by Dottie Smith
59 Historic Places in Redding
Marilyn Rountree and Dottie Smith
This adventure started out about three years ago as a joint venture with my friend Marilyn Rountree and myself to locate, photograph, and write brief histories on all the historic places in the central Redding area. As you can see, our little adventure turned into a great big adventure.
All of the places are listed in alphabetical order. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did putting it all together. When we find additional historic places, we will add them to this list.
1. AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL ZION CHURCH
The church was built in 1894 at the corner of California and Trinity Streets. It was remodeled in 1927. In 1946, the International Church of the Four Square Gospel purchased it. In 1993 the church was purchased by Redding businessman Terry Miller who rents it to a local church group. It is the oldest church in Redding.
2. ANDERSON-COTTONWOOD IRRIGATION DISTRICT (A.C.I.D.) CANAL INTAKE
Construction on the canal began in 1914. The beginning, or the intake from the Sacramento RIver, begins on the south side of the Market Street bridge and the Sacramento River. The canal carries water for summer irrigation from this starting point by way of a detailed system of canals and ditches to the fields in Churn Creek Bottom, Anderson, and Cottonwood.
3. BANK OF SHASTA COUNTY
Built in 1901/02 at 1459 Market Street. Is possibly the 3rd oldest brick building in Redding. Currently houses private businesses.
4. BEHRENS-EATON HOUSE MUSEUM
Sheriff Charles Behrens purchased this house at 1520 West Street in 1899. Family members continued to live in the house until 2003 when the last family member, Judge Richard B. Eaton, died there. According to Judge Eaton’s will, the house is to become The Behrens-Eaton House Museum. It is currently a work in progress.
5. BENTON AIRPARK and the BLUE GRAVEL MINE
The City of Redding purchased 451 acres in 1927 for $8,500 and established Benton Airpark. The first airstrip was dirt. It was named and dedicated to the memory of Lt. John Benton who was killed in Buenos Aires while flying in the Pan-American Good Will Flight of 1927. John was the son of Thomas Hart Benton who owned property at Turtle Bay and a sawmill at Shingletown. The original hanger and weather bureau building have been demolished. Included in the land purchase for the airstrip was the Blue Gravel gold mine. It was the only gold mine in the United States owned by a city. It is said to be the hiding spot of stolen gold coins. The mine was named for the blue gravel waste site near the mill.
6. BOGGS, MAE HELENE BACON, CONFERENCE CENTER
This house was built in 1932 and originally stood on West Street. It was owned by Shasta County historian Mae Helene Bacon Boggs who donated the house to the Women's Improvement Club of Redding. The club consisted of a group of ambitious women who organized to improve and beautify Redding, including Mrs. Boggs. Meetings were held in this house. They disbanded in 1999. Because the house was historically important, the City of Redding moved it to its current location on Breslauer Lane to save it from being demolished.
7. BUSH, CHAUNCEY Go for a walk in Caldwell Park and visit with Chauncey’s bronze statue as he sits on a park bench gazing at the Sacramento River. He was one of Redding first citizens and became undoubtedly the most important person in town. He was called the Father of Redding because of his many accomplishments. He was the 1st Redding merchant, the 1st Redding Mayor, the 1st Redding Fire Chief, and the 1st Redding postmaster. In addition to that, he was a Justice of the Peace (Judge) and he helped organize the Bank of Shasta County. He built his house on the spot where the Redding Hotel is now located.
8. CALABOOSE CREEK The 1st Redding calaboose (jail) stood on the banks of this creek from the 1870s until the new courthouse and jail were built in 1889. It stood near Tehama Street and was built of 2x4s “firmly spiked together”.
9. CALDWELL PARK The City of Redding established the park for Claude Caldwell, a Redding attorney who was active in the community and served on a number of commissions for the City of Redding.
10. CANYON CITY / CANON CITY / CANON BOTTOM This was the first settlement in what would become the Redding area. It was settled during The Gold Rush during the winter of 1848/49. The settlement was located against the hill north of the intersection of today’s Buenaventura Road and Hwy. 273. This was the main road from Sacramento to Shasta and this portion was called the Red Bluff to Shasta Road. The settlement contained a popular overnight stopping place known as the Canon House, stores, a church, school, and a very popular horse racing track (in 1853). The place was served by many express companies in the 1850s.
11. CARTER HOUSE This house was built at 48 Quartz Hill Road in 1942 for the Harlan Carter family. They were forced out of their home by the City of Redding under threat of eminent domain to make way for Caldwell Park. It later became the Carter House Natural Science Museum and home to 35 species of birds, animals and reptiles. Today it is home to the North Valley Art League.
12. CASCADE THEATRE Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1935 as a 1,348 seat movie palace and vaudeville stage. It closed in 1997. Was purchased in 1999 by Jefferson Public Radio who renovated and opened it to the public once again.
13. CLOVER CLUB Opened during the summer of 1939 by Phyllis McAdam; her grandson Mark Morris is the current owner (2009). Moved to its current location at 1724 Market Street around 1970. Was originally located across the street and several blocks to the north, next to LeFebvre Hardware, now home to the Shasta Historical Society.
14. CONVEYOR BELT CONCRETE PIERS IN THE SACRAMENT0 RIVER These are the piers the conveyor belt stood on as it started its 9.6 mile journey to Coram at the base of Shasta Dam. Many more still exist along the route to the dam. See Monolith entry.
15. CROWE HOUSE Built in 1938 at the corner of Placer and Orange for Frank Crowe, Superintendent of Construction at Shasta Dam. Mr. Crowe planned to retire in Shasta County when Shasta Dam was completed and become a cattle rancher. While he lived here he began buying up large ranches in anticipation of his new profession. But sadly, soon after the dam was completed, and soon after his retirement, Mr. Crowe died of a heart attack never fully realizing his dream.
16. DAMBURGER Established in 1938 by Bud Pennington and wife Babe who operated it until 1977. Since then has been owned by Ron and Kathy Dickey. Since their retirement, their daughter Juliet Malik has managed the restaurant.
17. DIESTELHORST BRIDGE Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1915. Is 639 ft. long, 24.3 ft. wide, and has nine spans. Named for the Gotlieb Diestelhorst family who owned the land and helped build the bridge. Was the first automobile bridge to cross the Sacramento River in northern California. Closed to automobile traffic in November 1997 upon completion of the adjacent Lake Redding Bridge on the downstream side. The bridge now serves as a pedestrian/bicycle link on the Sacramento River Trail.
18. EMPIRE HOTEL Built on the site of the Columbus House that was struck by lightning and destroyed by fire. Owner O. Merlo rebuilt the Columbus with the dynamited bricks from the Coram smelter in 1918. Became known as the Hotel Empire sometime between 1934 and 1938 when Richard Corradetti became the new proprietor of the hotel on California Street. Today it is the location of the Empire Recovery Center.
19. FREE BRIDGE PIERS Built across the Sacramento River at Redding in 1884 just downstream of the present Cypress Street Bridge. Washed out in 1906 and was immediately rebuilt and in use by 1908. The 320 ft. bridge was designed by Robert Reading, son of Pierson B. Reading, Shasta County’s 1st known permanent white settler. It was built mainly of steel, and was at the time the largest steel span in California. Was damaged by floods in 1940 and repaired. In 1948 the Cypress Street Bridge was built. The Free Bridge was closed in 1951, declared unsafe after the 1955 flood, closed to traffic in 1956 and dismantled the same year. Its concrete piers are still visible just downstream of the Cypress Street Bridge on both sides of the river.
20. FREE BRIDGE SUBSTATION Electrical sub-station built in 1897 on Freebridge St., Redding. The power that was routed through the building came from the Volta Powerhouse in Manton. Named for the “Free Bridge” that once stood near it.
21. FRISBIE HOUSE/MANSION Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built at 1246 East Street, Redding in 1887 by banker, landowner and developer Edward Frisbie for his second wife Laura. It is quite possibly the 4th oldest Redding building. The house is a wooden 2-story late Victorian style. It served as a boarding house in later years, later stood vacant for a time. Was restored in 1986 and currently houses office suites.
22. GENE’S DRIVE IN This popular old-fashioned drive-in is located at 2515 S. Market Street. It was built in 1954 by Gene Nash and still displays the original neon sign. It serves delicious hamburgers and is a hangout for vintage cars on Thursday evenings. Has been a mainstay in Redding for over half a century.
23. GERLINGER STEEL and SUPPLY CO. The business was stablished by Fred Gerlinger in 1906 It is now owned and operated by the third generation of the Gerlinger family. A steam whistle affectionately known as “Hooter” has created itself a tradition and blows from the roof of the building every weekday at 8:00am,1:00pm and 5:00pm
24. GLOVER HOUSE This was the home of Harry Glover who was elected as Deputy Assessor and Redding Fire Chief in 1906. Mr. Glover built a garage on the southwest corner of Market and Placer Streets in 1912 that became the dealership of Mitchell, Hupmobile, Maxwell and Studebaker automobiles.25. HIGHWAY 99 / MIRACLE MILE
Highway 99 was California’s first north-to-south route and was completed in 1922. It was the main route for travelers coming through town. A portion of the highway still exists (as do a few neon signs) on the north side of the Sacramento River known today as Miracle Mile. The Manhattan Motel was a popular motel at the corner of Market Street and Quartz Hill Road; the name is gone but the buildings still exist.
26. HOLT HOUSE Built in 1895 at 1440 West Street. Is possibly the 2nd oldest brick building remaining in Redding. Mr. Holt founded Holt and Gregg Co. Brick Manufacturing Plant in 1887. When the house was built, the property boasted a now-gone brick doghouse in the backyard.
27. I.O.O.F. HALL Built in 1888 at 1445 Butte Street. Is possibly the oldest remaining brick building in Redding. I.O.O.F. is the abbreviation for International Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal order established to help far-from-home brethren, provide support for widows of past members, educate the orphans, visit the sick, relieve the distress, and bury the dead. Meetings were popular and well attended. The building has been covered with stucco.
28. JACK’S GRILL Built in 1935 as a 2nd hand store. In l938, World War I ace pilot Jack Young established Jack’s Bar & Grill. The business catered mostly to the hard working men who were building Shasta Dam. The 2nd floor was used as a house of prostitution briefly in the 1940s. The décor hasn’t changed and still contains the same paintings on the walls. Jack’s Grill is the only remaining bar of that era still in business today. Has become a local landmark.
29. KIDDER HOUSE This is the 2nd oldest building in Redding. It was built in 1877 and still stands at 1620 Chestnut Street. When built, it contained a dirt basement where jellies and canned fruit were stored. The basement was cemented in the late 1920s. The 2nd floor is original while the 1st floor was remodeled in the late 1940s. The house has always been owned by a member of the Kidder/Tuggle family.
30. LADY OF JUSTICE The Lady of Justice originally adorned the top of the dome of the Shasta County Courthouse soon after it was constructed in 1889. She was moved to the lawn in front of the present courthouse in 1956. Since then she was vandalized several times. To keep her out of harm's way, she was taken to the old Shasta County Jail for safekeeping. A fundraiser was held to pay for her restoration in 2009, and on March 23, 2010 she was offically returned to the courthouse in a public ceremony. She now resides safely in the Jury Assembly Room inside the courthouse.
31. LAKE REDDING SWIMMING HOLE REMAINS Once located in Caldwell Park on the north side of the Sacramento River. This was the location of Redding’s annual Water Carnival. When Shasta Dam was built, it caused the water temperature to change from tolerable to intolerable causing the water carnivals to cease. Today all that remains is the concrete seating area along the north bank of the river just downstream from the Diestelhorst Bridge.
32. LORENZ HOTEL Construction began in 1901; opening day was 10-18-1902. Gold from a family-owned Trinity County gold mine enabled recently widowed Mrs. Susan Lorenz to purchase a block of swampland beside the railroad tracks in Redding and build the hotel and operate it as a family enterprise for several generations. When completed, the "early Beaux Arts Classical/ Renaissance Revival" hotel was considered one of Redding's most prestigious. It was the 1st building in Shasta County to boast an elevator and was the 2nd four-story commercial building built in town. Today the hotel is the 4th oldest brick building remaining in Redding. The hotel contained 44 rooms on each floor totaling 132 rooms. In later years, each room contained a bath that reduced the number of rooms per floor to 26, totaling 78 rooms. The hotel was acquired by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1991 who made $5 million dollars of repair work and sold to the Shasta Housing Development Corporation on 9-18-1995 for $1 to provide subsidized housing for low-income seniors, the homeless, and disabled people. Private commercial businesses exist in the ground level portion of the hotel.
33. MARY LAKE Was created in 1861 as a reservoir for the 40-mile-long plus Clear Creek Ditch. It was first known as Falkes Lake and named for goldminer August Falkes who operated a store in the area. The lake was sold to St. Joseph Catholic Church in 1930 who renamed it for the Virgin Mary. In 1982 it was given to the City of Redding by developers.
34. JAMES McCORMICK HOUSE Built in 1879 at 1452 Oregon Street. It is possibly the 3rd oldest building in Redding. When built, it was the only Redding house to contain servant’s quarters. Mr. McCormick was co-owner of the largest mercantile store in Redding, the McCormick-Saeltzer Company, also known as "THe Big Store"..
35. MONOLITH BUILDING This was the starting point anchor building of the 9.6 mile long, 35” wide conveyor belt that carried aggregate, sand and gravel to the Coram stockpiles that was used to make the cement that built Shasta Dam. The belt carried 12,200,000 tons from the area near this building during its lifetime. It was constructed in 1938.
36. PILGRIM CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH We are lucky to have this church in our community because it was the last church designed by world famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. An unusual feature is his use of triangles (which symbolizes the Trinity) in the structure of the church. It is located at 2850 Foothill Blvd. and was completed in 1963.
37. PINE STREET SCHOOL This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located at 1135 Pine Street. The present school is the 3rd school at the site. The 1st was built in 1881 of brick, the 2nd was built beside the brick school in 1895 of wood. Both buildings were demolished in 1921 and replaced with the Redding Grammar School, the 3rd and present Pine Street School. This 3rd school was used as an elementary school from 1923 until 1967 when it was abandoned by the school district. In 1967 it was privately purchased, extensively remodeled, and enlarged into office suites and two restaurants.
38. POTTER’S FIELD This is the final resting place for an unknown number of poor people who died (mostly of tuberculosis) at the nearby Shasta County General Hospital soon after the turn of the century. Small wooden crosses mark known burial spots but an unknown number of graves are still unmarked.
39. RAILROAD DEPOT AND PASSENGER STATION Built in 1923 at 1620 Yuba Street by Southern Pacific Railroad Company. This is the 2nd railroad depot; the 1st was built in 1872 and was located across the railroad tracks. When the railroad arrived here in 1872, they laid out the town and named their new town Redding to honor their first railroad land agent Benjamin B. Redding, much to the chagrin of Shasta County residents who thought it should have been named for Shasta County pioneer Pierson B. Reading.
40. RAILROAD TRESTLE When construction started on Shasta Lake in 1938, construction also began on a new main line for the railroad to bypass the area of the old main line that would eventually be beneath the waters of lake when it filled with water. This trestle was the start of the new main line.
41. REDDING CEMETERY Established in 1879 at the end of Eureka Way on 19 acres to which 20 additional acres were added in 1903. Many Shasta County pioneers are buried here.
42. REDDING CITY HALL Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Affectionately known by locals as Old City Hall. Built in 1907 at 1313 Market Street of native clay brick; the building style is Simplified Romanesque Revival. In 1908 the Women’s Improvement Club planted seven palm trees on the north and west sides and landscaped the remaining open space. The palm trees became turn-of-the-century tourist attractions for Redding. Travelers would stop and photograph them because they were an unusual species to see in northern California; some of the trees are still alive. The building housed city offices from 1907 to 1979, then was used as an art gallery in 1984 and 1985. Restorations were made in 1987 and it is currently used as an art gallery and theatre.
43. REDDING HOTEL Built in 1927 at 1748 Market Street on the same spot where the 1st Redding house was previously built by Chauncey Bush in 1872. When completed, the hotel featured a rooftop swimming pool, a 1st for Redding. It is a 3-story concrete terra cotta Mission Revival building.
44. REDDING ICE HOUSE This building was built in 1907. Ice was delivered in wagons around town before there were refrigerators. It was once the only ice factory in the state to manufacture 300 lb. blocks of ice. The building was possibly used to make or store bootleg liquor during Prohibition. Closed in 1998.
45. REDDING POLICE DEPT. The only historic part of the Redding Police Dept. building are the bricks in the outside wall. When the Carnegie Library was demolished in 1962 (it stood on the west side of the Lorenz Hotel) its bricks were used in the outside walls of the Redding Police Dept. and City Council building.
46. REDDING POST OFFICE The post office was built in 1936 at 1647 Yuba Street. It is still in operation today.
47. SACRAMENTO RIVER Was first called Jesus Maria. It was also known as the River of Destruction, River of Gold, Kelley's River, Buena Ventura River, Bona-Ventura, El Rio del Santisimo Sacramento (the river of the Most Blessed Sacrament), Spanish River, and River of the North. Discovered in 1808 by Spanish explorers who named it Jesus Maria. Changed to Sacramento (El Rio del Sacramento) by a party of later explorers who saw it for the 1st time on the day of the Holy Sacrament. The river’s origin is a source of debate because it rises in more than one place near Mount Shasta. It flows south to Sacramento where it bends southwest and forms a delta with the San Joaquin River before emptying into San Francisco Bay. Is almost 400 miles long; the section of river between Dunsmuir and Redding has the greatest drop in elevation of any stretch of river of comparable length in the United States. Has served as the lifeblood of the region throughout prehistory and history. In 1861 the California Steam Navigation Co. began work to make the river navigable for steamboats as far north as Clear Creek, but this proved to be a failure even though some did make it here. The 1st water rights to the river were filed by the Central Irrigation District (now Glenn/Colusa Irrigation District) in 1883, in 1885 the City of Redding was 2nd in filing. Dammed in 1938. We are very lucky to have it flow right through our downtown area.
48. SAELTZER MANSION
The house is located at 2028 West Street and was built in the 1880s, possibly in 1892 for Rudolph M. F. Saeltzer, one of the three founding partners of the McCormick-Saeltzer Store, a store that grew so large it took up a whole city block in downtown Redding between Yuba and Placer Streets on Market Street. The store was affectionately known as "The Big Store." The house was extensively redecorated in 1905. When Saeltzer died in 1927, the ownership of the house began changing. During 1938 to 1942 when Shasta Dam was being constructed, the mansion was used as a boarding houe for dam workers. In later years, it became a boarding house for Shasta College students. Supposedly as many as 32 people have lived together in the house at one time. In 1994, Richard and Linda Hinrichs purchased the house and began extensive renovation work.
49. SHASTA COUNTY COURTHOUSE ROCK WALL The current courthouse was completed in 1956 deeming it not historic. What is historic is the rock in the low wall beside the sidewalk around the courthouse grounds. The rock came from the Texas Springs Quarry which became active in 1894. The rock from that quarry was used locally for railroad culverts, tombstones, trimmings on buildings, and in the courthouse wall.
50. SHASTA COUNTY HOSPITAL
The first county hospital was built in 1855 and located approximately one mile northwest of Shasta near the present-day intersection of Hwy. 299W and Rock Creek Road. It closed in 1900 and moved into a new wooden one-story, 51-room 108x140 ft. county hospital in south Redding built by Frank Scammon for $9400. It served as a hospital until 1934, then as an almshouse until 1957. It is now the location of the County welfare offices.
51. SHASTA COUNTY JAIL Construction on this jail was completed in 1939. It was built during the time when construction was in full swing on Shasta Dam twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Many of the workers came to the businesses on nearby California Street to recreate during their time off. The jail is located behind the present courthouse and backs up to West Street. The photo was taken looking down the last remaining cell block in the jail.
52. SHASTA UNION HIGH SCHOOL Was built in 1927 at 2200 Eureka Way as a 4-year high school. However, a new high school was later built a short distance away and since 1967 this building has served the district in other capacities.
53. ST. JOSEPH CATHOLIC CEMETERY Established in 1881 on Lincoln Street in Redding. Many Shasta County pioneers are buried here.
54. THOMPSON HOUSE This house was home to the pioneer Thompson family until 1999, when the family moved out and the family business ‘Thompsons’ Clothing Store’ moved in from a nearby location. After 80+ years in business, the business closed and the house, located at 1448 Pine Street, was sold in 2007.
55. VETERANS MEMORIAL HALL This building was built in 1939 at 1605 Yuba Street next to the Redding Post Office. It is owned by Shasta County.
56. WELLS FARGO BUILDING This building is also known as the S.P.R.R. Freight Station. It is unknown when it was built, but was possibly built in either 1872 or 1879 making it the oldest Redding building. Southern Pacific Railroad currently uses it as a storage facility.
57. WESTERN HOTEL The current 2-story building on the southwest corner of Yuba and Oregon Streets was originally a 3-story hotel around the turn of the century. However, a fire occurred on the 3rd floor and what didn’t burn was removed making it into the current 2-story building. Small apartments exist on the 2nd floor and the 1st floor contains a private business.
58. YEAGER HOUSE This Queen Anne Cottage styled house was built in approximately 1895 at 1261 East Street. It suffered extensive damages when a car crashed into it in 2010 but has since been renovated.
59. ZEIS HOUSE This house was built in approximately 1903 at 1804 Chestnut Street for Edward Zeis and his family. Mr. Zeis was a well-known local businessman and politician.