For thousands of years, native inhabitants revered this snowcapped volcano, its craggy peaks, thick forests, crystal waters, and abundant wildlife. “Lonely as god and white as a winter moon, Mount Shasta starts up sudden and solitary from the heart of the great black forests of Northern California,” Joaquin Miller so eloquently wrote. In the late 1820s, trappers first encountered the mountain, followed later by other explorers and travelers. By the 1870s, early settler Justin Sisson had developed a resort with guided tours to Mount Shasta’s summit. In 1887, after the railroad was completed, the town of Sisson was established at the base of the mountain, where hotels and saloons catered to tourists and lumbermen from nearby mills. South of the mountain, travelers on Southern Pacific’s Shasta Route filled the resorts along the Sacramento River. The new century brought a new mode of travel, the automobile, and a new name for Sisson. “Mount Shasta City” was chosen to reflect the town’s special connection to the mountain.
About the Author
Darla Greb Mazariegos, a resident of Mount Shasta, is the author of a book on the early history of Fremont, California, where her family first settled in 1859. Selecting photographs from the College of the Siskiyous Library’s Mount Shasta Collection, the Siskiyou County Museum, and other fine collections, the author takes the reader on a historic journey through Mount Shasta’s scenic wilderness and the town that grew in its shadow.