Volume XIV Issue 119 | Thursday, January 13th, 2022
Buffalo Salt Works near the turn of the century from the Digital Collection at UNR
From the Files of the Lassen Historical Society: Buffalo Salt Works
by Susan Couso

Throughout history, salt has been a vital part of human existence. It is necessary for all animal life. Too little salt and you will die, too much salt and you will die.

For centuries it was a valued commodity, fought over and prized. The Latin word for salt is ‘sal’, and it was used for currency in many places. In fact, the English word ‘salary’ is said to come from this practice.
Salt is not only a seasoning, but it is used for many industrial purposes such as tanning leather, dying fabrics and the farming and dairy industries. Salting is also an ancient form of food preservation.

As emigrants streamed into northeastern California and settled the area, they naturally looked for a supply of this important mineral.

In 1864, as a five-pound sack of salt was selling for $.62 in Lassen County, Marion Lawrence and Frank Murphy claimed the land surrounding the Buffalo Salt Marsh in Nevada.

The marsh, on the northwest edge of the Smoke Creek Desert, was a bonanza of salt. The playa was covered in places with a layer of sodium sulfate, which was several feet deep.

This sodium sulfate was not ‘table salt’ but a form of sodium used for industrial purposes. By pumping the saline water and letting it dry in pools, the salt could be collected. It was ground into different grades and a small amount of fine table salt was recovered.

Through the years, the Buffalo Springs Salt Marsh was owned by numerous entrepreneurs who improved the site, and by the 1870’s it was in ‘full swing’. By 1880, B. F. Murphy oversaw the business. He employed five men and shipped over 350,000 pounds of salt ninety miles to Reno.

By 1896, when work began to wane, the marsh was producing about 250 tons of salt each year.

Buffalo Springs was a booming place. Stage travel to and from Reno cost $9.00, and the stage left Reno every morning about 7:00 a.m., except Sundays. Mail was brought to nearby Sheepshead Station, and then delivered to Buffalo Springs.

In Susanville, sixty-two miles away, Samuel R. Hall was operating the Buffalo Springs headquarters. He advertised the finest pure white salt available anywhere, and at a lower price!

By the end of the 19th century, the Buffalo Springs Salt Works had mostly ceased operations, and lay decaying on the marsh. But well into the early 20th century, residents as far away as the Madeline Plains would take wagons and trek to the marsh to obtain their supply of this most essential mineral.
If you are a fan of our weekly history stories you should join the Lassen County Historical Society! It’s a fun way to be a part of our county’s rich history.

When you sign up, you’ll receive regular Historical Society newsletters with interesting stories and information. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in area history.

Through your membership you help preserve local history. You can download a membership application by clicking here.
CASA Featuring “Small Foot’ at January 15th Movie Night Fundraiser
Lassen Family Services’ Court Appointed Special Advocates program will be hosting ‘Movie Night Under the Stars’ this Saturday, January 15th, featuring the movie Small Foot.

The movie, presented in partnership with the Justice Task Force of Community Church, will play at 5:00p.m. at the Community Church, 1400 Numa Road, and all funds raised will benefit CASA.
CASA’s mission is to provide specially selected and trained community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in Lassen County’s juvenile dependency system. The group works as a non-profit program under the umbrella agency of Lassen Family Services, in collaboration with key agencies, legal counsel and community resources to ensure that each child’s best interests are protected.

Event entry and concessions will be by a donation and organizers suggest that you bring pillows and blankets for the family.

Please contact the CASA program at 1.530.257.4599 with any questions.
Lassen High News and Information
for Students and Parents
Prom Bids are on sale! The Class of 2023 invites you to join them at a Moonlight Masquerade winter prom for everyone, held at the Elks Hall in Uptown Susanville on Saturday, January 29th from 8:30 to 11:30p.m. Gather your group or ask your person, dress is semi-formal to formal. Purchase your tickets from Carol at the ASB Counter in Library.

If you are on the holds list for a book, computer, uniform, food, etc. you will not be able to purchase a prom ticket, please go see Amy in the Library to clear your hold.
If you had your pictures taken during picture retake day, your pictures are in in the library for pick up.

There will be an Assembly on Friday. For the Winterfest assembly the schedule will be a 30-minute advocacy. Students will report to the large gym during their advocacy class.

Softball open gyms have started and will be each Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:30p.m.
Northern California Cancer Advocates Holding Crab Feed Fundraiser
Northern California Cancer Advocates will be holding a Crab Feed fundraiser, February 5th, at the Susanville Elks Lodge.

Tickets are $60 each and dinner includes crab, salad, and soup. Alcohol is sold separately.

Doors open at 5:30p.m.

Only 300 tickets will be sold and they can be purchased at the Lassen Federal Credit Union, the Grocery Outlet or from any NCCA volunteer.

For more information about NCCA, click here to visit the group’s website.
Susanville Little League Sign-Ups Begin January 15th
Signups for Susanville Little League’s 2022 season will begin January 15th, with options to register both online and in-person between now and March 4th. If you register early, prior to February 16th, registration will be $85 per player instead of $100.

In-person Little League signups start January 15th and there will be three chances to register in person – at the Susanville Pizza Factory, January 15th from 11:00 to 1:00p.m., at the Janesville Pizza Factory February 1st from 5:30 to 7:30p.m. and again, at the Susanville Pizza Factory on February 16th from 6:30 to 8:00p.m.
Click here to sign up online beginning this Saturday.

For more information you can email susanvillelittleleague@gmail.com, call President Cesar Gonzalez at 1.530.260.4966 or Player Agent Amanda at 1.775.857.9900.
An undated photo of Fruit Grower’s Mill in snow
48-Hour Week is Announced
January 13, 1946

The Fruit Growers Supply Company, starting January 17, went on a 48-hour week basis instead of the former 54 hours.

The mill will work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., six days a week, the change being due to winter conditions.

In the six days ending January 12, the local branch of the company shipped to southern California, 60 carloads of box shook, setting up a weekly record.
If you are a fan of our daily history stories you should join the Lassen Historical Society! It's a fun way to be a part of our county's rich history. When you sign up you'll receive regular Historical Society newsletters with interesting stories and information. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in area history.

Through your membership you help preserve local history. You can download a membership application by clicking here.
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