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Visit Redding, California
Visit Redding, California

Travel Back in Time to the Mid-19th Century in Redding and Shasta Cascade

Redding, CA – September 27, 2016 – Situated at the northern end of the Sacramento River Valley, Redding and Shasta Cascade offer outdoor adventure and attractions all year long, along with fascinating, historically significant places for visitors to explore. Travel back in time down Highway 299, stopping along the way to discover ruins from the California Gold Rush and the oldest continuously-used Chinese temple in California.

“Redding, the hub city of Shasta Cascade, is centrally located in the heart of the great outdoors, but what many visitors find surprising is our rich history,” explains Kallie Markle, Communications Coordinator at Visit Redding. “Visitors can experience a time warp by traveling down Highway 299 and making three stops along the way at Shasta State Historic Park, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, and the Joss House.”

Surrounded on three sides by millions of acres of public land including Lassen Volcanic National Park, McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, spectacular Mt. Shasta, and the pristine Trinity Alps, Redding is the perfect base camp for exploring the unspoiled outdoors and witnessing the history of the great state of California.

Shasta State Historic Park, aka the Ruins of Old Shasta
Six miles west of Redding, a row of old, half-ruined brick buildings remind visitors that Shasta, the "Queen City" of California's northern mining district, once stood on this site. These ruins and some of the nearby roads, cottages, and cemeteries are all silent but eloquent vestiges of the intense activity that was centered here during the California Gold Rush. Iron shutters still swing on massive, old hinges on the doors and windows of grass-filled, roofless buildings that once were crowded with merchandise and alive with the sounds of trade and social endeavor. 

The County Courthouse is restored to its 1861 appearance and is filled with historical exhibits and an unparalleled collection of historic California artwork. The courtroom, jail and gallows have also been restored and are furnished with many original items, interpreting Shasta County justice in the long-gone days of the Gold Rush. The Blumb Bakery, which operated in Shasta until 1918, has been restored to house a working business where weekend visitors can catch a glimpse of baking 1870s style in the faithfully recreated brick oven. Walk historic trails and roads that give hints of past occupants with cottage ruins, gardens, and orchards. The cemetery trail will lead visitors to the Catholic Cemetery, where many of Shasta’s prominent citizens are buried, and the Pioneer Barn area is adorned with farming and mining implements from the 1800s. The hay barn houses an original stagecoach and more agricultural supplies and nearby large, old oak trees shade an area perfect for a picnic among the artifacts.

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
What was once a bustling mining destination called Whiskeytown is now a popular lake and recreation area. Whiskeytown is registered as a California Historical Landmark and known as one of the oldest towns from the California Gold Rush, where miners averaged $50 in gold per day. A 56-ounce gold nugget was found in 1851, which is worth over $75,000 at today’s prices, and by 1855, an estimated 1,000 gold miners lived in Whiskeytown. Today, the park offers historic tours of the Camden House and orchards, where famous gold miner Charles Camden established a successful mining and sawmill operation. Visitors can still pan for gold in the clear waters, but it’s best not to expect much in the way of fortune. 

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area draws thousands of people every year to swim, sail, kayak, paddle board and fish, while history rests below the surface. A memorial to President John F. Kennedy is situated on the south shore of the lake, commemorating his dedication of the dam in 1963, shortly before his assassination. Whiskeytown’s close proximity to Redding makes it a local favorite and visitors are invited to discover the 42,000 acres of kid and dog-friendly beauty for themselves.

Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park
The nearby town of Weaverville, established in 1850, was set in the rugged, heavily forested terrain of what are now called the Trinity Mountains in Shasta Cascade. Named after prospector George Weaver, the town’s population swelled after Major Pierson B. Reading found gold in the nearby Trinity River in 1848. 

Weaverville’s first settlers came from the Mississippi Valley, followed by German and Dutch immigrants. When the news of gold discoveries reached China, thousands of men emigrated from China to Gam Saan (Gold Mountain), as they called California. Eager to mine the Trinity River, many Chinese had arrived in Weaverville by 1853, faring well in the treacherous mining conditions of the fast-flowing river. As the Chinese population expanded, rival Chinese Tong groups vied for dominance in the community. In 1854, mining claim disputes and gambling hall skirmishes between the Punti Tongs and Hakka Tongs escalated into a full-scale battle, leaving 8 dead and 20 wounded. By 1860, more than 1,500 Chinese immigrants inhabited Weaverville, constructing their own Chinatown-esque neighborhood and erecting a Taoist temple, or Joss House. The Joss House remains a working Taoist temple today, and is California's best preserved example of a Gold Rush-era Chinese place of worship. 

The temple is now the Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park, and its interior, including a colorful, intricately carved wooden altar infused with reds, golds and greens, can be viewed by visitors. The Joss House is also known as The Temple of the Forest Beneath the Clouds, and is the oldest continuously-used Chinese temple in California. Chinese art objects, pictures, mining tools, and weapons used in the 1854 Tong War are all on display, and many of the historical objects have been restored. 

To discover more California history as well as all the adventures and attractions Redding has to offer and additional information about the many things to do in Redding and Shasta Cascade, visit and book your hotel, B&B or RV site today


About Shasta Cascade
Covering an area roughly the size of Ireland, the Shasta Cascade region is the perfect place to get back to nature, relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Comprised of eight rural counties historically known for being part of the pioneer gold rush in the mid-1800s, this majestic region of northern California is abundantly scattered with lakes, rivers, mountains and historic mining towns, and includes Lassen Volcanic National Park, two national monuments, six national forests and seven California state parks offering unforgettable fun and adventure. This area offers boundless outdoor recreation with magnificent landscapes and breathtaking vistas: from towering volcanoes, alpine ranges, and glaciers, to waterfalls, lush forests, pristine lakes, and roaring rivers; this travel destination is one of a kind. Shasta Cascade is easy to get to by auto, air, or Amtrak, and offers an off-the-beaten-path experience where people discover the abundance of nature in one of the few unspoiled areas remaining in California. For more information or to request a visitor’s guide, visit, like our Facebook page, or find us on twitter

About Redding, CA
Situated at the northern end of the Sacramento River Valley, Redding is the hub city in Shasta Cascade and is located just two hours north of Sacramento and three hours northeast of San Francisco. Boasting 300+ days of beautiful weather a year, Redding offers outdoor adventure and attractions all year long, along with great wine, food, sporting and cultural events, dining, lodging and entertainment. The great Sacramento River runs through the center of town, helping earn Redding the fame of being America’s “Unofficial Capital of Kayaking” according to Time Magazine. Nearby scenic lakes, rivers, state and national parks, including Shasta Lake, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and Lassen Volcanic National Park, make Redding a fantastic base-camp for exploration in Shasta Cascade, offering Any Adventure, Any Day. Redding is conveniently located at the crossroads of I-5 and California state routes 299 and 44, and is accessible by daily flights from San Francisco. For more information or to order a visitor’s guide, visit, like our Facebook page or find us on twitter at


Media Contacts:

Susan Hartzler
Mental Marketing

Lisa May
Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association

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