History of Old Station

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Old Station also sits on an alternate route of the historic Nobles Immigrant Trail to California that was used by gold seekers around 1852. It now has mostly traveler services including 1 gas station, Rim Rock Ranch and many campgrounds. It is the southern gateway to the Hat Creek Recreation Area. It is home to Subway Cave, the largest lava tube formed by the local lava eruption from vents near Old Station. There is a 1.5 mile Spatter Cone trail that leads from a United States Forest Service trailhead just off Highway 89/44.

In early pioneer days it was called Hat Creek Station and was on the old California - Oregon Trail, which was followed by emigrants from Oregon during the early fifties.

In 1856, a wagon road was laid over this route, connecting the Sacramento Valley with Yreka, via Pit River. The California Stage Company opened up a stage line between Red Bluff and Yreka that same year. Having been a favorite stopping place with the emigrants, Old Station was also a stage stop and was given the name of Hat Creek Stage Station.

After an Indian massacre in January 1857 the stage line was withdrawn. The government realizing the necessity of protection for travelers and settlers established Fort Crook, on Fall River July 1857. Occasional scouting parties went from Fort Crook to the temporary military post at Hat Creek Station. Possibly due to the presence of the military detachment, travel again became heavy through this part of the county in 1859. After another incident with the Indians a detachment of soldiers from Fort Crook was stationed at Hat Creek station patrolling the Yreka road.


After the Indian trouble ended the troops were removed and the government abandoned the post at Hat Creek Station. Sheepmen made use of the government corrals there for their flocks.

As better and more direct routes were made available, the Hat Creek Station was referred to by teamsters and travelers as "The Old Station" - hence the name.

Time has effaced a number of unmarked graves, presumably graves of the redmen, but there are trees still standing that are pierced with bullet holes made by the soldiers during target practice.

Old Station, as thousands of travelers know it today, is a popular tourist stopping place consisting of a gas station and cabins. It is difficult to realize that such a quiet unassuming rest place played such an important part in the early  Indian difficulties and the settlement of Northeastern California.~