Site of the First School in Fall River Valley (No. 759 California Historical Landmark)
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. The Chamber of Commerce then created a committee of prestigious historians, including DeWitt Hutchings and Lawrence Hill, to evaluate potential landmark sites.
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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Fall River Valley was first settled in 1855 by Mr. Bowles and Mr. Rogers who brought teams of oxen and wagon loads filled with machinery to establish a sawmill. The Fall River Valley School was built later in 1868. The school was constructed completely from logs. The 20 x 30 foot school house featured no windows or floor. Two years later, in 1870, another sawmill was built to supply the wood for the floor and student desks.
Today, Fall River Valley agriculture and recreation play an important part in the economy and lifestyle of residents and visitors. The town is surrounded on all four sides by scenic views of Mt. Shasta and Lassen Volcanic National Park. The town of Fall River Mills has remained a small mountain community. The 2010 Census Records indicate the population is less than 600 people.
Boating, canoeing and white water rafting are popular at either Fall River Lake, Eastman and Big Lake. The seven tributaries of these lakes – Fall River, Tule River, Ja-She Creek, Lava Creek, Bear Creek, Shelly Creek and Pit River – form one of the largest systems of fresh water springs in the nation protected as Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park.
The Historical Marker is located on State Highway 299, 3.6 miles east of McArthur. See also the site of the former Lockhart Ferry that connected the wagon roads of the mining camps while visiting the area
Shasta County is bordered by the Trinity Mountains to the west and the Cascade Range to the east, featuring the Lassen Volcanic National Park. Although Shasta’s jewels include Lassen Peak and Lake Shasta, Siskiyou County to the north claims the spectacular landmark Mount Shasta.
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