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  Lost Cities: Tailholt

Tailholt, in Shasta Valley, was a railtown, not a gold town. Established in 1888 at the end of a rail line, Tailholt was a base for the lumber industry. Where Ball Mountain Road is now, there used to be a string of sawmills ---at least eleven, maybe as many as fifteen. Services and residences for the hardworking loggers and millers sustained Tailholt for more than thirty years. It was a little town, but it provided all the amenities a budding industry needed.

There were two stores, and a post office, opening precious lines of communication and commerce. For the teamsters, there was a harness shop and a blacksmith shop. There was a slaughterhouse and meat market for feeding hungry crews after long, hazardous shifts, and farther east, a grist mill churned out provisions for man and beast.

Tailholt seemed unusually well - provided with recreational opportunity. Of course, there was a saloon; there was always a saloon. But Tailholt boasted a racetrack, too, where bets were surely laid on anything with legs or wheels that could get around the track. The game of baseball took north America by storm just about the same time the railroad arrived in northern California. Tailholt set the precedent for the rest of this baseball-loving county by laying out a ballfield in their little town.

By the 1920's there was little left of Tailholt but the Post Office. It operated until 1920, after being moved a half-mile west to the Soule ranch, and is still standing there today. Look for it, and another historical marker, the only things left to mark the passing of a lost town.

by Kathy Dias, publisher in their Siskiyou Yearbook 2002 insert
Reprinted with permission from the Pioneer Press, Fort Jones, CA

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