Dead Horse Summit
The history of Native American peoples in the lands of Siskiyou County has been traced back approximately 7000 years, although the oral history extends thousands of years further.|
The area north of Mount Shasta and west into Scott Valley was the territory of the Shasta Indians. The Karuk Tribe lived along the Klamath River an also made their way over the Marble and Salmon mountains into the Scott Valley area. The Modocs lived east of Mount Shasta and up into Butte Valley and the Klamath Basin. The Wintu people lived south of Mount Shasta. The Achomawi and Klamath native peoples also had historical territory within what is now Siskiyou County.
According to legend, a Spanish explorer climbing Mount Diablo near San Francisco in 1821 reportedly saw Mount Shasta and called it " Jesus and Maria" because of the double peaks. Russian sailors probably viewed Mount Shasta from the coast near Fort Ross.
The first authentic record of non-Indian travel in Siskiyou County was in the winter of 1826-27 when Hudson's Bay Company fur trappers under Peter Ogden, traveled through the area. Ogden noted in his journal on February 14, 1827: "I have named this river Sastise River. There is a mountain equal in height to Mount Hood or Vancouver; I have named Mt. Sastise. I have given these names, from the tribes of the Indians."
Early maps portrayed today's Mount Shasta variously as Mount Pitt, Mount Jackson, and Mount Simpson and said that it was over 20,000 feet above sea level. For the most part, the explorers and fur trappers traveled through the area but did not stay for any length of time.
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