History of Stony Ford, 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


The town of Smithville, on Stony Creek, near the junction of that stream with Little Stony, was located by John L. Smith, who settled upon the land in 1863. In 1878 he erected a flouring mill, taking water by means of a ditch from Stony Creek to run the mill. In the summer of 1890, the Stony Creek Improvement Company purchased the lands of Mr. Smith, including the mill, a three story hotel, and the town site. As the town was located in low, heavy ground, the company abandoned the old site and laid out a new town about a half mile to the southeast, on a gravelly ridge, and to the new site, which was called Stony Ford, moved the hotel, refitted and refurnished it, and also moved the mill. In the latter, the latest improved flouring machinery has been introduced. H. C. Stillwell is president of the company, and is superintending the improvements. At this point Stony Creek or Indian Valley is about six miles wide, gradually sloping to the Coast Range on the west, where Snow, St. Johns, and Sheetiron Mountains stand out against the sunset sky; on the east flows Little Stony Creek, from which a ridge of foot hills rises abruptly. Stony Creek, filled with perch and trout, flows on the north of the town. Fouts and Cooks Springs are within easy distance of the town, and in the foot hills and mountains are to be found good hunting grounds, quail, rabbit and deer abounding, with an occasional bear in the higher mountains. The Stony Creek Improvement Company propose to make Stony Ford an attractive place, by setting out avenues of trees, a park, and maintaining a comfortable hotel, and invite seekers after health and recreation to sojourn there. The climate is delightful at all times of the year, and with the other natural and supplied attractions, Stony Ford bids fair to become a little city, sequestered among the hills. Aside from a first class hotel and a flouring mill, the place is provided with a general merchandise store, a livery stable, blacksmith shop, and postoffice. The town is connected by stage with the railroad at Sites, and religious services are held at stated intervals.

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