Old Town of Shasta!

Old Town of Shasta
Is there a plaque?  YES! 🙂

What is it? Shasta State Historical Park!
What makes it historical? The guide says: Founded in 1849 as Reading’s Springs, the town was named Shasta June 8, 1850. It was the second county seat for Shasta County, 1851-1888, and the metropolis of northern California during the 1850s. Here, until 1861, the road ended and the Oregon pack trail began. It is the home of the Western Star Lodge No. 2, F. & A.M., whose charter was brought across the plains in the Peter Lassen party of 1848. In 1851, Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff, pioneer physician and Shasta’s first and only alcalde, built his home. The Shasta Courier was founded in 1851. The entire business section of Shasta was destroyed by fire in 1853.

Other tidbits: Shasta responded differently to fires than most Gold Rush towns. When a blaze destroyed much of the town in December 1852, Shasta rebuilt itself with bricks, making it the longest row of brick buildings north of San Francisco! Unfortunately, this town was not prepared for a more insidious threat: the Central Pacific railroad bypassed Shasta completely and went through Redding, cutting off trade for its already dwindling supplies of gold. By 1888, Shasta was basically a ghost town!

This landmark is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places!


  • You can volunteer with the Shasta Historical Society!
  • You can donate to the Shasta Historical Society!
  • You can be a responsible visitor! That means respecting the signs and pathways and treating all structures and artifacts with respect! After all, they’ve endured a lot already to make it into the present! They’ll need our help to make it to the future!
How do I find it? Listed Directions:
Shasta State Historic Park
State Hwy 299
NW corner of Main Stand Trinity Alley
Shasta, CA 96087

15312 CA-299
Shasta, CA 96087

From Los Angeles: ~550mi (886km) — 9.2hrs
From Sacramento: ~163mi (263km) — 2.8hrs
From San Diego: ~670mi (1079km) — 11.2hrs
From San Francisco: ~223mi (359km) — 3.8hrs

When should I go? You can view the ruins whenever you like, but to access the buildings, you’ll have to visit between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Thursday through Sunday!

Old Town of Shasta

Old Town of Shasta

Old Town of Shasta

Old Town of Shasta

Click here to see more California historical landmarks!

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