National Register of Historic Places in Siskiyou County, California
Efforts to connect California and Oregon by rail were initiated as early as 1863. Early surveys of the Siskiyou Mountains determined that the winding, deeply incised channel of the Sacramento River was the most viable route through the southern portion of this barrier between Califonia and Oregon.
Over two decades passed before the Southern Pacific Railroad reached the southern border of Siskiyou County in 1886. A railroad camp named Pusher was built just south of the Dunsmuir Historic Commercial District.
This embryonic station was renamed Dunsmuir. By October, a roundhouse, machine shop and division superintendent's headquarters had been built. Simple wood frame business buildings were built west of the track along what became known as Sacramento Avenue.
On December 17, 1887 the last spike was driven in Ashland, Oregon, extending Southern Pacific's network of tracks from Portland to New Orleans. The rugged stagecoach journey between Portland and Sacramento, that had taken seven days to complete in 1869, had been reduced to thirty-eight hours on the iron horse.
Dunsmuir's strategic location midway between Portland and Sacramento and its position at the southern end of severe grades and curves up the Siskiyou Mountains into Oregon, made the town a logical choice for the headquarters of all railroading activities on the Shasta Route. Engines were repaired, locomotives and train crews were assigned, and "helpers" (extra engines) were added to trains to help them climb the steep 2.2% grade out of the Siskiyou Canyon.
At the height of the town's close association with the railroad in the early 20th century, nearly 2,000 men were on the Dunsmuir switching yard payroll.
The Shasta Route occupies a unique position in railroading history due to seemingly insurmountable engineering difficulties caused by heavy seasonal rain and snow, and the scenic spectacle provided by Mount Shasta and the Siskiyou Mountains. Numerous bridges, severe track curvatures, and sixteen borings were among the engineering feats necessary to traverse the 4,135 foot Siskiyou Summit.
In the words of railroad magnate Charles Crocker, "The Sierra Nevada Mountains, which first confronted me, were nothing compared with the Siskiyous for sublimity of achievement and scenery and wonderful engineering skill."
Source: Adapted from the NRHP Nomination Form submitted in 1982.
The 97-acre Dunsmuir Historic District contains thirty-two contributing buildings and three contributing structures.
|Name||Year||Address||Remarks||Sort Address||Sort Name|
|Petty Building||1927||5911, 5915 Dunsmuir Avenue||Dunsmuir 5911||Petty Building|
|Eachus Building||1925||5833, 5835 Dunsmuir Avenue||Dunsmuir 5833||Eachus Building|
|Talmage||1924||5817, 5821 Dunsmuir Avenue||Dunsmuir 5817||Talmage|
|Hutaff Building/Travelers Hotel||1917||5810, 5815 Dunsmuir Avenue and 4208, 4212 Pine Street||Dunsmuir 5810||Hutaff Building/Travelers Hotel|
|Warner Building||1921||4300 Pine Street||Pine 4300||Warner Building|
|Manfredi Bakery Building||1928||5751, 5759 Dunsmuir Avenue and 4213, 4215 Pine Street||Dunsmuir 5751||Manfredi Bakery Building|
|Dunsmuir Masonic Temple||1925||5739, 5741 Dunsmuir Avenue||Dunsmuir 5739||Dunsmuir Masonic Temple|
|1920||5731-5737 Dunsmuir Avenue||Vernacular late Victorian||Dunsmuir 5731|
|Josephine Lee House||1915||5721 Dunsmuir Avenue||Dunsmuir 5721||Josephine Lee House|
|Williams/Clark House||1890||5711-5717 Dunsmuir Avenue||The original 1890 Queen Anne residence was altered with a storefront addition around the year 1930.||Dunsmuir 5721||Williams/Clark House|
|Tallarico Building||1926||5726, 5728 Dunsmuir Avenue||Dunsmuir 5726||Tallarico Building|
|Jones Building||1925||5732, 5736 Dunsmuir Avenue||Dunsmuir 5732||Jones Building|
|Hotel Weed/Hotel Dunsmuir||1904||5744 Dunsmuir Avenue and 5751 Sacramento Avenue||The original Hotel Weed, built in 1904 in the Richardson Romanesque style, was expanded around the year 1945 with an Art Moderne addition.||Dunsmuir 5744||Hotel Weed/Hotel Dunsmuir|
|State Bank of Dunsmuir||1910||5800 Dunsmuir Avenue||The brick portion of this building dates to 1910, and the reinforced concrete portion dates to 1926.||Dunsmuir 5800||State Bank of Dunsmuir|
|Levy Building||1926||5804 Dunsmuir Avenue||Dunsmuir 5804||Levy Building|
|Koenig Building||1923||5814, 5816 Dunsmuir Avenue||Dunsmuir 5814||Koenig Building|
|Rochford Building||1925||5824, 5826 Dunsmuir Avenue||The façade was significantly altered in 1959.||Dunsmuir 5824||Rochford Building|
|1903||5832, 5832A Dunsmuir Avenue||The original 1903 building, one of the oldest in the district, has been repeatedly altered over the years.||Dunsmuir 5832|
|1916||5836 Dunsmuir Avenue||Extensively altered during World War II.||Dunsmuir 5836|
|1912||5838, 5840 Dunsmuir Avenue||Extensively altered in the mid-1960's.||Dunsmuir 5838|
|Leach/Van Fossen Apartment House||1904||5844, 5866 Dunsmuir Avenue||Dunsmuir||Leach/Van Fossen Apartment House|
|City Hall and Fire Department Station||1925||5902 Dunsmuir Avenue||These building combine features of the Renaissance Revival and Mission Revival styles.||Dunsmuir 5902||City Hall and Fire Department Station|
|Pontier Building||1924||5911 Sacramento Avenue||Sacramento||Pontier Building|
|1926||5901 Sacramento Avenue||Two reinforced concrete buildings.||Sacramento 5901|
|I.R. Wells Building||1903||5859 Sacramento Avenue||Sacramento 5859||I.R. Wells Building|
|Van Fossen Building||1903||5841 Sacramento Avenue||Sacramento 5841||Van Fossen Building|
|Wagoner Building||1903||5827-5831 Sacramento Avenue||Sacramento 5827||Wagoner Building|
|Red Cross Drug Store||1903||5825 Sacramento Avenue||Sacramento 5825||Red Cross Drug Store|
|Thompson Building and White and O'Neil Building||1903||5749 Sacramento Avenue||Sacramento 5749||Thompson Building and White and O'Neil Building|
|Rostel Building||1903||5743 Sacramento Avenue||Sacramento 5743||Rostel Building|