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Old Emigrant Trail (No. 111 California Historical Landmark)

Historic Site or District
Pit River in Modoc National Forest –

California Historical Landmarks Program

Historical Landmarks are sites, buildings, features, or events that are of statewide significance and have anthropological, cultural, military, political, architectural, economic, scientific or technical, religious, experimental, or other value. Historical Landmarks are eligible for registration if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

1) Is the first, last, only, or most significant of its type in the state or within a large geographic region

2) Is associated with an individual or group having a profound influence on the history of California

3) Is a prototype of, or an outstanding example of, a period, style, architectural movement or construction or is one of the more notable works or the best surviving work in a region of a pioneer architect, designer or master builder

California’s Landmark Program began in the late 1800s with the formation of the Landmarks Club and the California Historical Landmarks League. In 1931, the program became official when legislation charged the Department of Natural Resources—and later the California State Chamber of Commerce—with registering and marking buildings of historical interest or landmarks.

In 1948, Governor Earl Warren created the California Historical Landmarks Advisory Committee to increase the integrity and credibility of the program. Finally, this committee was changed to the California Historical Resources Commission in 1974. Information about registered landmarks numbered 770 onward is kept in the California Register of Historical Resources authoritative guide. Landmarks numbered 669 and below were registered prior to establishing specific standards, and may be added to the California Register when criteria for evaluating the properties are adopted.

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Located about eight miles west of Canby, near the present Pit River-Happy Camp Road, this historical landmark consists of visible remnants of the Lassen Trail, which was used extensively during the California Gold Rush. An estimated 21,000 people came to California in 1849 and more than 8,000 of them used this trail. Although this old pioneer trail is part of one of the earliest roads in northeasten California, is yet easily traced. Trees 8 to 10 inches in diameter are growing in the old road bed. Biking or hiking this beautifully scenic trail is a great experience.

See this site, and 65 other early emigrant related points of interest along the Emigrant Trails Scenic Byway.

Modoc County

Through Modoc County, the northeastern corner of the Sierra Nevada mountains, thousands of early emigrants traveled in search of newly discovered gold during the Gold Rush of the mid 1800s. Prior to settlement, this region was inhabited only by Paiute, Pit River (“Achumawi”), and Modoc Native American tribes. As settlers flocked to California, battles with the Modoc over territory and resources stained this area’s history in bloody conflict. The Modoc War (1872–1873), fought here, was the last of the Native American Wars to occur in California.

Time Period Represented

Mid 1800's

Nearby Places