California Landmarks in Shasta County

California Landmark 148
Bass Hill
Bridge Bay Road at Entrance to Shasta Lake Bridge Bay Resort
Shasta-Trinity National Forests

California Historical Landmark #148: Bass Hill Near Shasta Lake
California Historical Landmark #148: Bass Hill Near Shasta Lake
22 April 2010
(Click Photos to Zoom)

In loving memory to those pioneers who "held the ribbons" but have turned the bend in this road

One of the best known and beloved men in California

Williamson Lyncoya Smith

August 6 1830
Born on a plantation on the James River, Bedford County, Virginia. Named "Lyncoya" by President Andrew Jackson.

Family settled in Pike County, Missouri.

April 25 1850
Left Pike County with McPike & Strothers Express Line for California.

August 6, 1850
Arrived in Placerville, California.

Continuously connected with U.S. Mail until 1892. Railroad between Sacramento & Portland was completed on December 17, 1887.

July 1854
Carried the first U.S. Mail on horseback from Jacksonville to Canyonville, Oregon.

May 31, 1903
Died at his home, West and Tehama Streets in Redding, California.

James E. Birch

First stage driver in California & organizer of the California Stage Co.

September 12, 1887
Lost at sea on the mail steamer Central America.

J.B. Crandall

Pioneer stage driver from 1849 covering California, Oregon and Nevada.

June 11, 1857
Drove the first stage over the Sierra Nevada mountains.

November 24, 1872
Eight miles from Los Angeles, thrown from his stage, was kicked by the wheel horse, ending his life.

W.F. Hall & W.H. Hall

Stage drivers from 1849.

Marshall McCummings

August 1851
Drove the first stage from Sacramento to Shasta, Monroe & Felt proprietors.

Daniel Masten Cawley

July 14, 1825
Born in New Hampshire

September 1, 1858
Drove the first stage over the Siskiyou Mountains for the California Stage Co.

December 17, 1887
Drove the last stage over Siskiyou Mountains for the California Oregon Idaho Stage Co.

October 15, 1901
Died in Yreka, California.

Andrew Jackson Bacon
Joseph Henry Bacon

...and many, many more Anglo Saxon and Celtic drivers (Blackburn, Bradley, Burk, Burnett, Chase, Giddings, Hall, Kennedy, Robbins, Smith, Spaulding, to cite just a few...)

This stage driver's monument marks the Sacramento River Road where it connects with U.S. Highway 99

Erected by Mae Helene Bacon Boggs
Niece of Williamson Lyncoya Smith

Bass Hill, August 6, 1930
Centennial of the birth of W.L. Smith

When this monument was erected on Bass Hill in 1930, the Sacramento River had not been dammed to create nearby Shasta Lake.

The dam was built to mitigate spring flooding and summer drought in the agricultural Central Valley south of here. Construction, managed by the federal Bureau of Reclamation as a public works project, began in 1937 and was completed in 1945, twenty-five months ahead of schedule. At that time, Shasta Dam was the second highest dam in the United States, bested only by Hoover Dam.

We were unable to locate a California Bear Flag marker for Bass Hill, but the California Office of Historic Preservation offers the following citation at

Bass Hill

On the summit of Bass Hill a remnant of the California-Oregon stage road crosses the Pacific Highway and descends to the Pit River. Because this was a favorite 'holdup' spot in stage-coach days, a marker has been placed there in memory of W. L. Smith, division stage agent of the California and Oregon Stage Company, and of the pioneer stage drivers along this road.

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