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A short history of the cities in Siskiyou County and a directory to their current addresses and telephone numbers.


307 South Main Street, P.O. Box 768, 96023 Telephone:397-3511 Fax:397-883

City council meets 1st Monday of each month. Elections: April

Dorris was named after Pressley Dorris, who, with his brother, owned a huge homestead cattle ranch in Butte Valley. In 1870 the Pressley brothers left their homes and went to Modoc County where they built a bridge which is on the site now called Alturas.


5915 Dunsmuir Ave., 96025 Telephone:235-4822 Fax:235-4824

City council meets 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month. Elections: November

The town was named after Alexander Dunsmuir a wealthy coal magnate from Canada who frequently passed through the area on his business trips to San Francisco. Dunsmuir announced that he would give the town a fountain if they would name the town after him, and in 1887 the town got it's fountain and it's name. The fountain still stands in the city today.


440 Main Street, (P.O. Box 460), 96027 Telephone: 467-5256

City Council meets 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month. Elections: November even year

A flour mill was built here in about 1867 and the town was called Rough and Ready. Nearby was another small mill and town called Aetna Mills. In 1861 and 1862 flooding seriously damaged the town of Aetna Mills so that business slowly moved towards Rough and Ready. In 1870, to avoid confusion with other towns in the central valley of California, the named was changed and shortened to Etna Mills. The "Mills" was dropped in the 1930s to the name Etna as we know it today.

Fort Jones

11960 East Street, P.O. Box 40, 96032 Telephone:468-2281 Fax:468-2598

Elections: November

Originally a stage stop/tavern on the stage route between Yreka and the old town of Shasta, in Shasta County, the town was first called Wheelock after its founder. The town had several other names including Scottsburg and Scottsville. The military fort, called Fort Jones, which was operated from 1852 to 1857 was named after Colonel Roger Jones, Adjutant General of the Army. The Fort, which was located a few miles from the town, was abandoned in 1857 leaving only its name.


230 South 13th St., P.O. Box 428 96064 Telephone: 459-3030, Fax: 459-3523

City council meets 1st Thursday of each month. Elections: June - even years

The town was built as a stop on the California-Oregon railroad, by the Prather Brothers.One account says that the town was named after a railroad engineer. According to Gudde, the town was named after a hardware merchant and prominant San Franciscan, W.W. Montague, by the railroad. The post-office was established

Mt. Shasta

305 North Mount Shasta Blvd. 96067 Telephone: 926-3464 Fax:926-0339

City council meets 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. Elections: November

In 1854, the first name of the town was Berryvale, after the fields of wild strawberries growing in the area. In 1887, the name was changed to Sisson after J.H. Sisson the owner of a lodge there and the man who laid out the town when the railroad came through the area. The name was changed to its current name by a vote of the residents in 1922.


248 Main Street, P.O. Box 847, 96134
Telephone:667-5522 Fax:667-5501

City council meets 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month. Elections: November - even years

Surrounded by what was a one time a huge lake of marsh and tules, Tulelake was visited in 1846 by Captain John Fremont who named the lake Rhett Lake after a friend. The name seems to have have been Rhett Lake until about 1900.


550 Main St. P.O. Box 470 96094 Telephone:938-5020 Fax: 938-5005

City council meets 2nd Thursday of each month. Elections: November - even years

Abner Weed built a sawmill here in the 1860s, south of the site of the current townsite. The weather with its strong wind was thought to be conducive to the drying of lumber. Later around 1900, another sawmill was added as well as a box factory. The railroad was built to accomodate the factory business and later was joined by the Southern Pacific.


701 Fourth Street 96097
Telephone:842-4386 Fax:842-4836 City council meets 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month.
Elections: June - even years

Gold was discovered here in 1851 at a spot called "Thompson's Dry Diggins". Miners poured into the town which was called Shasta Butte City. Residents found this confusing with the town of Shasta, in Shasta County, so the name was changed. There are several tales as to where the name "Yreka" came from. Some say from the word "Ieka" indian for white mountain or cave, some say from an upside down Bakery sign hanging in town. The mining boom was over in 1885, but by then the town was well established.

Sources for the Siskiyou Cities page are:

Hettema, Dorothy. Origin of place names in the history of Siskiyou County.
The Siskiyou County Historical Society. Siskiyou Pioneer and Yearbook, 1982.
Gudde, Erwin. California Place names, 1949.

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