On the road between Redding and the California Coast, sits a once-thriving and now picturesque gold rush ghost town nestled in the hills along the Trinity River.
Six miles west of Redding a row of old, half-ruined, brick buildings remind passing motorists that Shasta City, the lusty “Queen City” of California’s northern mining district, once stood on this site. These ruins and some of the nearby roads, cottages, and cemeteries are all silent but eloquent vestiges of the intense activity that was centered here during the California gold rush.
Iron shutters still swing on massive, old, iron hinges before the doors and windows of grass-filled, roofless buildings that once were crowded with merchandise, and alive with the human sounds of business, trade, and social endeavor.
Whispers of the past are heard when visitors stroll through the brick ruins at Shasta State Historic Park. The brick buildings are the decayed remnants of a once thriving gold rush shopping district.
Hotels, barbershops, bookstores, meat markets, and stables occupied the mile long stretch of hollowed buildings. The boomtown prospered for over 40 years from 1850-1890. Shasta was for its time, the largest settlement in Shasta County and the surrounding area.
Sometimes referred to today as “Old Shasta”, the town was an important commercial center and a major shipping point for mule trains and stagecoaches serving the mining towns and later settlements of northern California.
The discovery of gold near Shasta in 1849 brought California Gold Rush-era Forty-Niners up the Siskiyou Trail in search of riches – most passed through Shasta, and continued to use it as base of operations.
Across the street there is also a beautiful old barn that was built-in the mid eighteen hundreds and moved to the spot it is in now. It also has a stagecoach and some other farming tools there.
We have a lot of State Parks in Cali.
The oldest mason building in the United States.
The lodge was originally chartered on May 10, 1848 by the Grand Lodge of Missouri as Western Star Lodge No. 98 and held its first meeting on October 30, 1849 at Benton City, California. On April 17, 1850, the Grand Lodge of California was established and all existing Lodges in California were renumbered based on their original charter dates. Because of an error the Lodge in San Francisco was renumbered from California Lodge #13 to California Lodge #1 and the Western Star Lodge #98 was renumbered as Western Star Lodge #2.
Make sure you take the trail that runs behind the town for some alternative views.
Shasta is located on California Highway 299, about 6 miles west of Redding. Route 299 runs straight through the middle of the historic Main Street — you can’t miss it.