Lassen County, California

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Lassen County is a county located in the northeastern portion of the U.S. state of California. As of 2000 the population was 33,828. The county seat is Susanville, the only incorporated city in the county.

Contents

History

Lassen County was formed on April 1, 1864 from parts of Plumas and Shasta Counties following the two-day conflict known as the "Sagebrush War", also called the Roop County War,[1] that started on February 15, 1863. Due to uncertainties over the California border, what is now Lassen County was part of the unofficial Nataqua Territory and Roop County, Nevada during the late 1850s and early 1860s.

The county was named after Peter Lassen,[2] along with Lassen Peak, which is in adjoining Shasta County. Lassen was one of General John C. Fremont's guides, and a famous trapper, frontiersman and Indian fighter. He was murdered under mysterious circumstances near the Black Rock Desert in 1859, and his murder was never solved.

By the 1880s small towns began to spring up all over Lassen County. Bieber was at the north end of the county, in rich farm land. Hayden Hill was where a gold discovery happened, and a small town sprang up to support the miners. Hayden Hill no longer exists: as the mining stopped, the town's people left for other communities. Madeline was formed at the north end of another rich farming valley, and along the railroad tracks heading north to Alturas, California, this community to this day has about 50 people living in and around the town. A narrow gauge railroad ran through Lassen County from 1880 to 1927, and was called the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway. The N.C.O.R. was the longest small gauge of the century. It was meant to connect Reno, Nevada to the Columbia River, but only 238 miles (383 km) of track were laid, from Reno to Lakeview, Oregon.

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