This page is made up of four sections:

  1. Siskiyou County
  2. The City of Mount Shasta
  3. Our community volunteer work
  4. Community stories

Click on one of these sections.
Siskiyou County City of Mount Shasta Volunteer Work Community Stories

Don't miss this Feature added April 16, 2001

Click here for a map with local features and towns linked to photos of same.

Siskiyou County

Siskiyou county is the fifth largest California county in area with a population of only 45,000. More than 60% of the county is public land either national forest or wilderness area. The table below compares the area and population of Siskiyou County to the state of Connecticut:

County Seat:Yreka, the county seat, is located in the north central part of the county on I-5, only 25 miles from the Oregon border. It grew and prospered as a center for gold panning and mining in the 1850šs. There are a number of beautiful Victorian homes dating from this period. The current population is about 6,000.

Siskiyou County6,313 sq. miles45,000
Connecticut5,018 sq. miles3,239,000

To learn more about Siskiyou county go to the "Visit Siskiyou" Web site This is an excellent site that includes a virtual tour of the county.

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Mount Shasta City

Location: In southern Siskiyou county, near the intersection of California highway 89 and Interstate 5, about 250 miles north of Sacramento and 60 miles south of the Oregon border.

Population: 3,400

Elevation: 3,500 feet

Climate: Four seasons. The usual temperature range in the winter is from the 20's to the 50's. In the summer the range is from the 40's to the 80's. Occasionally it can sink to the teens in the winter and reach the 90's in the summer. Spring and fall temperatures are in between these ranges. The average total winter snow fall is about 100 inches, but most of the time one snowfall melts before the next arrives so the accumulation is never very great. The average annual rainfall is about 37 inches.

For more about Mount Shasta's weather, including a current forecast, see this site's weather page

Mount Shasta: The most massive volcano in the United States and second highest, with an elevation of 14,162 feet. The change in elevation from that of the town to the summit of Mount Shasta, only 15 miles distant, is over 10,000 feet. This is one of the most extreme in the world. To learn more, go to The Geology of Mount Shasta entry in the "Interests" section. To see a live or recent photo of Mount Shasta go to The Amazing Shasta Cam

To learn more about the town and its mountain go to the Mount Shasta Web site.

The Nearby Towns:There are three other small towns near Mount Shasta City. Dunsmuir is a dozen miles south on I-5. McCloud is about 15 miles east on highway 89. Weed is about 10 miles north on I-5. McCloud and Weed, like Mount Shasta City, prospered as centers of logging and lumber; Dunsmuir was a railroad town. All fell on hard times in the 1970šs, but are making gradual come backs catering to tourists and retirees. Weed is the location of College of the Siskiyous (nearby mountains) the only residential junior college in California.
Websites:Dunsmuir McCloud Weed

Click here for a California map locating Mount Shasta

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Volunteer Work

Mercy Care Center: Since November of 1997, every other Thursday we've taken Holly to Mount Shasta's Mercy Hospital Long Term Care Center to perform her magical "pet therapy." It is by far the most rewarding work we do each month. A certificate of appreciation reads in part -- "A visit from you brightens the day, warms hearts, and brings the comfort of home and good friends, not to mention our little star "Holly" who has danced right into our hearts to stay." You can't ask for more reward than that. Since August of 1998, Marcy has joined Holly and the the two of them together create more than double the joy for the residents.

Photo of Holly & Jennie at Mercy Care Center

Library: As members of "Friends of the Library" we help raise funds to supplement the slim budget provided by the county. We sold raffle tickets for a quilt. Wes designed a Mount Shasta Library bookmark listing the hours and other information, and talked a local printer into donating the printing. We spearheaded a book sale when the donation of used books started to overwhelm the storage space. It netted over $500. Finally, the small group of "Friends" acts as a defacto board of directors for the local branch, deciding how to spend the funds we raise. It's really a challange to keep a branch library in a small town in a depressed county going. Fortunately Bill Gates is giving the Siskiyou county library system a big stack of computers. The Mount Shasta branch will get 4 of them!

Photo of Wes at Library

Sisson Museum: Wes works two days a month (April-December) as a docent at the Sisson Museum. The museum displays reveal the history of the city of Mount Shasta. The town, founded at the location of a long-standing stage coach stop in 1870, was first called Berryvale because of the numerous wild strawberries that grew in the sandy soil. Soon after the railroad arrived in 1886, the town's name was changed to Sisson because the land for the station and town had been donated by Justin H. Sisson. The town took the name of it's famous mountain on May 1, 1924 and has been Mount Shasta City ever since.

Photo of Sission Museum

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Community Stories

A Talented New Friend

The first week we lived in Mount Shasta Wes needed a hand removing some heavy cabinets that were mounted high on a wall. Jennie located an agency that helped people find work and we called them. To make a long story short, that afternoon a tall, pleasant, willing, gentle man named Victor Martin showed up at our house. He helped get the cabinets down and then agreed to stay a bit longer and help clean up a wood shed. As he and Wes joined in the dirty job of shed clean-up it was revealed that Victor's real calling was as a musician. He played saxophone with several local groups and was an officer of the Siskiyou Blues Society which put on the Blues Fesitval each year at the Ski Park. As it turned out he would be performing the following Saturday in Dunsmuir. Jennie and I attended the performance and were "knocked out" by the amazing musical talent Vic displayed. When I thought about how he could have injured his fingers taking down the cabinets and wrestling the wooden pallets in the shed I shuddred. We have been to many more of Vic's performances and grow more impressed each time with his masterful and soul-felt rendition of a wide range of music from low down blues to sophisticated jazz. What is even more important we have become friends.

For photo of Vic Martin in Action, click here.

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