A Brief History of Susanville Ranch Park
Thanks to Tim Purdy for this historical information from the Susanville Ranch Park Master Plan
The meadows and hills that comprise Susanville Ranch Park provided a rich diversity of resources for native peoples for thousands of years before European settlers arrived in the region. The convergence of forest, meadow, and high desert environments made for good hunting opportunities and good sources of water. A walk in this park provides insight into past cultures, making it apparent why the first people chose such a beautiful place to live.
1857: Captain William Weatherlow settles the land comprising the park.
1862: Captain Weatherlow sells the property to William Black Long; the Long Family manages the property as a ranch for two generations.
1885: James Bagwell files a homestead claim on property to the north of the Long Property.
1893: The Long Family purchases Bagwell’s property, expanding their ranch by 160 acres.
1919: Fruit Growers Supply Co. opens large sawmill and box factory in Susanville.
1926: Fruit Growers Supply Co. purchases the Long Family property and establishes a dairy, leased to the O'Kelly Family who operated the dairy under the name of Lassen Dairy until the 1930s.
1935: Red River Lumber Company of Westwood completes the Paiute Creek Shortline Railroad line, which provided a connection from Susanville to Westwood Junction along Paiute Creek. The rail line is only used for two years due to winter storm damage. The rail line is converted to a road bed for logging trucks soon after, and becomes the Paul Bunyan Logging Road.
1935: The property is purchased by Republic Electric Power Co., which later becomes CP National.
1984: CP National donates the property to the County of Lassen, which leads to the creation of Susanville Ranch Park.