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Pages of History: Stump fire deliberate?

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, August 1958.

Sheriff’s deputies today were investigating the “strong” possibility that a person or persons unknown deliberately set fire to a large pile of stumps on Redwood Lane Tuesday, the sparks from which ignited a barn filled with cattle and horses a short distance away.

According to Fire Chief Lyle Griffin, whose men battled the blaze for five hours, “the fire was definitely set.” 

The first alarm, Griffin said, was turned in by Mrs. Lloyd Noffinger, who first saw the stump fire near the drive-in at 1:30 p.m.

One truck was dispatched to help extinguish the blaze, Griffin said, but more equipment had to be called out when Mrs. Noffinger reported the C.L. Nichols barn ablaze more than one block away.

Griffin said firemen worked rapidly to lead the cattle and horses to safety and to halt the fire before it spread to bales of hay stored inside.

Thousands of gallons of water were poured onto the burning stumps, which had been there for a number of years and were on the Huffman property on Redwood Lane. 

Firemen finally returned from the blaze at 7 p.m. Griffin reported he checked the area again at 11 p.m. and that all seemed under control.

Info sought from vets

Information vital in helping process applications under new laws, P.L. 681 and P.L. 634 was this week being sought from veterans of World War I and World War II and also the Korean action by Lois Dusenbury, county veteran’s service officer.

She also pointed out that the information will be especially helpful to World War I veterans who have reached the age of 60 or over.

Early Day Trails

By Don Chase

Just over 100 years ago, in 1854, a train of 30 pack mules moved out of Crescent City in the charge of two packers, en route to the Low Divide mining district. Sides of bacon, bags of flour, kegs of whiskey, sugar, coffee, saleratus, matches, whale oil, lard, salt, fry pans, gold pans, and various tools and hardware made up the cargo loaded in panniers balanced on each side of each pack animal.

With their long ears flapping and their tails whipping at flies, the 30 mules carried 2½ tons of groceries and merchandise, and made life possible in the remote camps. They would reach Altaville by 4 p.m., and probably two other pack strings would reach there before or after their arrival. They were stopping at Altaville, but the others would probably be bound for Sailor Diggings or Althouse, and after an overnight stop, would head on to their destinations.

From the beginning, Crescent City’s recognized destiny was to supply the mining camps of Southern Oregon and what is now Siskiyou and Del Norte counties, making Crescent City the most important port between San Francisco and the Columbia River in the 1850s. 

Pack trains continued to supply the camps and the miners of the  middle Klamath and eastern Del Norte County for many years by means of the trail which went over Howland Hill, east of Crescent City, crossing Mill Creek, and down the ridge south of that area. But the trail to Oregon was only used heavily for a few years before the pioneer trails opened up in 1858 and after that the trains were only rarely seen on the old trail.  

 

Reach Nita Phillips at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 


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