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 © 2018 by respective owners. Site design & timeline by Scott Harding. Special thanks to the Siskiyou County Historical Society (SCHS) for the many old photos.

Wildfires Burn 66,832 Acres in Salmon River Watershed

The summer after the wettest winter on record in the Salmon River watershed proved to be a fiery one. In all, 66,832 acres burned in the watershed in 2017.

Wettest Winter on Record

In a definitive break from the recent dry winters, the winter of 2016-2017 was the wettest winter on record. The Salmon River rose above historic median flows in mid-October 2016 and continuously flowed above these levels until October 2017. The river reached its highest levels since the high water in the winter of 2005-2006. The May 1, 2017 snow survey results indicated 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

Within a short span of time in early summer 1850, prospectors found gold in the South Fork, North Fork, and mainstem Salmon River, starting 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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