Author: The Town of Shasta Interpretive Association
Shasta grew rapidly to be the Queen City of the Northern Mines after news of a second California gold strike reached the ears of fevered and footloose forty-niners. Miners swarmed into what became Shasta County, stopping to rest at Reading Springs, soon to be renamed Shasta. A few, more practical fortune-seekers gained their wealth by supplying the gold-hungry miners with the necessities of life. Stages and wagons rumbled back and forth to Red Bluff on deeply rutted trails bringing supplies. Frequent fires devastated early Shasta and fireproof brick structures rose from the ashes, some of which still stand today. Shasta was a thriving community in 1872, until the Central Pacific Railroad chose to bypass Shasta and build its terminus on a nearby site to be renamed Redding. Shasta slowly dwindled to a ghost town, its buildings vacant and crumbling by the 1920s. With the help of descendants of pioneer families who teamed up with state officials to preserve the remaining structures, Shasta State Historic Park opened to the public in 1950.