History of 9 towns in Colusa, California
From: Colusa County
Its History Traced From A State of Nature
Through The Early Period of Settlement
And Development To The Present Day
By: Justus H. Rogers
Orland, California, 1891
TOWNS ON GRAND ISLAND.
This island is so called to designate the land lying between Sycamore Slough and the river. About two thirds
of this territory are in Colusa County. The soil is all of a light alluvial deposit and is very rich. It is thickly
settled and was one of the first districts in the county to be located upon. There are three business points on
Grand Island, Sycamore, Grimes and Eddy's Landing. Sycamore, at the head of the island, is a small trading point,
with a hotel, two stores, a saloon and a blacksmith shop. There are also a church and a school house.
This place is located near the south end of the county and one mile from the Lake County line on the west. This
is the mining village of the county, and at one time, in the early days of the county, gold placers were worked.
In 1863, excitement was at fever height over the discovery of copper here. The deposits were extensive and the
ore was rich. Leads were located by the score and smelters erected, but after a couple of years of fitful success,
the industry was abandoned, owing to the low price of copper and the difficulty in treating the ore. Quicksilver
was discovered in 1865 and deposits are found for several miles north, south and west of Sulphur Creek. Machinery
was brought in and the Abbot mine proved profitable, as also the Ingrim, the Buckeye and Sulphur Creek, when the
price of the metal fell some fifty per cent and the industry was abandoned. Both the production of copper and quicksilver
of this region is treated fully in this work, in the order and date of their occurrence. At the village of Sulphur
Creek proper, there is one first class hotel, a general store and one saloon. The hotel is conducted by Mrs. Lottie
Reed, who also owns the sulphur springs adjoining the hotel. These springs are noted for their curative properties
in rheumatism, kidney complaints, catarrh, blood diseases and venereal poisons. To use the expression of an individual
who was restored from a racking bed of torture, caused by chronic rheumatism, and who was thoroughly cured by these
baths, they are a "dead shot" in healing. The place is most romantically situated and hundreds resort
here every summer for relaxation or restoration to health by means of these magic waters. About a mile below the
village are the Wilbur Springs, where scalding hot sulphur water issues from the ground, the springs boiling up
over an area of a hundred fed square.
This place, pleasantly situated on a little stream by the same name near its junction with Stony Creek, does a thrifty business with the farming community around it, and of which it is the supply center. Nearly one mile northeast of Elk Creek is a fine bridge, which spans the Stony and during high water is the only place where it can be safely crossed. The approaches to the bridge and also the abutments are of massive stone and seemed to have been fashioned by the hand of nature expressly for a bridge to rest upon. The town contains a postoffice, express office, one hotel, a livery stable, blacksmith shop, three general stores and two saloons.
Within a half mile of the northern boundary of the county, and near the foot of the Coast Range, sheltered on
every side by hills, is located the village of Newville. The rolling hills and intervening valleys are rich in
soil, and the natural verdure early attracted the attention of stockmen, and the locality was settled in the 50's.
The town was a natural consequence from the early settlement, and while it has not increased materially in size,
it is a point where considerable business is done. Scribner & Dyer conduct a large general store, and the public
is entertained at the Newville Hotel; a physician, a tin shop, a blacksmith and repair shop and a livery stable
compose the business of the place.
This village is situated at the head of Bear Valley and is distant in a due west line twenty five miles from Colusa. A great deal of the land around Leesville is low and kept wet till late in the spring, by the seepage from the hills on either side. The low land is well set with fine grass. The soil is of the best, and produces almost anything the farmers in the valley choose to raise. The stages for the springs in Lake County pass here and make connections with the stage for Cook's Springs, eight miles distant. There is a good hotel here, with comfortable accommodations; also a postoffice, express office, one general store, a large livery stable and several shops so indispensable to a farming community.
This place was the only one in the county laid out on the eastern side of the river. It is located about five miles above Princeton, on the opposite side of the Sacramento. The land in the vicinity is all very rich, and most of it will produce grain crops with very little rain. The river is crossed here by a ferry. It contains a church edifice, public school, a hotel, two general merchandise stores, a large warehouse, one saloon and one blacksmith shop.
This place, located on the west bank of the Sacramento, is one of the oldest in point of settlement. Dr. A. Lull, a California pioneer of the year 1850, gave to it the name of Princeton, when seeking to have a postoffice established for this locality. The first postmaster was a Mr. Arnet. Henry Vansycle opened the first store and Dr. Lull, assisted by Will S. Green, laid out the first road on the east side of the river running direct to Marysville. As it was once the thoroughfare of the freight current from Colusa to Shasta, and as afterwards from here was shipped the wheat from the plains back of it, it was necessarily a bustling, thriving little village. It is in the heart of a prosperous agricultural region and evidences of wealth, comfort and social enjoyment are observed on every hand. It is located fourteen miles north of Colusa and on the daily stage route from Norman to Butte City. A ferry here affords communication with the east side of the Sacramento. The M. E. Church South has a very nice edifice and a $4,000 schoolhouse is characteristic of the intelligence of its people. This place contains a hotel, one saloon, two blacksmith shops and a general store.
This hamlet is located on the celebrated Glenn estate, twenty seven miles above Colusa. It is the home of the Glenn family. As the cultivated lands of this estate embrace an area of over fifty thousand acres and is the largest farm in the United States, the little village located thereon and called Jacinto, represents the business of this farm and is a supply center for all the wants thereof. It contains a hotel, a large general store for the accommodation of the employes of the ranch, several blacksmith shops, a butcher shop and several immense grain warehouses. As to the magnitude of the business and work transacted at Jacinto, some idea may be gleaned by bearing in mind the fact that from two to three hundred men find employment on the ranch and eight hundred mules are required to put in and harvest the wheat.
This little place takes its name from A. C. St. John, who was one of the very earliest settlers in the county. He resided at Princeton for a time but purchased a tract of land in 1856, on near its mouth. One corner of this tract was set apart for a possible town and a postoffice was established and called St. John. The Walsh ranch lies both north and south of this point. The land in the immediate vicinity is the richest in the Sacramento Valley. There is a postoffice and express office here, a large general store, that of Charles J. Papst, who has conducted it and served as postmaster nearly a quarter of a century, the blacksmith and repair shop of C. D. Bigelow, one saloon and a school house.
Fruto is the name of the village at the terminus of the West side and Mendocino Railroad, eighteen miles westerly
of Willows. It is located in the foot hills, and considerable produce is shipped from this point. The place has
a depot building, hotel, post office, and telegraph office. The Argonaut Land Company owns about ten thousand acres
adjoining the town, which is being improved and subdivided into small tracts.