National Register of Historic Places in Lassen County

Bizz Johnson Trailhead in Susanville, California 1 May 2010
(Click Photos to Zoom)
National Register #01000332
Susanville Railroad Depot
461 Richmond Road
Period: 1927-1956

The Susanville Railroad Depot is one of few reminders in the City of Susanville and Lassen County of the major role the railroad played in the economic and social development of the area. The period of significance extends from 1927 to 1956; the earlier year is the date of construction while the latter year is when the depot ended its freight operations.

The Susanville Railroad Depot retains a high degree of integrity in it location, setting, design, materials, workmanship, and feeling.

Excerpted from the NRHP Nomination.

In 1978, Southern Pacific Railroad received approval to abandon most of the old Fernley and Lassen Railroad branch line that had carried area lumber and sometimes passengers from 1914 until all railroad operations ended on the line in 1956. Following legal abandonment of the railroad in 1978, the Bureau of Land Management spearheaded the rails-to-trails conversion of the old railroad grade. Former Congressman Harold T. "Bizz" Johnson, who served in the House of Representatives from 1958-1980, was instrumental in helping establish the 30-mile segment as a Rails-to-Trails conversion for recreational use. The trail is named in his honor.

The trail winds 25.4 miles from Susanville to Mason Station. For the first 16 miles, the trail follows the Susan River. As it winds through the rugged Susan River Canyon, the trail crosses the river 12 times on bridges and trestles and passes through two tunnels. The landscape is a combination of semi-arid canyon and upland forests of pine and fir. The trail then follows existing roads an additional 4.5 miles into Westwood, where a railroad station type kiosk and a 25-foot carved redwood statue of Paul Bunyan mark the Westwood trailhead.

From the Bureau of Land Management web page, Bizz Johnson Trail.

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