Friday, September 13, 2013

Lassen Volcanic's Kings Creek and its waterfalls named for the King family of Shasta County

A waterfall in Lassen Volcanic National Park: Kings Creek Falls
The Kings Creek cascades and waterfalls belong, like the geothermal Bumpass Hell area and the  Lassen Peak Summit, to the most popular sightseeing and hiking destinations in Lassen Volcanic National Park, California. King is a very common name. All the Lassen Park landmarks with this name derive their designation from local residents and relatives: the King family including James, Jane and their son Oscar

Not much is known about the King family. They are figures of northern California's ranching history, as Tim I. Purdy tells us [1]:

Ranching interests also [in addition to mining interests] played a role in the region's early history. In the summer of 1860, Hiram Rawson of Red Bluff had 2,000 sheep grazing at nearby Battle Creek Meadows. Other livestock operators, primarily from Shasta and Tehama counties, found the region suitable for summer pasture. Among least known of these individuals were Shasta County residents James and Jane King, whose son Oscar was born in 1879 in the meadows that today bears the family's name. Information concerning their activities is marginal, in part because they never formally claimed or obtained a land patent to this property. Besides the meadows, a creek and a waterfall were named for them.

In a 2009 Red Bluff Daily News column, Jean Barton also referred to Tim I. Purdy's book “Lassen Volcanic” (and to his book “Lake Almanor”) [2]. She compared appearances of park sites, which she was visiting in 2009, with how she remembered them from earlier visits. Jean mentions the marginal information concerning the King's activities and writes about some of the King's contemporaries, who in their own way were going to make a living around Lassen Peak in the late 19th century.  

Keywords: history, genealogy, geography, place naming; Kings Meadows, Kings Creek, Kings Creek Falls.

References and more to explore
[1] Tim I. Purdy: Lassen Volcanic. Lahontan Images, Susanville, California, 2009; page 58.
[2] Jean Barton: The old and the new at Lassen Park. Red Bluff Daily News - Opinion, Aug. 22, 2009 [].

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