focus of the "Fly-in & Bar-B-Q", with it's entertainment, craft fair and just plain fun. From May to September the Scott Museum is open and the many fine displays of items from local families show the items that surrounded them in life more than 150 years ago.
- Trinity Lake- It is the 3rd largest lake in California, with 150 miles of shorline
that encircle 16, 000 acres of water. The lake is full of unique coves and inlets that offer
peace and quiet even on a summer holiday weekend. You can rent Houseboats, or bring your own boat, swim, water ski, and enjoy the bounty of the waters of Trinity Lake. There are Trout, Bass, Salmon, Catfish and good times awaiting you in the lake. There is also an anundance of solitude to finish reading that book you have been carrying around the last couple years, write that story or catch up on your correspondence.. Dotting the shoreline you will find rental cabins, modern resorts, marinas, picnic grounds, beaches, local stores, gasoline, groceries, service businesses, boat ramps, restaurants and campgrounds to fill your vacation needs and help you plan your next visit.
- Van Duzen- Just a "timber" fall sound from the town of Mad River. In 1970 Southern Trinity High School was
built to serve the people of the area. Ranching, Lumber and USFS are the largest employers in the area.
- Weaverville- Located on Highway 299W, 50 miiles West of Redding you
will think that you have turned one of the tree-lined corners and been transported back in
time, but find all the modern conveniences everywhere. Red brick buildings circa 1850 with White spiral staircases cast their shadows on the modern highway of today, just the
same way they did with the horses and wagons of yesteryear. Many historical buildings
are home to the unique and the necessary. The cuisine ranges from a '50s style drive-in, modern Fanchise Restaurants, your favorite deli food or a lovely gourmet restaurant to see and be seen, it is all there. Modern motels, charming cabins, RV facilities, Bed and Breakfast or a historic Hotel, they are all there for your deserved rest. There are many things to see and
do from the art galleries, the museum and It's historical park, the Joss House Chinese Temple, countless historical buildings, local craftspersons, antique stores, the easy to walk
self-guided tour or just rest for a few hours in the local movie theatre . A large
modern supermarket, major drug store and many retail stores serve the community and
visitors alike year round. Weaverville is the county seat of Trinity County with government, with modern medical, legal and public safety services headquarterd there. James Hilton, the author of "Lost Horizons" containing the legendary "Shangri-la" said that
Weaverville came closest to that definition than anywhere else on the planet.
Weaverville Chamber of Commerce
- Wildwood- In 1828, legendary explorer passed just a few miles south of Wildwood. The large pasture lands
have supported cattle ranching for years. The Wildwood Inn on Highway 36 was frequented by the post WW2 "Rich and Famous". The Wildwood Store on Highway 36 has fuel, a restaurant, groceries and supplies. Old buildings reflecting a
bustling past stand in a now a quiet community with a growing retirement population.
- Zenia- About 1865 a US Post Office was to be established, but there was no historical placename, so they
took the name "Zenia". There is no "Zenia" without the Zenia Post Office. There are no commercial establishments remaining
today. Some of the largest ranches in the County of Trinity are in the Zenia Area.
- Trinity Pictorial, NCP Publications, Bill Hall
- Trinity Journal- Recreation Guides
- Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association- Official Visitors Guide
- Trinity County Chamber of Commerce- Website & Omni Guide- 1990
- Weaverville Chamber of Commerce- Souvenir Book- 2000
First Draft- December 10, 2002
Last Updated: December 4, 2006
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