120 years ago
Merchants in Susanville must have been pleased with the holiday shopping rush as the paper reported “quite a good crowd of people from the valley were in town last Saturday, some of them doing their Christmas shopping.” According to the paper, shoppers came from Buntingville, Janesville, Standish and the Tules.
“The weather of the week has been at peace with the season,” the paper reported. “Monday a continuous rain fell all day, Tuesday and Wednesday were pleasant enough for May, except that Tuesday night gave promise of ice-making weather. Wednesday night, a slight fall of snow and today an unsettled condition generally.”
70 years ago
Accompanied by amateur archeologists, Susanville’s Boy Scout Explorer Outfit 475 set out in search of local Native American lore, and they found it. Along the jumbled rock walls of Secret Valley, the scouts came upon several natural caverns surrounded by some ancient and perhaps not-so-ancient paintings, many covered by lichen. While the older drawings were more difficult to decipher, the more modern ones were easily discernible, including one that bore a remarkable resemblance to a covered wagon.
Apparently the caves were used extensively in the past because the walls and ceilings were blackened by smoke.
Following their discovery, the scouts visited the Gambling Caves, located on the precipitous slopes of Skedaddle Mountain near Wendel, where an archeologist from the University of California reportedly found many Native American gaming artifacts.
45 years ago
Three representatives from the California State Board of Equalization appeared at a special Lassen County Board of Supervisors meeting held at Jensen Hall to answer questions from about 400 angry property owners — many of whom were paying their property taxes under protest.
Many long-time residents said they would have to sell their properties to subdividers just to beat the taxes. An up order from the state board increased property taxes by 29 percent.
But a representative from the state told the grumbling crowd if there had been a roll back in the tax rate equivalent to the 29 percent up order, taxes would have been about the same the year before.
The representatives blamed the school districts for the tax increase because they apparently did not cut their tax rate.
“Take a good look at the school districts’ tax rates,” said the representative, “and see if they’re legal.”
Land owners also complained they were never informed of the August and September deadlines to appeal the tax increase, which had already passed, locking in the higher rates.
30 years ago
Easter, a 12-year-old black and white cat lost for four months at the Bogard rest stop on Highway 44, 35 miles northwest of Susanville, made it home for Christmas.
A Medford, Oregon, woman stopped at the rest stop this summer, and the frisky feline bolted from the car. After several hours of searching for “Easter,” she failed to locate the cat, so she continued on her trip.
A caretaker at the rest stop captured the furry escape artist on Thanksgiving day. Easter, with wits as sharp as her claws, had evaded the coyotes, bobcats and other critters for several months.
Lassen National Forest workers finally contacted Easter’s owner (despite the fact she had an unlisted telephone number), but the owner’s plans to drive back to California for a reunion were thwarted by nasty weather.
Finally, Easter boarded an Oregon-bound plane in Reno, arriving back home just in time for Christmas.
20 years ago
Lassen County’s March primary election burst into open flames when the 27-year-old misdemeanor conviction of one of the candidates became public.
The Times learned Susanville attorney Richard Murphy was convicted of five misdemeanor violations of the California Corporations Code in 1972 in a case that involved the stock transactions of a southern California medical malpractice insurance company.
He faced incumbent Ridgley Lazard in the race for Superior Court Judge in March. Lazard did not return the Times’ calls for comment on the story.
Susanville’s new chief of police, Kevin Jones, was joined by more than 60 local residents, including members of his family, in a pinning ceremony at the city chambers during the Dec. 5 meeting. After his pinning, Jones gave a moving speech, detailing his many thanks and incredible journey.