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LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – June 18th, 1930

Red River Lumber’s fire train and crew in 1936

Susanville Fire Darkens Town; Loss Reaches $100,000
June 18, 1930

A survey of the district which was the scene of one of the most disastrous fires known here for many years, indicated today that the loss would reach at least $100,000 and part of this is covered by insurance.

The fire plunged Susanville into darkness last night and it was stated today that it may be a week before sub-station and pole lines are repaired sufficiently to provide this city with light and power.

The blaze, which started in the rear of the Borghi grocery store on the Richmond road opposite the Southern Pacific depot at noon, spread rapidly and destroyed the Red River Lumber Company’s lumber yards, apartments and office, coal and lime that was stored, the restaurant of Morgan & Malone, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Straup and many small buildings. The sub-station of the Lassen Electric company was destroyed and many of the company’s poles.

The Hansen Ice Company’s properties were threatened for a time, and it was only the Southern Pacific firefighting engine that ran along the track and turned steam full force on the buildings and coal that saved that plant.

Along with the help of fire fighting forces, the Lassen Lumber & Box Company sent their fire apparatus to the scene, while the Southern Pacific engine fought along the tracks.

The buildings were located out of the fighting had to be done with garden hose and chemicals. The heat from the coal and burning lumber was so intense it was impossible to save that part of the district. Windows of buildings across the street were cracked and people in the neighborhood moved their furniture and household goods from their homes, because the fire seemed so threatening.

Hundreds of people lined the hills and watched the devastation. The coal and lumber and lime will burn for days.

Theodore Walker, resident manager of the Red River Limber Company of Westwood, after having been informed by telephone of the fire, drove from Westwood to Susanville, a distance of twenty miles in nineteen minutes, but by the time he arrived their property was burned.

A few months ago P.A. Quigley of Lovelock, NV, contracted to buy the Red River lumber yards here. About two weeks ago he died very suddenly with a heart attack. Mrs. Quigley has just returned from having buried her husband at Fresno and was attempting to take up the broken threads of life and carry on the business, but was powerless to do anything but stand and see the property burn.

Many beautiful trees were burned. Some of them were forty years old and the beauty of that section of Susanville is ruined. As the strangers step from the Southern Pacific train charred and black ruins will greet their view.

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – June 15th, 1941

Highway 395 (the Three Flags Highway south of Ravendale in 1956 ~ Photo courtesy California Department of Highways

Motorlogue Set For Lassen Scenes
June 15, 1941

Beverly Keim of Los Angeles conferred recently with George McDow Jr., secretary of the Susanville chamber of commerce, about pictures and material which he is gathering for a motorlogue of the Three Flags highway, U.S. 395, between southern California and Washington. Keim is a newspaperman.

Information collected will stress Route 395 as a high-speed highway, free from army truck movement through southern California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and into Canada. Colored motion pictures also are being taken of the scenic highlights along the route.

McDow arranged with the Lassen national forest officials for a number of views of the scenic wonders and beauties of Lassen County, to be incorporated in the motorlogue.

Harold Eugene Neff, Gaylord Clayton Bowden, Don Maxwell, Ivan Leroy Wright, all of Westwood, Ernest Peter Batal, John Vernon Peconom, Rufus Leon Connelly and Manley Wilson Inlay, all of Susanville and George Franklin Van Houton of Bieber will leave here June 23 for selective service training in various parts of the United States.

The Susanville flower show, held in the parlors of the Methodist church this week, was successful, according to Mrs. Fred J. Davis Sr., chairman of the garden section of the Monticola club, and her assistants.

Over three hundred people visited the show, coming from Reno, San Francisco, Willows, Berkeley, Milford, Likely, Alturas, Orland, Chico, Red Bluff, Litchfield, Standish, Westwood and Susanville.

Grand prize, chosen by those attending, awarded Mrs. Oscar O’Dell for a beautiful arrangement of rose-colored water lilies in a rose-colored dish. The prize was a low bowl with figurettes donated by Mrs. J. MacDonald.

Mrs. Emma Schumacher, second prize for arrangement of peonies, third to Mrs. Floretta Clark.

Men’s prizes, first, Dr. Fred J. Davis Sr., for bachelor button; second, C. W. Morrill for red rosebud, third, M. R. Arnold, poppies.

Children’s grand prize, first, Dolores Lucero, French bouquet on glass table; second, Dick Hughes; third, Frances Mueller. Junior exhibit award, Camp Fire Girls, display of wild flowers.

Ribbons awarded: Miniature, first, Mrs. Davis; second, Mrs. Bridgeford. Pyrethrum, first, Mrs. Hunt.

Delphinium, first Mrs. Hardin Barry, second Mrs. Emma McClure.

Delphinium arrangement, first, Mrs. A. J. Mathews. Delphinium, mixed, first Mrs. E. E. Smith.

Sweet Williams, first, Mrs. Mae Emerson. Columbine, first, Mrs. Emma McClure, second, Mrs. Marc Edmonds.

Dianthus, first, Mrs. Gallo. Snapdragons, first, Mrs. J. W. Crever, second, Mrs. Mae Emerson.

Roses, one bud, first, Mrs. Jack Adams, second, Mrs. C. W. Morrill.

Roses, group, mixed, first Mrs. Fred J. Davis; second, Mrs. O. S. O’Dell. One variety, first, Mrs. C. W. Morrill, second, Harry Stewart. Flower arrangement, first, Mrs. Ross Draper, second, E. W. Smith. Flower arrangement, Snapdragons first, Mrs. Mae Emerson, second, Mrs. Floretta Clark.

Flower arrangement, under twelve inches, first, Mrs. Floretta Clark, second, Mrs. W. M. Bryant. Flower arrangement of water lilies, first, Mrs. O. S. O’Dell. Dish gardens, first, Mrs. Ross Draper, second. Mrs. W. E. Hunt. Lilies, first, Mrs. Maud Wood. Cacti, first, Mrs. Packwood, second, Mrs. Tom Winchester. House plants, first, Mrs. Galloway, second, Mrs. L. Cleland.

Men’s exhibits, first, C. W. Morill, second, E. P. Honsberger.

Peonies, first, Mrs. H. L. McMurphy, second, Mrs. Perle long. Pansies, first, Mrs. Floretta Clark, second, Mrs. Bob Williams. Iris, single blossom, first, Mrs. Grace Christie. Dutch, first, Mrs. Ray Needham, second, Mrs. C. W. Morill. California Poppies, first. Mrs. Duerne, second, Mrs. E. W. Smith.

Children, first, Dolores Lucero, second, Dick Hughes, third, Cub Scouts, fourth, Davis children.

Oriental Poppies, first, Mrs. E. W. Hunt, second, Mrs. O. S. O’Dell. Iceland poppies, first, Mrs. Emma Schumacher, second, Mrs. L. Cleland.

Display of Roop’s Fort by the Native Daughters, with Georgia Jensen as chairman, was interesting and attractive. A silver tea was served from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m.

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – June 14th, 1930

Fire Burns behind Borghi’s Store on Richmond Rd.

Susanville Battles Fire Which Destroys Buildings And Is Menace to Town
Property Burning at City Limits: Large Loss Reported
Ice Company Plant, Store, Restaurant, Fuel Yard and Homes in Ashes
Control of Conflagration Hinged This Afternoon On One Structure
The fire was checked at three o’clock. Loss estimated at $1000, 000. Lack of fire hydrants hampered the firefighters.
June 14, 1930

One of the most destructive fires to visit Susanville in several years was raging this afternoon just at the edge of the city limits and a large force of men including the firefighting equipment of the Lassen Lumber & Box Company was trying at two o’clock to check the flames.

Because the fire was outside the city limits, the Susanville fire department did not respond to the alarm.

At two o’clock, the Union Ice company’s plant, the Borghi grocery store, the China restaurant, the lumber yard owned by the late Paul Quigley, the Quigley apartment house with all its contents, the Red River Lumber Company’s sub-station and two dwelling houses, had been destroyed.

The office equipment of Quigley’s lumber company was saved but all the remaining contents of the apartment house in which the office was located was burned.

At two o’clock the fire was confined to a two-story building and if that is saved then it would be expected the fire would be checked on its advance towards the town of Susanville. All the property destroyed is on the Richmond road south of Susanville.

The fire started in a small shed in the rear of the Borghi store. No water was available to fight it and it spread rapidly.

The two houses burned included the Staup residence and the Dr. Cooley residence.

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – June 13th, 1945

Venus Confused with Japanese Balloon
June 13, 1945

Japanese fire balloon taken at Moffet Field in 1945

That shimmering object in the sky which had thrown Westwood, Chester and Susanville into a mild hysteria the past several days, isn’t a Japanese balloon after all. It’s the morning star, Venus.

Reports that the cylindrical object (the Japanese bomb balloons are reported longitudinal in shape) which some “experts” placed at 10,000 feet altitude, was variously reported over Lake Almanor, Herlong, Westwood, Susanville and Chester.

In Westwood no less than three balloons were noted.

In Susanville some observers declared that the object was parachute in shape.

That the “floating object” was the planet Venus was established by United States army airplanes who took to the skies to shoot the menace down.

Just over one month ago one woman and five children were killed in Bly, Oregon when a 13 year old girl discovered a Japanese balloon in a tree and tried to free it.

LMUD Presents: This Day in Susanville History – June 12th, 1914

Mt. Lassen’s new crater in August 1914 after a summer of eruptions. ~National Park Service Photo~

Mt. Lassen is True Volcano in Eruption
Eye-Witness of Titanic Action Sends Account to the Gazette
Four Susanville Men Visit the New Crater
One Party is Lowered Over the Brink but Cannot Tell Depth
June 12, 1914

A party consisting of J. L. Brambilla, Justin Feher, Alexander Sifford, George Olson and Harry Kaul, has just returned to Susanville from Drake’s Springs, seven miles southeast of Mt. Lassen, from which point they went direct to the active crater of Mt. Lassen, leaving here Sunday afternoon at 3:30 o’clock.

After going through the violet thunder and lightning storms they arrived at Chester at 8:30 p.m. at 8:05 of the morning of June 1, the second eruption took place. This they witnessed and photographed from Chester.

They left immediately for Drake’s Springs arriving at one o’clock that afternoon. They visited Devil’s Kitchen and Boiling Lake, fining the usual activity there. Boiling Lake is only one of its kind known, it being a lake of boiling water. Devil’s Kitchen is a mass of geysers, boiling mud and springs.

The morning of June 2, they left Drake’s Springs at five o’clock and started for Mt. Lassen, 10,640 feet high and seven miles northwest, arriving there at 10 o’clock. This trip was over snow that sometimes attained a depth of 15 feet and was made on horseback and on foot until the foot of the summit was reached, at which point the horses were abandoned.

The party spent three hours and a half taking photographs and noting conditions in general.

The crater is about 325 feet in length and 75 feet in width. Its depth unknown.

J. L Brambilla was held over the edge of the crater by other members of the party while observations were made and photographs taken, this being very difficult owing to the gases, steam and dust at the crater’s edge.

The edge is cracked for some distance outward. Volcanic mud, ashes and boulders, which range in size from those weighing a few ounces to tons, cover an area of over 1,000 acres, this area extending more to the northeast.

The ascent consumed some two hours, while the descent was made in 35 minutes, members of the party sliding down the snow from the summit to the point where the horses were tied.

The return journey was then commenced, arriving at Drake’s Springs at 4:30 in the afternoon and leaving there this morning at five o’clock for Susanville. The party has valuable photographs as they are the first ones actually to visit the crater since the eruption.

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