National Register of Historic Places in Shasta County, California

French Gulch Historic District 7 November 2011
(Click Photo to Zoom)
National Register #72000257
French Gulch Historic District
Both Sides of French Gulch Road
French Gulch
Founded 1849

French Gulch, a mining town founded by French-Canadian miners, was a major stop on the stage coach route from Sacramento to Portland between 1859 and 1868. The present main street was at one time the Shasta and Yreka Turnpike Road.

French Gulch was the center of vast mining activities. Among the more famous were the Franklin and Milkmaid Mines, the Washington Mine, and the Niagara Mine, which in 1880 was sold to a local miner for $10 and a gallon of whiskey. The miner worked the claim and took out over $2 million worth of gold. The Brown Bear Mine was discovered in the late 1850s by a bear hunter and it produced $11 million.

The first white child in Shasta County, C. F. Montgomery, was born here April 24, 1851.

French Gulch is located in a narrow canyon between a hill and Clear Creek. Almost all the buildings face a single main street. The population in 2010 was 346.

When the town was nominated for the National Register in 1972, the buildings included a hotel, a post office, a public school, St. Rose Catholic Church, two cemeteries, two stores, an IOOF Hall, a legitimate theater in the former school building, and several dozen dwellings mostly of considerable age.

The church and the IOOF Hall were destroyed by separate fires.

French Gulch has large yards, numerous trees, white picket fences, an irrigation ditch of fresh water alongside the main street for part of its length, and a pleasant trout stream in a rocky bed behind the town. Above and below the town are the scars of placer gold mining operations.

Source: NRHP Nomination Form dated 24 March 1972.

Name Year Address Remarks Sort Address Sort Name
Franck's Store1867Main StreetFranck's Store was founded in 1854 and was still operated by Mr. Franck's descendants when French Gulch was nominated for the National Register.Main StreetFranck's Store
Old Commercial Buildings1880Main StreetBuilt c.1880'sMain StreetOld Commercial Buildings
Franck Residence1860Main StreetMain StreetFranck Residence
Saint Anne's Catholic Church1900Main StreetThe church burned to the gound on November 19, 1998. Two young men and one young woman were convicted of arson.Main StreetSaint Anne's Catholic Church
I.O.O.F. Hall1860Main StreetMain StreetI.O.O.F. Hall
Feeny Hotel1887Main StreetStill in operation as the French Gulch HotelMain StreetFeeny Hotel
Garland Cabin1856Main StreetOldest surviving building in French GulchMain StreetGarland Cabin
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