of the most scenic California drives Highway 299 twists and turns through
redwood forests, around streams fed by melting, mountain snow. The winding
road enters a place tucked away in time, somewhere between Redding (50 miles
west) with its hot summers and Eureka with its coastal, cool weather
and occasional rain. While Weaverville can experience the dry, summer heat
that Redding share with its neighbors, it also enjoys cool influences of the
coast as this mountain city looks toward the Trinity Alps. A lovely
range of mountains that appear green during the summer and white during the
winter snow season provide the backdrop for town folk who can step outdoors
and gaze to the north.
Weaverville, one of the
most charming gold towns of the West, was once much busier than today. When
gold was discovered and mined in the nearby hills some 150+ years ago,
Weaverville served as a thriving post for drinking, dining, shopping and
trade. Historic tours of its many gold-rush era buildings offer a glimpse
into those golden days. Wander Main Street, with its balconied storefronts,
and stop in at the 150-year-old Weaverville Drug Store, California's oldest
pharmacy still in operation. Located on one of the best roads between
Redding and Eureka / Arcata, Highway 3, Weaverville's Main Street is the hub
of the town. With nary a single stoplight in the county, you'll acclimatize
quickly to the charmed city.
What to wear: Climate in
the Shasta-Cascade Region varies greatly with elevation. Higher elevations
tend to have much cooler temperatures and higher precipitation. Summer
weather is usually hot and dry with lower elevation temperatures ranging
from 85° - 100°+F and lows from 60° - 70°. Fall days are usually mild and
warm, with cool nights. Winter is when most of the precipitation falls,
averaging over 55 inches per year, much of it in the form of snow in the
high elevations. Highs range from 40° - 60° and lows from 30° - 40° in the
lower elevations. Spring weather is variable with many pleasant days.
While it's not large and
not modern, Weaverville's Main Street is authentic. From California's oldest
pharmacy to one of the USA's oldest courthouses still operating, get out on
foot and explore the buildings accessible in an easy walking tour.
Trinity County Courthouse seen in the photo above was first used as a store,
office building and hotel. It was built in 1856-1857 for Henry Hocker. In
1865 it was purchased by the County for $9000 to be used as a courthouse.
There are many things to
do in Weaverville. Historic buildings, art galleries, Art Cruise held the
first Saturday of each month bring and shopping opportunities abound. Though
not listed as a Certified Farmer's Market, Weaverville does have a Farmer's
Market held Saturday morning during the summer.
Things to see:
Annual Events: 4th of July -Voted
by locals as one of the best small town 4th of July celebrations; August Car
Show in the Park includes food vendors, games, car displays, live music,
dancing and more. Sponsored by Weaver City Street Rodders. Call:
Trinity County Chamber: trinitycounty.com.
County Courthouse, completed 1857
101 Court Street, Weaverville, CA
Joss House State Park, a Taoist
Temple built by Chinese gold miners in 1873 is open for tours Wednesday
through Sunday. Joss House State Park, South West corner of Highway
299 and Oregon Street, Weaverville, CA. Call:
J. J. Jackson Museum and Historic Park
with its displays of early Trinity County life and live demonstrations of
the steam-powered Paymaster Stamp Mill. The Temple of the Forest
Beneath the Clouds is the oldest continuously used Chinese temple in
California. On display are art objects, pictures, mining tools, and weapons
used in the 1854 Tong War. This Taoist temple is still a place of worship.
It offers a fascinating look into the role played by Chinese immigrants in
early California history. The temple was built in 1874 as a replacement for
another that had burned.
The Temple is located in the heart of Weaverville,
a small community near the Trinity Alps on Highway 299 about 50 miles west
of Redding and about 105 miles east of Eureka. Weaver Creek runs nearby and
locust trees complete the rural setting.
In an effort to preserve this important part of California's Chinese
tradition, the temple became a part of the California State Park System in
1956. Many of the historical objects have been restored and the structure
itself stabilized. In addition to the temple equipment, park visitors will
see Chinese art objects, pictures, mining tools, and wrought iron weapons
used in the 1854 Tong War.
Life for the Chinese was not easy during
the California Gold Rush. In cities and towns throughout the west,
discrimination was apparent. Banned to the most menial jobs, Chinese
immigrants often became launderers. Here's a story from Weaverville's
past: "A tiny fellow with a scarred cheek and eager eyes, "John John,"
the Chinese laundry man, was the laughingstock of Weaverville, California.
For months during he had been washing the Anglo miners' clothes and never
had charged even a penny for his services.
The Anglos thought he was stupid, and intentionally took advantage of him.
But a year later, according to prospector John Hoffman, who followed gold
and silver trails through the Sierras for nearly three decades, one of the
white miners came across John John wearing fine clothes in Sacramento. The
Chinese laundry man had washed enough gold dust out of pants cuffs and
shirttails to set himself up for life!"
Shasta Trinity National Forest
Enjoy picnicking, fishing, hiking, and camping. Weaverville Ranger
Station, 210 Main St., Weaverville; (530) 623-2121.
Weaverville Drug Store Building
Fireproof Brick Building- 1855. Weaverville Drug Store building has
housed a drug store since it was built in 1855. The first business was the
drugstore of D.W. Anderson. It has been known as the Weaverville Drug Store
since 1862 and has changed hands over 13 times.
The Weaverville Drug Store, 219 Main Street, Weaverville, California Call:
Where to stay
The Weaverville Hotel and Emporium was built in 1861 and rebuilt in 1880
after burning to the ground. Originally built at the beginning of the Civil
War and at the height of the Gold Rush, the Weaverville Hotel was then
called Condon's Saloon. The name was soon changed to the Empire Hotel. It
burned to the ground in 1873 and again in 1880. When fire gutted the second
floor in 1910, it was not until a change of ownership in 1914 that the
upstairs was restored and the hotel resumed full services as a hotel. You
can still see the burn marks on the stairs, a result of the 1910 fire.
Ghosts? Probably a few at the Champagne tub in Room 1.