Salmon River History Timeline: 1849-present

The Salmon River Restoration Council is proud to share this multimedia timeline of Salmon River History from 1849 to present.

We welcome your ;xSTx;a href="" target="_blank";xETx;contribution of historical photos, documents, and stories;xSTx;/a;xETx;. Also, please consider supporting SRRC's History Project work with an ;xSTx;a href="" target="_blank";xETx;online tax-deductible donation;xSTx;/a;xETx;. ;xNLx;;xNLx;We recognize that the vast majority of Salmon River history predates 1849 with the various peoples indigenous to this area. The timeline begins in 1849 for the simple reason that the written history of the area begins at that time. The rich history of the Native Americans is worthy of a much larger timeline.;xNLx;;xNLx;Timeline content © 2017 by respective owners. Site design & timeline by Scott Harding. Special thanks to the Siskiyou County Historical Society (SCHS) for the many old photos.

Wallow & Haypress Fires

The summer after the wettest winter on record in the Salmon River watershed proved to be a fiery one. In all, 71,379 acres burned in the watershed in 2017. The vast majority of this acreage burned in the Wallow Fire in the southern Marble Mountain Wilderness Area and adjacent areas and the Haypress Fire in the western Marble Mountain Wilderess Area. Exceptionally heavy smoke persisted in the river canyon for weeks during the peak of burning from late August through late September. Although fire intensity varied considerably in both fires, large areas of high country in the Salmon Mountains burned with high severity fire effects in the Wallow Fire.

Wettest Winter in a Decade (or more)

In a definitive break from the recent dry winters, the winter of 2016-2017 has been the wettest winter on record. The Salmon River rose above historical average flows in mid-October 2016 and, as of May 2017, it has continuously flowed well above average. The river reached its highest levels since the high water in the winter of 2005-2006. The May 1, 2017 snow survey results indicate a healthy snow pack containing 100-150% of historical average of snow water equivalent in our area.

Politics & Gold, the Life of John Daggett

Perhaps there is no more famous Salmon River figure than John Daggett.

Floods of 1852-53

Four floods this winter destroyed nearly all mining improvements, wing dams, ditches, and bridges on the Salmon River.

Salmon River Gold Rush Begins

The discovery of gold on the North Fork Salmon River started the Salmon River Gold Rush. Mining dominated the economy of the watershed for the next 90 years in boom and bust cycles and made profound and permanent changes to the land and native people of the area.

W.P. Bennett & Co.'s Hydraulic Mining Around Forks of Salmon

Hydraulic mining in Forks of Salmon was perfected by W.P. Bennett in the late 1800s and early 1900s, forever altering the river bars and riparian land while producing large quantities of gold.

The Legacy of William Porter Bennett

William Porter Bennett was a central figure in the development of Forks of Salmon and of Salmon River mining and provisioning in general.

Salmon River Starvation Times

The first winter for white miners on the Salmon River was a tough one, with many near starvation and without supplies.

Indian Villages Burned by Miners

At least as early as the summer of 1851, white miners and settlers burned multiple Native American villages along the Klamath and Salmon Rivers.

Era of Pack Trains

As soon as gold was discovered on the Salmon River, miners needed supplies and, lacking any roads in the area, pack trains were used extensively from 1850 to the early 1900's.

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