Little, seemingly unimportant events can change history. In 1850, John Ross and eleven other men left the Woodland area of California, heading for the south fork of the Trinity River. They traveled through the redwoods, missed the Trinity River and struck the Klamath River 20 miles from its mouth. Following the river upstream, they discovered gold at Sawyers Bar. Near there, the men were robbed of their horses by Indians. The next day they recaptured three of their horses, and John Ross was wounded in this action.
The group crossed the mountains and came upon a river that they named Ross River. Losing their horses again to the Indians, and as they were out of provisions, they found their way to the Salmon River, in a starved and desolate condition, where they were rescued and fed by another group of miners, including Joseph Scott.
While they were recuperating along the Salmon River, John Ross told Joseph Scott that there was gold on Ross River. Scott went over to this new river, found gold in good quantity and then so the name of the river was changed to Scott River, and the location of the gold discovery was called Scott Bar.
from The Siskiyou County Museum and Historical Society