Now that the year 2001 and the centennial celebration of the city of Weed is in the past, we must review some of the history of Weed and the people who made it what it is today. Many families made Weed what it is today, and helped it grow, but the credit for the existence of the town must go to Abner Weed. He gave the town his own name, Weed, because he believed in its possibilities. It is interesting to note that years later, when well-intentioned people wished to change the name to one they considered more poetic, or high sounding, the citizens of the town would have none of it. They honored Abner themselves by keeping his name; Weed.
In 1893, the Siskiyou Lumber and Mercantile Company bought timbered property in what is now the downtown area of Weed, from H.S. Williams and his wife Olive Williams. When the Siskiyou Lumber and Mercantile Mill north of Black Butte desired to sell their business, Abner Weed was willing to buy it. He sold his mill on the east slope of Mt. Eddy to a man by the name of Durney and that mill was subsequently known as Durney's Mill until about 1920. In 1897 Abner Weed bought for the sum of $400.00, the Siskiyou Lumber and Mercantile Mill and 280 acres of land in what is now Weed.
It is believed that Abner Weed must have noticed what weather men in recent years have observed that, the area just north of Black Butte is a region of Calm. According to weathermen, air currents ascending over Black Butte summit descend with a rush, but the descent occurs four or five miles to the north of the mountain, In their descent northward, the currents swirl about the hills with tremendous force. Abner Weed noticed this, and saw that he could harness the wind to his lumber operation to help the drying of the green lumber. All he needed to do was to relocate his mill from its spot just north of Black Butte to a new site on the 280 acres he had purchased from the Siskiyou Lumber and Mercantile. And so, the wind itself, for which the town of Weed is noted, was a causative force in determining the location of the town.
Workmen had to have a place to eat, and a place to sleep, so a large cook house was built near the mill and next to it a bunk house. There must be houses for the families.
In 1905, the Yreka Journal stated "Supervisor Abner Weed has sold the stock of the Weed Lumber Company to a Kansas syndicate. R.A. Long, a Kansas City millionaire lumberman and others being purchasers. The purchasers organized a new company capatalized at $2,000,000.00"
By 1905, Weed was a busy growing community. Though it was called a company town, and truly it was for a while, it was not destined to always be so. The payroll was big enough to entice other investors to the area. It was about that time that the section of town was being called Shastina to differentiate it from the company owned area of Weed.
In its early days, Weed was like other towns of the wild west. Weed acquired a bad reputation, which later was used to vilify it for many years.The Redding Free Press described Weed as the "Sodom and Gomorrah of Siskiyou County." That description was not without some justification. Whiskey, cards, a pocket full of money, or an empty pocket, and a beautiful woman occasioned many of the joys and also the tragic events of the town. Gun shot wounds and murder were occasional happenings.
Over the years, many things have changed. Long Bell bought the mill and plant from Abner Weed. In the late 1950's it sold out to International Paper Company who, in turn, sold all the company-owned homes to the residents. Since then, much of the lumber industry has fallen by the way side.
Roseburg Lumber is still operating here, but many of the original buildings are being taken down. We now have a community college, College of the Siskiyous. Weed has outlived the wild, lawless days of its beginnings, it has succeeded in becoming an incorporated city, and the old description "one man's town", or "company town" no longer applies. But one man Abner Weed, lives on in the name of the town.