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Historic Towns of Lassen County

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HISTORICAL TOWNS IN LASSEN COUNTY

Amedee Fort Sage
Buntingville Hayden Hill
Chat Hobo Camp
Clinton Richmond
Constantia Stacy

Amedee:

Terms and Vocabulary

controversy terminal focal point

Amedee was established as a rail terminal on the eastern shore of Honey Lake and named after Amedee Depau Moran, one of the owners of the Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad. It once was as large as Susanville. After the 1893 fire destroyed much of Susanville's business district, moving the county seat there was seriously considered. The post office was operational between 1890 - 1924.

There was a lot of controversy about the railroad not going through Susanville and the high shipping prices charged. Between the railroad and steamboat that crossed Honey Lake, Amedee became a focal point of trade for dairy farmers, stock and feed buyers, and other merchandise in the 1890's and 1900's.

The Amedee Hotel was also a recreational center with hot springs, saloons, and gambling. One could ride a paddle boat on Honey Lake from Amedee. The hotel burned down in the early 1900's. The railroad changed its operations to Wendel which eventually killed the town. The entire town was sold to Jack and Margaret Humphrey in 1950 for $32.15 in a tax sale. It was the only bid.

Cemetary Information

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Buntingville:

Terms and Vocabulary

cooper erected merchandise
intersection    

Buntingville sat 2 miles east of Janesville and was originally called Thompsons after the first settler Manly Thompson. Later it was named for A.J. Bunting who erected a large building here in 1878 as a stage stop on intersection of the Alturas and Reno Stage Road. This building housed his family and a large stock of general merchandise. In 1880 T.J. Glascock converted the store to a hotel. In 1882 the town also had a store, a blacksmith, carriage, carpenter and cooper shops. In 1878, the editor of Susanville's paper, The Lassen Advocate, joking suggested the town's name be changed to Catville due to the large number of cats and kittens there. In 1882, Buntingville and Janesville competed for the building of a flour mill. Buntingville lost. It was, however, the headquarters of the first telephone company in Lassen County, the Honey Lake Mutual Telephone Association from 1911-1924. The Standish/Buntingville Road is County Road A3 that runs between Standish and Janesville.

Cemetary Information

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Chat:

testified exclusive prosecution

In Long Valley, Jonathon Chatum "Chat" Roberts took over the lease on the Junction House Ranch and Station from his son, Dick Roberts, in 1883. The Nevada-California-Oregon Railroad agreed to establish a depot there provided Chat Roberts had the exclusive right to the hotel, restaurant, and bar. Chat Roberts sold the town to his son Jonathon Bedford Roberts for $500 in 1889. The post office existed from 1885-1894 and as New Chat from 1896-1900. The railroad moved its depot to another location due to the Roberts's actions of robbery.

"Chat" Roberts was more famous than his town. On November 4, 1870, he and seven other men robbed a train of $41,600 of Wells Fargo money in Verdi, Nevada. It was called "The Great Train Robbery." Chat testified for the prosecution and was not charged. His son Bedford was not as good at robbery. He and another man tried to rob a stage. They got $90 from the stage driver and did not know a passenger had $7000 in military payroll. A gun was fired which injured Bedford's partner and scared the horses. They dropped the money. Bedford was tried and was not convicted.

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Clinton:

In the early 1900's, the town of Clinton existed where the current community of Leavitt Lake is located. It was first called Buggytown, then Riverside, and finally Clinton when the post office was established in 1896. The post office was closed in 1915. It was named for Clinton, Maine, the hometown of Benjamin Hanson Leavitt, the area's prominent citizen. In 1973, the area was renamed Leavitt Lake when construction of the houses there began.

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Constantia:

Albert Elijah Smith found this land in 1863 and in 1884 he built a $14,000 mansion with 17 rooms. It was nicknamed the "White House." It 1898 he sold this property and others to Henry Butters who was president of the Northern Electric Railroad. He named the place Constantia after a city in South Africa. He opened a store, built a small St. Mary's Chapel Catholic Church, and a Wells Fargo office. He sold it in 1904. There were then several owners of Constantia. The post office began as the Long Valley Post Office in 1898. The named changed to Constantia in 1912 and operated until 1927. The mansion burned down in the early 1960's. The church has been moved to Doyle and can been seen from Highway 395. It is being restored and will become a museum.

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Fort Sage:

Terms and Vocabulary:

encampment rude  

This was not a town but a military encampment in near eastern Lassen County in Nevada. Unlike its name, Fort Sage was never a fort and was called Camp Sage by the military. It was used as a rest stop between Reno, Nevada, and Fort Bidwell, but the dates it operated are not known. According to Alexis Von Schmidt surveyed the area in 1872 wrote in his journal that Sage Fort Creek was named for some settlers who built a rude fort to help defend themselves from an Indian attack. They were eventually killed. A second version told by Charles Clark through Phillip Hall. He stated a crude stone fort was built by soldiers after they heard about an Indian scare and no one was killed.

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Hayden Hill:

Terms and Vocabulary:

prospectors

Seven prospectors camped in this area of northern Lassen County located north of Eagle Lake in the fall of 1869. One of the group, Rev. H.D. Haskins, found gold as he cleared out a spring for the benefit of future travelers. They named their discovery "The Providence." Word got out and by summer of 1870, over 500 men lived in the area prospecting for gold. In December, 1870, the mining district was created and named Hayden Hill instead of Providence. It was named after Joseph Hayden, 56, supposedly to honor the oldest miner there. At one time, there were twenty mining companies with four ore crushers and four quartz mills. Miners took out more than a million dollars in gold. Some of the gold was below 300 feet deep, too far to tunnel.
In 1908, a new vein was discovered and over 100 men were hired to work it. In 1910, a major fire burned down the buildings. The mining in the area didn't return. Between 1992 and 1997, the Amax Gold Inc. mined the area and took out 510,000 ounces of gold and 1.4 million ounces of silver. The post offices at Hayden Hill show the coming and going of residents. They operated from 1871-1875, 1878-1887, 1888-1912, and 1915-1919.

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Hobo Camp:

migrant laborers hobo  

Here Isaac Roop, Ephraim Roop, and William McNaull built Lassen County's first sawmill in 1857. Isaac Roop donated the land east of the mill for a cemetery after Perry Craig, the first person buried in the historic cemetery, drowned in a mill pond. Roop sold it to Luther Spencer in 1862 who operated the mill until it burned in 1867.

Later this area was called Jungletown. Many migrant laborers, often called hobos at the time, stayed in the area hopping trains as needed. It is a popular picnic and fishing spot now.

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Richmond

This is first town established in Lassen County because of the discovery of gold at Diamond Mountain in 1856. In 1859, Frank Drake built a log building for a hotel and store. He named it after his hometown in Richmond, Virginia. Business boomed the first year, so he built another hotel. By 1860, Richmond had the largest general store, hotels, a saloon and bowling alley, a wagon shop, a blacksmith, several homes, and a newspaper - The Richmond Times. The first Masonic Lodge, Lassen Lodge #149, was established there in 1861. It later moved to Susanville. The gold discovery did not amount to much and by 1862 the town was nearly abandoned as prospectors moved to gold on the Humboldt River and silver in Virginia City, Nevada. "Richmond had gone up like a rocket and came down like a stick and Susanville had been left to glory over her rival." (Farris and Smith) The hotel was the last standing building. It blew down in 1908.

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Stacy

The town of Stacy was another railroad town for the Fernley & Lassen Railroad. It was named for Stacy Yoakum Spoon, the wife of the postmaster and developer, Grover Franklin Spoon. The town was expected to boom after due to the sugar beet industry that was just beginning. However, the irrigation project did not become established and the town never grew. The post office operated from 1912 to 1951.

Cemetary Information

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[ TABLE OF CONTENTS ]

Susanville Centennial, Lassen Co. Advocate 1965.
Purdy, Tim. A Lassen County Almanac: An Historical Encyclopedia, 2002.

Information presented on this page was researched and contributed by:

Holly Azevado
Marilyn Chapman
Heather Cluck