Reading Adobe!

Reading Adobe
Is there a plaque?  YES! 🙂

What is it? A plaque and informative sign by the side of the road!
What makes it historical? The guide says: This was the home of Pierson Barton Reading (1816-1868), a California pioneer of 1843. He was a major in Frémont’s California Battalion which fought in the Mexican War. He was a signer of the Capitulation of Cahuenga and discovered gold in 1848. Major Reading is buried nearby.

Other tidbits: Mr. Reading (pronounced “Redding”) was quite the independent fellow! Growing up in New Jersey, he moved to Mississippi at age 14 to work in the cotton business. He was not suited to this business, because he lost a lot during the Panic of 1837 then lost $60,000 to his devious business partner! Adding his wife’s sudden death into the mix meant there was only one thing left for him to do: go west!

As he came west, Mr. Reading had a major influence over California history! He helped the Chiles Party blaze a new route from Idaho City to Fall River Mills, which came to be known as the Reading Route, and they arrived at Sutter’s Fort in November of 1843. Once there, John Sutter employed Mr. Reading to be a clerk and trapper, and by the next year, he partnered with John Bidwell to survey his own rancho: Rancho Buena Ventura, the northernmost rancho granted by the then-Mexican government!

In 1846, Mr. Reading joined the Bear Flag Revolt, became a Major, and participated in the capitulation at Cahuenga! Two years later, after visiting the gold discovery site at Sutter’s Mill, he found gold of his own at Reading’s Bar on Clear Creek, which launched the growth of Shasta City! Where he didn’t find gold, he left trout in the lakes!

After paying off his former debts, Major Reading then organized the expedition that rediscovered Humboldt Bay, bought the ship Camanche to sail from San Francisco into Tehama County, over 485 miles, and climbed to the top of Lassen Peak!

I could go on and on about Major Reading, but I’m out of space. Look him up to find out more of his amazing accomplishments, which prove that Reading is fundamental! Oh, and 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:
Near entrance to Reading Island Park
213 Adobe Rd
5.8 mi E of Cottonwood, CA 96022

Actually, it’s really close to the end of Adobe Road, about 0.2 miles east of the intersection with Hacienda Road!

From Los Angeles: ~541mi (871km) — 9.1hrs
From Sacramento: ~151mi (244km) — 2.6hrs
From San Diego: ~654mi (1053km) — 10.9hrs
From San Francisco: ~206mi (332km) — 3.5hrs

When should I go? Whenever the mood strikes you!

Reading Adobe

Click here to see more California historical landmarks!

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