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Shasta County

  • Shasta County Granite, Limestone, Marble, Sandstone, and Tuff (historical times through 1906) – Excerpt from The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.

    Shasta County Granite:

    "The granite in Shasta County is principally a hornblende granite. It contains, as a rule, relatively little hornblende and bioxite and is of light color. Where not decomposed, the rock is much jointed and cross-jointed, showing the effect of strong pressure. These fracture planes and the quartz seams cutting through the rock are the cause of its not being used for building or monument purposes."

    Shasta County Limestone:

    "In the western half of Shasta County limestone is found mainly in three almost parallel belts, having a general north and south direction. (See also on this subject: J. S. Diller, U. S. Geological Survey, Bulletins No. 196, p. 64, No. 213, p. 365, and No. 225, p. 176, and American Journal Science, 4th series, Vol. 15, pp. 342 et seq.; J. S. Diller, Ch. Schuchert, American Journal of Science, 3d Series, Vol. 47, pp. 417 et seq. , H. W. Fairbanks, XIth Annual Report, California State Mining Bureau, p. 48, and XIIth ibid., p. 395; American Geologist, Vol. 14, p. 26; Prof. James Perrin Smith, Journal of Geology, Vol. 2, p. 592.)

    "The most eastern belt, Triassic limestone, is found on Cedar Creek, east of the Afterthought mine, in the southern portion of T. 34 N., R. 1 and 2 W. A subordinate exposure is found on the east slope of Bear Mountain, in the northeastern part of T. 33 N., R. 3 W., north of Pit River, the Triassic limestone forms Brock Mountain and may be traced for several miles, crossing Squaw Creek. This limestone has been referred to as the Hosselkus limestone beds, belonging to the Upper Trias…It is an extensive exposure, and shows a great thickness of limestone, covering Secs. 7 and 8, T. 34 N., R. 2 W. The lower part has a dark gray color, is rather thinly bedded, and is cut by numerous seams of calcite; while the upper portion is more massive, contains less calcite seams, and has a lighter gray color. The limestone contains many fossils.

    "Limestone is quarried from the lower or thin-bedded portion of this deposit for use as furnace flux at the Bully Hill copper smelter. The quarry is worked by hand-drilling

    "The analysis of this limestone as given by Mr. J. B. Keating, general superintendent of the Bully Hill mine, is: CaO, 52 percent; SiO2, 5.5 per cent; organic, 1.5 per cent.

    "Mr. Diller, in Bulletin No. 225, U. S. Geological Survey, page 187, remarks that the lower beds probably contain some clay. He suggests that this limestone might be suitable for the manufacture of hydraulic cement, mixed with the Tuscan tuffs found on Stillwater and east of Millville. Judging from its appearance, however, its value for the production of lime appears doubtful.

    "About 6 or 7 miles west of this belt of Triassic limestone a prominent belt of Carboniferous limestone occurs, in places showing a thickness of 2000 feet. The most southern exposure of this belt is near Lilienthal, in Sec. 26, T. 33 N., R. 4 W. From there it can be traced along Rancheria Creek to the Grey Rocks, south of Pit River, in the northeastern part of T. 33 N., R. 4 W. North of Pit River and east of McCloud River it forms the McCloud Bluffs (photograph by Capt. Lambson and Sketch D., Ill. No. 37), and can be traced north as far as Grizzly Peak, on the divide between McCloud River and Kosk Creek, in Siskiyou County. Wherever stratification can be observed in the limestone it shows a northwesterly dip. In places the limestone is highly metamorphosed.

    "The limestone in this belt has as yet not been used for burning lime. Some was quarried near Potter's Creek, in Sec. 24, T. 34 N., R. 4 W., and used for flux at the Bully Hill smelter. Its analysis as given by Mr. J. B. Keating is: Lime, 54.5 per cent; insoluble, 3 per cent.

    "West of this belt, between the McCloud and Sacramento rivers, are sporadic limestone exposures, indicating a limestone belt intermediate between the carboniferous McCloud limestone and the Devonian limestone west thereof. Where examined the limestone has a dark gray color.

    "The most western belt of limestone in Shasta County is of Devonian age. It crops out in isolated patches along the eastern slope of the range dividing the Klamath and Sacramento river drainage. In the northern part of the county, in T. 37 N., R. 4 W., the same limestone belt crops out on Hazel Creek and Soda Creek, east of the Sacramento River. The limestone in this belt is more compact and has a more bluish gray tint than the Carboniferous limestone; occasionally seams filled with large calcite crystals are found. The limestone is of uneven quality; in places it is very good, showing on the fracture a very fine-grained, very light gray or whitish material, and when burned produces very nearly pure lime. In other places, it is somewhat impure, showing dark gray spots, burning to lime of a less pure grade. The limestone lies generally in contact with shales, although most of the country rock surround the deposits on Backbone Creek is of igneous character. In the new quarry of Holt & Gregg on the south side of the divide between the two Backbone creeks, in Section 34, the relation of the limestone, the underlying shales, and intrusive diorite can be seen (Section on Sketch D.)

    "The limestone deposits in Sec. 22, T. 34 N., R. 5 W., are owned by the Alta Lime and Brick Company, Redding. This company started operations about January 1, 1904, and is building a road from its limekiln in Section 24, same township, near the railroad, to the mine. The limekiln is under construction, and will have a capacity of 8 tons per twenty-four hours.

    "The limestone in Sec. 31, T. 31 N., R. 5 W., Dr. Th. R. Heintz, Redding, owner, forms a prominent bluff on the north side of Clear Creek, from 60 to 70 feet high and 300 feet long. The limestone can be traced farther up the hill to about 110 feet above its lowest exposure, where it is overlaid by black shales. Mr. J. S. Diller (Bulletin U. S. Geological Survey, No. 213, page 365) classified this limestone as Devonian.

    "There is a small outcrop of the same limestone just opposite on the south side of Clear Creek. The remnants of an old limekiln are found at the foot of the bluffs; formerly a great amount of lime was burned here and was shipped as far as Colusa…."

    "The deposit in the S. E. ¼ of Sec. 32, T. 34 N., R. 5 W., Mountain Copper Company, Keswick, owner, was quarried some years ago, and used for flux in the smelter at Keswick."

    Ill. No. 36. McCloud Limestone Bluffs, from U. S. Fisheries, Shasta County McCloud Limestone Bluffs

    Shasta County Marble:

    "In Sec. 3, T. 33 N., R. 4 W., M. D. M., H. H. Rosemann, Bayha P. O., has opened up a marble body by an open cut 35 feet long, with a height of 20 feet at breast. The marble is still broken up, but promises to produce a good material in depth. Through it are boulders of aragonite (onyx marble) of various colors."

    Shasta County Sandstone:

    "A few miles northeast of Redding, the Cretaceous Chico sandstone forms the surface rock of Secs. 7 and 18, T. 32 N., R. 4 W. The tawny-colored sandstone occurs in thick horizontal beds, enabling the quarrying of large blocks. It makes a fairly good building stone, and has been used in many of the prominent buildings in northern California. Two quarries have been worked on this sandstone: Sandflat Quarry, in Sec. 18; A. Dutton, Redding, owner. Stillwater Quarry, in Section 7; F. H. Dakin, 104 Sutter street, San Francisco, owner."

    Shasta County Tuff:

    "A belt of tuff extends from Clover Creek to Bear Creek, a distance of 5 miles.

    "In Sec. 18, T. 31 N., R. 2 W., in the forks of Old Cow Creek and South Cow Creek, east of Millville, a bluff of Tuscan tuff rises with steep sides from 30 to 50 feet high. In the road the underlying Chico sandstone is found, nearly horizontal; dip S. 50 W., at an angle of about 10 . The tuff has a light gray color, and contains a great number of inclusions of various sizes and hardness, some even of a soft talcose material. The rock is rather soft and easily cut to any desired form, but hardens on exposure. Being light, it makes a good building material for a temperate climate."

  • Shasta County Mines and Mineral Resources (circa 1913-1914) – Excerpts from Report XIV of the State Mineralogist - Mines and Mineral Resources of Portions of California, Chapters of State Mineralogist's Report - Biennial Period 1913-1914, Part VI. "The Counties of Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity," by G. Chester Brown, Field Assistant (field work in November, 1913), San Francisco, California, July, 1915, California State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1916, pp. 746-925.

    Introduction (to Shasta County)

    "Shasta County, noted since 1896 for its copper resources, has an area of 4050 square miles, and lies in the mountainous regions at the head of the Sacramento Valley. It is bounded on the north by Siskiyou, on the east by Lassen, on the south by Plumas and Tehama, and on the west by Trinity County, and derived its name from Mount Shasta, which, when the county was organized, stood within its limits. In 1852, when Siskiyou County was created, it was made to take in that portion of Shasta which contained this mountain, thereby depriving the county's name of its significance and fitness.

    "The western border of the county is along the Trinity Range summit, and the county reaches eastward high up the slope of the Sierra Nevada Range, which bears westward and merges with the Coast Range in Shasta and Siskiyou counties. Short irregular ranges cover the greater part of the county between the main ranges to the east and west.

    "In the southeastern corner is Lassen Peak, an old volcanic cone, which has exhibited true volcanic activity since May 30, 1914. In the bowl of the much eroded old crater a series of steam explosions have opened a new vent, and from it stones have been thrown over an area more than one half mile in diameter, and ejected volcanic ash has been wind-borne in sufficient quantities to make a perceptible deposit at a distance of fifteen to twenty miles. No freshly molten lava has been seen and no heat has been noticeable except that of escaping steam. Sulphur fumes and slight sulphur deposits near the vent have been noticed by nearly all observers. On June 28, 1914, the new crater was estimated to have a length of 400 feet. (See photos No. 1 and No. 2.)

    Photo No. 1. Lassen Peak, eruption June 14, 1914, at 9:45 a.m. Lassen Peak, eruption June 14, 1914
    Photo No. 2. Lassen Peak, new crater, 400 feet long, June 28, 1914. assen Peak, new crater, 400 feet long, June 28, 1914

    "'A heavy eruption took place on June 14th, and two new craters opened up a mile from the main hole. A shower of ash and stones fell from the craters and the smoke rose to a height of 5000 feet.' (Report of J. M. Stark, United States Forest Service Lookout on Mount Turner.)

    "That volcanic activity is not yet extinct in the Lassen Peak district is shown by the presence of numerous solfataras and hot springs. At Bumpass' Hell, near the southern base of the peak, there are boiling mud pools and occurrences of vigorous solfataric action. Nearby, at the head of Mill Creek, the sulphur deposits by such action is so abundant that attempts have been made to mine it.

    "Lassen Peak has four distinct summits, the highest having an elevation of 10,527 feet. During a period of activity a few hundred years ago the lava from this mountain blanketed the eastern portion of Shasta County as far as the Sacramento River.*

    (* Page 750 footnote: Bibl.: Lassen Peak Folio, U.S. Geol. Surv., 1894; University of California, publications in Geography, August 7, 1914; Mining and Scientific Press, Vol. 109, p. 143.)

    Water Resources (in Shasta County)

    "Shasta County has a splendid water supply. The rainfall, occurring chiefly in the winter, exceeds forty inches as a rule, and the snows of the higher ranges maintain the streams throughout the summer months.

    "The Sacramento, McLoud and Pit, the principal rivers, afford valuable power resources. The first two of these rise in the mountains above the northern boundary, while the last has its source in Modoc County. The Sacramento flows southward through the western half of the county in a deep, sinuous and picturesque canyon, crossing the copper belt near the apex of the Sacramento Valley plain. The torrential Pit crosses the axis of the Sierra Range through heavy forests and deep canyons and joins the Sacramento in the midst of the copper belt. The McCloud discharges into the Pit amid the gossan cappings of the copper deposits. Thus there is a general convergence of the important rivers and streams of the county in and through the chief mineral region.

    Timber Supply (in Shasta County)

    "The timber supply of Shasta County in the higher ranges is excellent, but in other sections adjacent to the mining districts, the supply is generally limited, although on some of the higher ridges yellow pine is found in considerable abundance.

    Transportation Facilities (in Shasta County)

    "The California and Oregon branch of the Southern Pacific railway system crosses the county and affords direct transportation facilities for the copper belt along the course of the Sacramento River.

    "The Mountain Copper Company operates a narrow gauge railroad between the mine and Keswick Station. This road is eleven miles long and extremely tortuous in its course, descending a grade of nearly 2000 feet between the mine and its terminus.

    "The Sacramento and Eastern, a standard gauge railroad owned by the General Electric Company, connects the Bully Hill Mine with Pit station on the Oregon branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad. This road is about fourteen miles long.

    "The Delta Consolidated railroad, owned by the Delta Consolidated Mining Company, connects Delta, a station on the Oregon branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad, with the mine. This narrow gauge road is seven miles long.

    "Good wagon roads serve the outlying territory from the Southern Pacific Railway.

    Mining Industries (in Shasta County)

    "Shasta County is identified with the State's early mining activity, this industry, however, being practically confined to the western third of the county, for the eastern half is buried, as a rule, under lava deposits, which effectually hide the minerals that undoubtedly exist.

    "In that portion of the county west of the Sacramento River, the early placers were rich and extensive, and recent and ancient auriferous gravel deposits remain, affording opportunities for various forms of placer mining, including gold dredging, which is being pursued near Redding.

    "Hydraulic mining operations are very limited, due to the State débris law, as Shasta is one of the counties affected by this act.

    "Quartz mining was of slow development, owing to the base character of the ores in most of the districts in which gold-bearing veins were early discovered.

    "Copper mining has received a setback due to the fume agitations and lawsuits resulting therefrom, yet a solution of this problem is looked for in the near future, as experimental plants are now being erected which should eliminate the trouble. The Mammoth was the only smelter in operation in Shasta County in 1913.

    "The smelting of iron ore with hydroelectric energy, as practiced at Heroult on the Pit, is focusing the interest of the industrial world. The work has been done on a large and practical scale and results are of a definite nature.

    Climatic Conditions (in Shasta County)

    "Shasta County has a wide range of climatic conditions, due to the difference in altitude from the valley floor, approximately 500 feet above sea level, to over 10,000 feet. Agriculture is pursued in the valleys and foothills, and a diversity of soil products grown.

    Mineral Resources (in Shasta County)

    "Its mineral resources consist of gold, silver, copper, zinc, iron, chrome, barite, asbestos, coal, limestone, cement materials, clays, marble, granite, and mineral waters.

    "Shasta County in 1913 was the first in the production of copper, silver and pyrite, third in lead, and sixth in gold. This county ranked fourth in the total mineral production of the State, but exclusive of petroleum, leads all others.

    Granite (in Shasta County)

    "The granite in Shasta County is generally of a light color, containing some hornblende and shows the effect of strong pressure, as the rock, when not decomposed, is much jointed and cross-jointed. It is not much used for building or monument purposes on account of fracture planes and quartz seams cutting through the rock.

    "Bibl.: Bull. No. 38, p. 53."

    Limestone (in Shasta County)

    "Three parallel belts of limestone, having a general north and south strike, occur in the western half of this county. The most eastern belt is found on Cedar Creek, east of the Afterthought mine in the southern portion of T. 34 N., R. 1 and 2 W., and in Secs. 7 and 8, T. 34 N., R. 2 W., the furnace flux for the Bully Hill mine coming from the latter sections. Another belt is found in Sec. 26, T. 33 N., R. 4 W., and can be traced for many miles, forming the McCloud bluffs, near the United States Fisheries. The most western belt crops out east of the Sacramento River in the northern part of the county, and is again found west of Kennett, on the south side of the divide between the two Backbone creeks. This deposit has been more extensively worked than any of the others, and is of good quality.

    "Bibl.: Diller, U. S. Geol. Surv., Bull. No. 196, P. 94; Bull. No. 213, p. 365; Bull. No. 225, p. 176. State Mining Bureau Bull. No. 38, pp. 89-91, 366; Vol. I of Paleontology of California, Whitney; Report XI, pp. 35-40."

    Macadam (in Shasta County)

    "The macadam used for the streets of Redding comes from the Redding Municipal Quarry, located in Sec. 29, T. 32 N., R. 5 W., 1 mile northwest of this city. The holdings consist of 30 acres, patented. The quarry work is under the direction of the superintendent of streets. The rock is altered, siliceous in character, and igneous in origin. The deposit is massive and easily worked…."

    Marble (in Shasta County)

    "Marble is found in Sec. 3, T. 33 N., R. 4 W., about 5 miles east of Kennett. The quality and extent is not known, as the deposit is considerably broken up on the surface and has not been developed.

    "Bibl.: Report VI, p. 98; Bull. No. 38, p. 107.

    Sandstone (in Shasta County)

    "A few miles northeast of Redding the Cretaceous Chico sandstone forms the surface rocks of Secs. 7 and 18, T. 32 N., R. 4 W. This deposit occurs in thick horizontal beds so that the quarrying of large blocks is a simple matter. Rock has a tawny color, quality is fair…."

    "Bibl.: Bull. No. 38, p. 138."

    Tuff (in Shasta County)

    "A belt of tuff extends from Clover Creek to Bear Creek, a distance of 5 miles, in Sec. 18, T. 31 N., R. 2 W.; in the forks of old Cow Creek, and South Cow Creek, a bluff of Tuscan tuff rises with steep sides from 30 to 50 feet high. The tuff has a light gray color and easily cuts to any desired form, but hardens on exposure. Being light, it makes a good building material for a temperate climate.

    "Bibl.: Bull. No. 38, p. 161."

  • Shasta, County, California, Mineral Resources & Introduction to the Shasta County Area of California (circa 1915) – Excerpt from Sacramento Valley and Foothill Counties of California: An Illustrated Description of all the Counties Embraced in this Richly productive Geographical Subdivision of the Golden State, compiled and edited by Emmett Phillips and John H. Miller, Published under the direction of The Sacramento Valley Exposition, J. A. Filcher, Director-in Chief, January, 1915.
    Gems of Beauty and Utility Abound in Shasta County. Gems of Beauty and Utility Abound in Shasta County

    Shasta County, by M. E. Dittmar, Redding, California.

    "The best foundation for communal prosperity is diversity of resource. A diversity of soil and climate assure a variety of agricultural, horticultural and pomological products. A diversity of industrial raw materials and forest resources invites industrial expansion. When a community embraces these, with a superabundance of water for power and irrigation, it offers a combination of advantages, rarely equalled (sic) and never excelled. These are the advantages that Shasta County at the extreme head of the Sacramento Valley possesses.

    "In area Shasta is the largest geographical subdivision of the Sacramento River drainage, embracing 4,050 square miles within its borders - the States of Rhode Island and Delaware could be included in this area and leave a surplus of over 750 square miles.

    "The increasing importance of irrigation as an aid to intensive agriculture, speeding up the soil, is generally recognized. As compared with dry farming and cereal crops exclusively, intensive agriculture, fruitgrowing (sic) and diversified husbandry, has increased the annual net profit from the soil many fold. In the last analysis, water on the land is as a rule more valuable than the land itself.

    "According to official daily gauging records, the average annual run-off, originating within the limits of Shasta County, is 8,100,000 acre feet - a valuable irrigation and power asset.

    "Over one-sixth of the potential water-power energy of California exists within the border of Shasta County. The development of cheap and convenient power means industrial development. Water, for power and for irrigation, is the 'open sesame' of Shasta's future.

    "To utilize the power, Shasta has industrial raw materials to attract giants of capital and industry. The industrial metals, copper, iron and zinc, already highly developed and of the first magnitude in quantity; cement materials and great beds of fine quality clays; the elements essential for the manufacture of commercial fertilizers, on a scale to supply the greater part of the North American continent with calcium nitrates - destined to entirely supersede the sodium nitrates of Chile; hardwood timber for the manufacture of furniture, and vast forests of commercial pine and fir for the lumberman - containing over 5,250,000,000 feet (board measure) standing commercial timber.

    "These resources represent the foundation for an industrial community that cannot be equalled (sic) for diversity, quantity and general advantages, within a like area anywhere in the United States.

    In metal mining, Shasta has been in a class by itself, leading all other countries in California for the past eighteen years. The official statistics from 1897 - the year when her great sulphide ore bodies were first exploited - to 1914 (last year estimated) credit the county with a total output of $99,144,777, or an average of over $5,508,000 per year.

    "More than two thousand men find employment at good wages, all the year round, in this great industry, and approximately $3,000,000 per annum are paid out within the borders of the county for wages and supplies.

    "The great industrial metal, copper, is next to iron in importance, in the work of the world. In the past eighteen years Shasta has produced 488,211,278 pounds of this metal.

    "To Shasta County is due the credit of the first important development on the Pacific Coast, in the production of iron ore, and the manufacture of pigiron by means of the electric furnace.

    "The electric furnaces at Heroult have also been utilized in the manufacture of ferro-manganese, for the steel plants of the eastern portion of the United States. Here are grouped the iron ores, the elements essential in the manufacture of special steel, and a million horsepower of potential energy - the basis for the upbuilding of another Pittsburgh.

    "In emphasizing the industrial present and future of Shasta County, we wish to make its importance apparent from the 'home market' viewpoint, with thousands of consumers finding remunerative and continuous occupation the producer has an advantage not frequently enjoyed, and this is particularly true where intensive cultivation is practiced, on smaller land holdings.

    Deciduous fruit is grown on an extensive scale in the lower valleys and foothills. The culture of the prune is predominant, with peaches and pears a close second.

    "The olive, one of the most stable orchard products, has demonstrated its superiority in Shasta County. Hundreds of contiguous acres are now planted to olive groves, and one of the largest groves in the State, containing 120 acres, planted more than twenty years ago, is also one of the most prolific in the State.

    "The vine, in these higher but still semi-tropic latitudes, during the long sunny summer days, stores larger percentages of sugar in the grape - an advantage that will appeal to the viticulturist.

    "No climatic reason exists why oranges should not be grown successfully, as the isothermal zone of the Central California valleys extends to the vicinity of Redding. Trees a score of years old or more, planted chiefly for ornamental purposes, attest the feasibility of citrus culture.

    "Cereals of all kinds are grown in the main valley - especially in the Church Creek Bottoms - and in the mountain valleys of northeastern Shasta. A greater area is being devoted from year to year, to alfalfa, with the increase of irrigation - although three crops are usually cut without irrigation - and dairying and stock-raising are on the increase.

    "The stock-grower, except where stock is wintered in the higher altitudes, does little winter feeding, utilizing instead a combination of summer and winter range, made possibly by the varying altitudes and the vast acreage of public domain in the forest reserves.

    "Shasta County contains a number of thriving cities and towns. Redding is the county seat, a beautifully located city of about four thousand people (circa 1915), at the extreme head of the Sacramento Valley, where mountain and vale meet. It is the natural distributing center for a large area of Northern California, the center of industrial development, with large and prosperous business houses, excellent hotels, etc., up-to-date schools including the Shasta County high school, churches of various denominations, and all the more prominent fraternal organizations.

    "The thriving towns of Anderson and Cottonwood are the chief fruit centers of Shasta, and thousands of tons of fruit, as well as agricultural products and livestock, are shipped annually from these points.

    "Kennett is the center of smelting activity, and is an important industrial city of over two thousand people.

    "Other towns of importance are Fall River and McArthur, in northeastern Shasta; Castella, La Moine and Delta, in the Sacramento Canyon; De Lamar, French Gulch, the old pioneer county seat of Shasta, Coram and Keswick, in the mining districts; Millville and Ono represent smaller agricultural and stock-raising communities.

    "The County is traversed by many good roads, and the streams are bridged with creditable permanent structures. The California State Highway is under construction, through the heart of Shasta, and State Highway laterals, into Trinity County to the west, connecting with the main trunk road at Redding, have been provided for.

    "Shasta has excellent main line railroad facilities, with expansion in feeders and other main line construction assured in the near future.

    "The beautiful in nature is blended with the utilitarian, in Shasta County. In the Shasta Canyon, enchanting vistas of Mount Shasta and the stately domes and spires of the Castle Crags offer an ever-changing panorama of indescribable grandeur, through verdant mountain recesses cut by the crystal river.

    "The beautiful McCloud in all its pristine glory, where the gamey trout abounds, and the timid doe or stately buck emerges from their leafy lanes along the river's brink or mountain glades. The rugged gorges of the Pit, where masjesty (sic) and power impress the visitor. Beautiful Burney, the misty mistic (sic) falls that tumble over lava cliffs a hundred feet and more, to greet the onrush of the river - all these inspire.

    "But nature, not content with her lavish bestowal of the majestic and beautiful, assays a new wonder - the awe-inspiring eruption of Mount Lassen. In a region of fantastic natural features, the mountain long quiescent now holds the center of the stage. Unique, as the only active crater in continental United States - remote from centers of population, that the release of its pent-up energies may fall harmless - it presents a spectacular climax in its periodical eruptions, forcing a mighty column of steam and volcanic ejecta, two miles and more in the air. This is Shasta's exclusive wonder, though visible for a hundred miles, and Congress recognizes its attractive powers by proposing to establish here the Lassen Volcanic National Park. The Lassen Trail Highway to Manzanita Lake, five miles from the crater summit, presents a route of easy access for the automobilist. The nature lover will find the lure of Shasta's natural wonders an inspirational revelation.

    "The development of the manifold resources of Shasta County assures her a great future -

    "The door of opportunity stands ajar.
    Industrial opportunity for capital.
    Land at reasonable prices for the home-seeker.
    Delightful climate, and magnificent scenery.
    The foundation of prosperity is secure.

    "(Note. - For more detailed information, send for booklet on Shasta County, California, free, address Shasta County Promotion and Development Association, Redding, California. Or during the Fair at Shasta headquarters, California State Palace, P.P.I.E.)"

  • Shasta County Mineral Industry (circa 1919) – Excerpt from California Mineral Production for 1919, Bulletin No. 88, by Walter W. Bradley, California State Mining Bureau, 1920, pp. 165.

    Area: 3,858.
    Population: 13,311 (1920 census)
    Location: North-central portion of state.

    "Shasta County stood eleventh in California among the mineral-producing counties for 1919, with an output valued at $2,912,718, as compared with the 1918 production worth $8,098,671. The marked decrease both in 1918 and 1919 was due to the falling off in the output of copper, the large plants of the Mammoth and Mountain copper companies being shut down most of the year. Not taking petroleum into account, Shasta for a number of years lead (sic) all of the counties by a wide margin; but in 1919 was passed by San Bernardino, Yuba, Amador, and Nevada among the 'metal' counties.

    "Shasta's mineral resources include: Asbestos, barytes, brick, chromite, coal, copper, gold, iron, lead, lime, limestone, mineral water, molybdenum, pyrite, silver, soapstone, miscellaneous stone, and zinc.

    "Lassen Peak is located in southeastern Shasta County

    "Commercial production for 1919 was as follows:

    (Headings for the information below are: Substance, Amount, and Value.)

    Copper, 8,673,342 lbs., $1,613,242
    Gold, ---, $425,000 (estimated)
    Lime and limestone, ---, $29,100
    Platinum, 121 oz., $21,075
    Pyrite, 138,046 tons, $497,398
    Silver,---, $155,000 (estimated)
    Stone, miscellaneous, ---, $31,750
    Other minerals,* ---, $40,153
    (Total value) $2,912,718

    (* Includes barytes, brick, iron ore, lead, mineral water, and zinc.)

    Shasta County, 1916 Map, from California Mineral Production for 1919 (with County Maps), Bulletin No. 88, by Walter W. Bradley, California State Mining Bureau, San Francisco: California State Printing Office, 1920, pp. 183. Shasta County , 1916 Map
  • Shasta County Limestone Industry and Deposits (through 1947) - Excerpts from “Limestone in California,” by Clarence A. Logan, California Journal of Mines and Geology, Vol. 43, No. 3, July 1947, California Division of Mines, San Francisco, California, pp. 175-357. Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

    "High-calcium limestone probably occurs in greater abundance in Shasta County than in any similar area in California, and much of it is easily accessible from present roads. The limestone extracted from the deposits has been limited to that needed for local uses, because of the distance from large consuming centers. If really cheap electric power is made available from Shasta Dam there should be a good possibility of developing industries in the county that can utilize at least part of the immense beds of high-calcium limestone. The presence of large deposits of lignite or sub-bituminous coal is also a factor worth considering, as it offers a cheap local fuel.

    "It will be seen by reference to the section on uses of limestone that a great variety of products could be made in the county which have sales values sufficiently high to take care of freight rates to markets. Whether or not the local advantages of cheap power and fuel would be sufficient to neutralize the cost of the longer haul, would depend on the type of product.

    "The McCloud limestone appears to be of great prospective interest because of nearness to the railroad and the size of the bodies near the site of the old U. S. Fish Hatchery at Baird, although the creation of Shasta Dam has resulted in flooding the approaches to the lower levels of some of the deposits. These limestone bodies cover part of section 12, nearly all of section 13 and parts of secs. 14, 23, 24, and 26, T. 34 N. R. 4 W., parts of secs. 6, 7 and 18, T. 34 N., R. 3 W., and outcrop farther north at frequent intervals for miles into the mountains northeast of Castella. The Gray Rocks deposit in sec. 3, T. 33 N., R. 4 W., from half a mile to 1 ½ miles south of Pit River, is now within 1 mile of the relocated Southern Pacific main line, which here is 3 miles east of the old line. The deposit rises to an elevation of over 2400 feet, more than 1300 feet above the dam level. The Moxley deposit, covering most of sec. 13, T. 34 N., R. 4 W., is all above the dam, rising from 1500 feet to over 3100 feet elevation. Very large deposits of this limestone extend north across the west sides of T. 35 and 36 N., R. 3 W., but are at present in a region lacking roads, and rather mountainous.

    Plate 34-C. Panoramic View of McCloud Limestone - Near Baird, Shasta County. Shasta Dam in foreground. Looking east from state highway. Panoramic View of McCloud Limestone

    Geology (of Shasta County)

    "In 1855 John B. Trask, first Geologist, gathered fossils from the McCloud limestone near Bass' Ranch (Gray Rocks deposit), and these were classified as Carboniferous (Pennsylvanian). This classification was confirmed by the second (Whitney) survey in the sixties.

    "This limestone was later studied by J. W. Beede and Hedwig T. Kniker (24);* Harry E. Wheeler (36);** and Norman E. A. Hinds (33).*** Beede and Kniker considered the relation of the Permian and Pennsylvanian section (in California) still uncertain because of the meagerness of the data available due to physical conditions of the deposits, but concluded that the 'balance of evidence seems to be that the beds are referable to the base of the Permian in the sense in which American basal Permian beds are treated in paper.' The work of Wheeler added 14 species from the lower and middle McCloud limestone to the 12 listed in 1864 by Meek. Wheeler concluded that

    "'Nearly the entire fauna bears closer affinities with Eurasian species than with those of the other Anthrcolithic faunal provinces of North America.

    "''The stage of evolution of the fusulines of the middle McCloud, together with certain molluscan criteria, suggests that these strata should be assigned to the Artinskian (lowermost European Permian) stage. The relatively unfossiliferous strata of the upper part of the McCloud have not been correlated.'

    (* J. W. Beede and H. T. Kniker, "Species of the Genus Schwagerina and their Stratigraphic Significance," University of Texas Bulletin 2433, p. 17, 1924.)

    (** Harry Eugene Wheeler, "Stratigraphy and Fauna of the McCloud Limestone (abstract), Geological Society of America, Proc. 1935, p. 409, 1936.)

    (*** Norman E. A. Hinds, "Geologic Formations of the Redding-Weaverville District, Northern California," California Division of Mines Report 29, pp. 77-122, 1933.)

    "Hinds mapped the McCloud limestone as Permian. His description of the formation is the best the author has seen, and is quoted in full.

    "'The McCloud limestone, conformably overlying the Baird formation and in turn overlain by the Nosoni beds along the west side of the McCloud canyon, can be traced more or less continuously from the northern border of the Redding quadrangle for about 25 miles to the south where it disappears near the settlement of Lilienthal. At its southern extremity, the limestone appears as lenses, but a short distance to the north it gradually thickens, becomes continuous, and, north of the Gray Rocks, is a prominent member of the stratigraphic column. The limestone is exceedingly resistant to erosion and forms bold, rugged ridges or mountains wherever it is exposed; along the eastern side of the McCloud River, great, jagged limestone peaks are the most conspicuous feature of the landscape. The McCloud, through most of its thickness, is composed of pale gray to dark gray fine-textured marble; practically none of the original limestone remains. Most of the rock is massive, but finer-stratified zones also are present. Locally, and especially along igneous contacts the recrystallization has been much coarser and generally the gray color has been bleached out leaving a very pale gray or white rock. Chert layers, lenses, and nodules have been developed apparently as a result of metamorphism by solutions associated with igneous intrusions; these siliceous zones are more resistant to weathering than the limestone and consequently they stand out rather conspicuously from the limestone surfaces. They are also pale brownish or buff in color and contrast with the normal gray of the limestone. At the southernmost exposures near Lilienthal, the McCloud is about 200 feet thick while along the east side of the McCloud Canyon it reaches a maximum of 2000 feet on Horse and Town mountains. The McCloud limestone is so highly fossiliferous that most weathering surfaces show some representation of the fauna. Beds composed of cut corals, protozoa, and crinoid stems are common. Internal structures have been commonly destroyed by recrystallization. The fauna consists chiefly of corals and protozoa (Fusulina); brachiopods and gastropods are fairly abundant. Crinoid stems in great profusion are present but complete individuals are rare. According to Diller (06)* the age of the McCloud is Pennsylvanian, but recent work by H. A. Wheeler (private communication) of Stanford University has shown that the fauna is of Lower Permian age and that the Pennsylvanian is not represented in this region.

    (* J. S. Diller, Description of the Redding Quadrangle, California, U. S. Geological Survey, Geological Atlas, Redding Folio (no. 138), 14 pp., maps, 1906.)

    "While the McCloud was laid down on the Baird strata, it is at present separated from the Baird throughout much of its extent by an enormous dike-like body of quartz-augite diorite which apparently came up along the contact of the two formations. The Baird and McCloud are in contact north of Hirz Mountain for about four miles and also south of Gray Rocks for about four miles. As a result of the intrusion of the diorite, the limestone was very greatly shattered and many huge blocks or xenoliths were engulfed in the dike-rock. These show up as isolated masses completely surrounded by the augite diorite along the whole length of the dike. Many of these xenoliths show more intensive recrystallization than the average of the formation. Along the contacts of the igneous body and the limestone, a considerable suite of metamorphic minerals have been developed in which hedenbergite, magnetite, and garnet are the most conspicuous. Small bodies of magnetite or magnetitic rock containing various proportions of other minerals, principally garnet, are found along the contact within the limestone or within the igneous rock. Some magnetite was mined from these bodies on the west side of the McCloud canyon near the post office of Baird about one and one-half miles north of the junction of the Pit and McCloud rivers. The limestone has been used for flux at mines of the Bully Hill district farther to the east.'

    "The Hosselkus (Triassic) limestone occurs in large deposits in T. 34 and 35 N., R. 2 W., north of Pit River, and along the highway for several miles east of Furnaceville in T. 33 and 34 N., R. 1 and 2 W. There are several smaller bodies, among which those surrounding Bear Mountain are nearest the railroad; other occurrences are in secs. 9, 16, and 31, T. 36 N., R. 2 W., and in sec. 1, T. 36 N., R. 3 W.; but these are too remote to be of present interest to possible users.

    "Limestone has been used from Brock Mountain deposit (old quarry in N ½ sec. 8, T. 34 N., R. 2 W.) and from the deposit east of Furnaceville (old quarry in sec. 1, T. 33 N., R. 2 W.) for smelting iron and copper ores, but all of these smelters were dismantled long ago. The writer has been fortunate in obtaining a number of analyses of the Hosselkus limestone from a company that examined and sampled the deposits in 1945, and these are quoted under the description of the Asher, Bear Mountain, and Brock Mountain deposits. These indicate a high-calcium stone with moderate amounts of silica, and little iron, aluminum, and magnesium. It is dark bluish-gray with numerous fossils, of which ammonites are commonest. If the analyses available are truly representative, it is more siliceous than the McCloud limestone, but the magnesium, iron, and aluminum content is lower. The total thickness of beds ranges from 50 to 200 feet.

    The Kennett limestone (Devonian) has been used more than either the McCloud or Hosselkus stone, as the principal deposits of it were close to the railroad and to the copper smelters. The outcrops are small and scattered in comparison with those of the other two. The deposits occur principally west of Sacramento River, and those that have been developed are within a few miles of the railroad, in secs, 19, 22, 27, 28, 32, 33, and 34, T. 34 N., R. 5 W. Farther north, on the east side of the river, a long outcrop of Devonian rocks, extending 10 miles or more from Hazel Creek northeast to the county line contains limestone, so far not worked. There are also small deposits of the Kennett limestone in sec. 16, T. 34 N., R. 4 W., in sec. 6 T. 32 N., R. 4 W., and in sec. 31, T. 31 N., R. 5 W.

    "Years ago, Holt and Gregg operated two limestone quarries, the first in section 34, and a later one farther west in the same section, in T. 34 N., R. 5 W. They had two kiln sites, one in Backbone Creek 1 ½ miles north of Kennett and the other at Kennett. Alta Lime and Brick Company worked deposits in section 22 and had a kiln in sec. 24, T. 34 N., R. 5 W. Mountain Copper Company procured lime from a deposit in sec. 32, T. 34 N., R. 5 W. for use at their Keswick smelter. A small kiln was operated on the Briggsville deposit in sec. 31, T. 31 N., R. 5 W. No production has been reported from the county for near 20 years.

    "The Kennett limestone varies from light gray in the upper section to a dark bluish gray. It contains abundant fossils, mostly corals, and has been changed in large part to marble. In places it carries considerable chert. The few analyses available show 95 to 97 percent calcium carbonate, 1 to 4.4 percent silica, from ½ to 2 ¼ percent magnesium carbonate, and very little iron oxide and alumina. However, it must have been on the average of good quality as lime made from it was used over a large part of northern California, the old kiln at Briggsville having supplied lime to many pioneer towns of early mining days, and the deposits near Kennett having been in operation from at least 1884 until 1925. Statistics beginning with 1896, credit the county with an output of 244,778 barrels of lime and 711,064 tons of limestone. The larger part of both came from the Kennett limestone deposits tributary to Kennett, although quarries in the Hosselkus limestone were operated near Furnaceville and on the west side of Brock Mountain."

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