Skip to main content

Enjoy Magazine

100 Fun Facts About the North State

01/07/2015 03:18PM ● By Jon Lewis

100 Fun Facts About the North State

January 2015
By Jon Lewis

Famous folks (Howdy Clint Eastwood!), colorful personalities, the interesting, the odd, the
historical, the surprising, the trivial, and even things that might make you go hmmm—they’re in abundance here in the North State.

To mark the publication of Enjoy Magazine’s 100th issue, gathered here are 100 tidbits about our region that might be of interest. Some are kind of obvious (Mt. Shasta is pretty big) and some are a little more obscure (Tulelake is the horseradish capital of the country?) but they all go hand-in-hand in making life around here Enjoy-able. To wit:

1. Lynsi Snyder, the 32-year-old owner and CEO of the In-N-Out chain of restaurants, spent
her teen years in Shingletown and graduated from Redding Christian School in Palo Cedro.

2. Following her graduation, Snyder worked weekends at the In-N-Out franchise on Dana Drive in Redding.

3. During the Redding restaurant’s grand opening, which set a corporate record with more than 7,000 burgers sold, Snyder’s grandmother, Esther Snyder, who founded In-N-Out with her husband, Harry, broke a hip and spent a year recuperating in a Redding hospital.

4. The 42 dishes of the Allen Telescope Array atop Hat Creek Rim probe deep into space for signs of life in the universe.

5. The facility is named after its chief funder and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen.

6. Shasta High School graduate Kathleen Kennedy has produced more than 60 films, including “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Jurassic Park” and “Lincoln.”

7. In 2012, Kennedy was named president of Lucasfilm and was given the responsibility to oversee “Star Wars Episode VII,” which is scheduled for release this year.

8. Kennedy’s half-brother, Shasta High graduate Ricky Phillips, is the bassist for the rock band Styx.

9. Charles “Swede” Risberg was the last living member of the infamous “Black Sox” scandal when he died on his 81st birthday in 1975 in Red Bluff.

10. The former shortstop, who was instrumental in persuading seven other Chicago White Sox teammates to throw the 1919 World Series, is interred at the Mount Shasta Memorial Park.

11. Redding native Ashley Parker Angel rose to stardom in 2000 after participating in the TV series “Making the Band.” Parker, who attended Central Valley High in Shasta Lake, joined the touring production of “Wicked” last November.

12 The late Kevin Sharp, who became a country music star as he beat the odds against cancer in an inspirational fight in the 1990s before passing in 2014 at age 43, was a Redding native.

13. Swashbuckling film star Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland were prominent members of the cast and crew that took over Chico’s Bidwell Park in 1937 to film sections of “The Adventures of Robin Hood.”

14. Famed New York Yankee slugger Babe Ruth blasted two home runs in an exhibition game played at Dunsmuir City Park on Oct. 22, 1924.

15. The Clark Creek Lodge near Burney, built in 1921 to accommodate workers on the Pit River Power Project, became a clearinghouse for bootleg whiskey during the Prohibition era. The gangster Al Capone was rumored to check on the proceedings from time to time.

16. The lodge later hosted a meeting between President Harding and William Randolph Hearst and became a hangout for an array of celebrities, including Jean Harlow, Betty Davis and the boxer Jack Dempsey.

17. Bing Crosby, who once owned the nearby Rising River Ranch, would frequent the lodge with his pal Phil Harris.

18. The famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed Pilgrim Congregational Church in Redding.

19. Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks spent his school-year summers in Red Bluff with his mother, Janet Marylyn.

20. The star of “Saving Private Ryan” returns to Red Bluff on occasion and is an avid supporter of the historic State Theatre.

21. George Milton and Lennie Small, the protagonists in John Steinbeck’s novel “Of Mice and Men,” are depicted as fleeing the city of Weed in Siskiyou County at the start of the book.

22. The actor Craig T. Nelson took a break from Hollywood in the late 1970s and made Montgomery Creek his home.

23. Nelson held a variety of jobs, including working as a janitor at Cedar Creek Elementary School, and was active with the Hat Creek Playhouse.

24. As a child, Patricia Hearst, granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, took swimming lessons in the McCloud community pool.

25. Later in her life, she would later return to McCloud to relax at Wyntoon, the Hearst family estate on the McCloud River.

26. Following her 1974 abduction by the Symbionese Liberation Army and her subsequent participation in a San Francisco bank heist, FBI agents searched for her at the forested estate.

27.Burney Falls, which adjoins Lake Britton, was featured in the 1988 film “Willow.”

28. Hat Creek, also in eastern Shasta County, was the setting for the opening scene of 1982’s “Firefox.”

29. Clint Eastwood, who owns the Rising River Ranch in Cassel, starred in and directed “Firefox.”

30. The dramatic train trestle scene in the 1986 movie “Stand By Me” was filmed on the Lake Britton Bridge in eastern Shasta County.

31. A section of the same McCloud Railway line was featured in the 1993 music video for Aerosmith’s “Livin’ on the Edge.”

32. Folk music legend and well-traveled troubadour Woody Guthrie spent some time in Redding in the late 1930s.

33. Guthrie, who wrote “This Land is Your Land,” was hoping to land a construction job on the new Shasta Dam project.

34. Redding resident Archie Aldis “Red” Emmerson, as head of the family-owned Sierra Pacific Industries, is California’s largest private property owner and the third largest private property owner in the country.

35. Sierra Pacific controls 1.8 million acres of forestlands. Emmerson, 85, has an estimated net worth of $3 billion.

36. Emmerson continues to run the Sierra Pacific Foundation, which has granted millions of
dollars in scholarships and other community contributions.

37. Renowned architect Bernard Maybeck, famous for the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, designed a home on West Street that belonged to Dudley Saeltzer, who was the general manager of the McCormick- Saeltzer Store.

38. Megan Rapinoe, one of the stars of the U.S. Women’s national soccer team that won Olympic gold in 2012, grew up in Palo Cedro and attended Foothill High School.

39. Rapinoe’s mother, Denise, has worked as a waitress at Jack’s Grill in Redding for the past 27 years.

40. The revolver carried by the abolitionist John Brown in his ill-fated raid on Harper’s Ferry is on exhibit at the Courthouse Museum in Shasta State Historic Park.

41. Soft-drink bottler Shasta Beverages (“It Hasta be Shasta!”) got its start in 1889 near Mt. Shasta.

42. Originally called Shasta Mineral Springs Company, the firm first sold naturally carbonated spring water.

43. Former New York Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn played one year at Mount Shasta High School and two years at Shasta College, where he starred as a wide receiver and kick returner. He was married to the actress Angie Harmon, to whom he proposed on live TV during “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” They announced in November that they were separating after 13 years of marriage.

44. Portions of the 1998 comedy “Almost Heroes” were filmed in the Cottonwood area. Directed by Christopher Guest, the film starred Chris Farley and Matthew Perry. It was Farley’s last major leading film role before he died in 1997.

45. Jeff Loveness, a staff writer on the late-night “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” show, grew up in Montgomery Creek (population: 163). The Pepperdine University graduate was a winner in the inaugural Sundial Film Festival.

46. A chunk of scorched metal from the World Trade Center’s North Tower is on permanent display in front of the Shasta Lake fire station on Shasta Dam Boulevard

47. Celebrated country singer Merle Haggard lives and records in the Palo Cedro area.

48. Haggard used to own Silverthorn Resort on Shasta Lake. For years, Haggard operated a houseboat on the lake that had a built-in fishing well in the living room.

49. Haggard was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010 for his lifetime achievement in the performing arts.

50. Tulelake, a small city in Modoc County, is known as the horseradish capital of the world. Its surrounding farmlands produce a third of America’s total crop.

51. David Hanna, the son of the late William Hanna of the famed Hanna-Barbera cartoon producers, owns a large estate in the Fall River Mills area.

52. Former Redding Mayor Rick Bosetti spent seven years as a professional baseball player.

53. Bosetti currently coaches the Redding Colt .45s, a summerleague team that plays at Tiger Field, a historic ballpark that opened in 1923 at the intersection of highways 44 and 99.

54. Lassen Peak, at 10,463 feet in elevation, is the southernmost active volcano in the Cascade Range.

55. Lassen Peak last erupted in 1917.

56. At 14,179 feet, Mt. Shasta is the second highest peak in the Cascades and the fifth-highest mountain in California.

57. The mountain’sestimated volume of 85 cubic miles makes it the most voluminous of the
Cascade Volcanic Arc.

58. Considered by many to be a sacred power point, fewer still believe Mt. Shasta is the home of survivors of ancient Lemuria, a mythical city that sank in the Pacific Ocean some 12,000 years ago. Numerous tales exist about encounters with the diminutive “Lemurians.”

59. John Strohmayer, a Central Valley High graduate, was a major league pitcher with the Montreal Expos and New York Mets.

60. After baseball, Strohmayer went on to teach at Central Valley and later served as superintendent of the Gateway Unified School District.

61. Strohmayer was one of 15 district employees to share in a $76 million lottery jackpot in 2009.

62. Former Foreigner bassist Bruce Turgon now operates a recording studio, After Hours Recorders, in Redding.

63. On Sept. 28, 1963, less than two months before his assassination in Dallas, Texas, President John F. Kennedy spoke at the dedication ceremony for the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.

64. David Gates, the lead singer for the ’70s group Bread, operated an alfalfa ranch in McArthur for several years.

65. George Vanderbilt, a descendant of the famous Dutch-American railroad mogul, purchased 1,500 acres in Siskiyou County in 1946 and built a massive 6,600-squarefoot house at the Shadow Valley Ranch near Stewart Springs.

66. The Shadow Valley Ranch home was acquired by Leslie Alexander in 2000. Alexander had a controlling interest in the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

67. Prior to its demise by fire in 2012, the home belonged to John Jacobson, an internationally recognized composer and choreographer.

68. There are no permanent traffic lights in Trinity County.

69. The courthouse in Weaverville, built in 1856, is the second oldest in the state.

70. Weaverville’s Joss House, an active Taoist temple, was built in 1873.

71. General John Bidwell began construction on the three-story, 26-room Bidwell Mansion in Chico in 1865.

72. Some interior scenes of the1934 film “The Thin Man” were filmed inside this famous Victorian home.

73. Chico’s Bidwell Park, established in 1905, is the third largest municipal park in California.

74. The original Shasta High School (now home for University Preparatory School) on Eureka Way in Redding was completed in 1927 at a cost of $375,000.

75. An anonymous prospector armed with a metal detector discovered a 6-pound gold nugget last summer in the foothills of Butte County.

76. The so-called Butte Nugget sold at auction for $400,000.

77. William B. Ide, who was the one and only president of the short-lived Bear Flag Republic in 1846, resided near present-day Red Bluff.

78. The notorious bandit Joaquin Murrieta is believed to have buried $175,000 in gold coins somewhere between Burney and Hatchet Mountain, not far from present-day Highway 299.

79. When full, Shasta Lake has more miles of shoreline than Lake Tahoe.

80. Shasta Lake is known as the “Houseboat Capitol of the World” with the largest commercial houseboat fleet in the world.

81. At its base, Shasta Dam is 543 feet thick.

82. The 9.6-mile-long Shasta Dam conveyor belt, which stretched from Redding to the construction site, was the longest in the world.

83. It carried more than 12 million tons of aggregate, sand and gravel during its lifetime.

84. The former African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church at California and Trinity streets was built in 1894 and is the oldest church in Redding.

85. Redding is the Nation’s second sunniest City with 88 percent sunshine days.

86. Chauncey Bush was Redding’s first mayor.

87. The Cascade Theatre was built in 1935 as a 1,348-seat movie palace.

88. The popular restaurant Jack’s Grill opened in 1938.

89. The restaurant’s second floor served as a house of ill repute for a brief period in the 1940s.

90. The Lorenz Hotel, built in 1902, was the first building in Shasta County to feature an elevator.

91. The Fly Shop in Redding is the largest commercial fly distributor and the largest fly fishing business in the world.

92. Redding’s Old City Hall was built in 1907 at a cost of $10,000.

93. The round barn at the Fort Crook Museum in Fall River Mills was originally built in Lassen County and used to trained horses for World War I.

94. The Western Star Lodge No. 2, Free and Accepted Masons, is the oldest chartered Masonic lodge in California. It was built in Shasta in 1854.

95. Charles Boles, the “gentleman bandit” also known as Black Bart, had a fear of horses and perpetrated his Siskiyou Trail stagecoach robberies on foot.

96. The massively destructive Boles Fire that burned in Weed is named after Charles Boles, who lived in Weed for a period in the late 1800s.

97. As a time-telling device, the shadow cast by the Sundial Bridge pylon is accurate only one day a year.

98. The bridge is accented with more than 1 million pieces of chipped ceramic tile.

99. The legendary bucking bull Red Rock was successfully ridden for the first time by celebrated rodeo cowboy Lane Frost during “Challenge of the Champions” event on May 20, 1988 at the Redding Rodeo Arena.

100. The Sacramento River is California’s longest river. Beginning near Mt. Shasta and flowing into the San Francisco Bay, it runs clear and cold right through the heart of Redding.