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 Lake County California

Lake County. Organized in 1861. Bounded north by Mendocino, northeast by Colusa and Yolo, south by Napa, and southwest and west by Sonoma and Mendocino. Area 972 square miles. Assessed valuation of property for 1874, $1,919,110.

County seat, Lakeport. Principal towns: Bartletts Springs, Guenoc, Kelseytown, Knoxville, Lower Lake, Middletown and Upper Lake. Resources, agricultural, pastoral and mineral, the latter of an extraordinary character.

The county occupies an elevated plateau of the Coast Mountains, being surrounded and interlaced by high hills, interspersed with pleasant valleys, and cut by deep and precipitous canons. The name is derived from Clear Lake, a beautiful sheet of fresh water, about thirty miles in length, with an irregular outline, giving it a width of from two to twelve miles. This lake receives numerous small streams flowing from the surrounding mountains, and is the source of Cache Creek, which carries its waters through the fertile plains of Yolo to the Sacramento River. The valley of the lake, as well as the numerous smaller one's of the county, are very productive, and the hills afford extensive pasturage.

Grain and fruits of all kinds are grown in considerable quantities, but the raising of stock and the products of the dairy and flock, constitute the chief interest of the farming community. In minerals the county is highly favored. Borax Lake Is a small pond, covering about 300 acres, in the southeastern part of the valley, near the bank of Clear Lake, and in its waters, and in the mud which forms the bed, the useful mineral from which it takes its name was formerly obtained in large quantities; but a rise in the water of Clear Lake, and flooding the works, also the great yield of the borax fields of Nevada rendered the mining here unprofitable, and operations have ceased. But other wealth has been developed on the property.

Quicksilver, was found in the sulphurous beds of the locality, and two furnaces for volatilizing and refining the metal, have been erected and are producing, in October, 1874, from twelve to fifteen flasks per day. The property of the Company is evidently of great value, although borax mining, for which it was obtained, has proven a failure. It comprises some 4,000 acres of land, extending nine miles along the bank of Clear Lake, and upon it are extensive sulphur beds seemingly inexhaustible, and from which upwards of 500 tons are shipped annually. To this resource is now added the vast beds of quicksilver deposits, as the metal does not appear to be in veins, which promise to develop into important mines. Quicksilver mining, however, is not a new interest in Lake County, as it has been successfully prosecuted since 1861, during which year, and for several years thereafter, a quicksilver excitement prevailed, and veins of cinnabar were found throughout the region, including Lake, Colusa, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma counties in the north, and other counties of the Monte Diablo or Coast Range of the south. This excitement is revived, and work is more energetically and more intelligently prosecuted in 1874. At Knoxville, 18 miles southeast of Lower Lake, are the oldest works, and here a large and important village has grown up. The Redington Q. M. Company and the California Q. M. Company are the principal companies here, and their product exceeds that of any one locality in the State. The other quicksilver mines of the county are almost without number, and rapidly increasing.

The hot and medicinal springs of Lake County constitute an important feature and a valuable resource. Bartletts, Harbins, Adam's, Anderson's and other springs are greatly sought by invalids and tourists, and enjoy a deserved popularity. Romantic mountain scenery, healthy climate, and an abundance of game for the hardy sportsman add to the attractions of visitors. Several railroad projects to connect the county with the cities of the State are discussed, and one or more will probably be constructed ere another year.

Officers: E. M. Paul, County Judge; Wright Mathews, Clerk, Recorder and Auditor; A. E. Noel, District Attorney; J. C. W. Ingram, Sheriff and Tax Collector; J. W. Everett, Treasurer; Hiram Allen, Assessor; George Tucker, Surveyor; John O'Shea, Coroner and Public Administrator; Louis Wallace, Superintendent Public Schools

California Gazetteer | AHGP California

Source: Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875


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