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HomeThis Day in HistoryThis Day in Susanville History - June 15th, 1902

This Day in Susanville History – June 15th, 1902

Mt. Lassen Erupting from a P.J. Thompson Photo

Ruins of Ancient Settlement Found Under a Lava Bed
June 15th, 1902

Edgar Cox, a miner, lately reached Redding, California after a hard trip across the country from Lassen’s Butte, 40 miles east of that place, bringing a story of strange discoveries of even deeper interest than the great crater and the springs and caves of the lava fields.

The discoveries are of bones and implements denoting a people and a state of civilization existing there many centuries ago.

It is believed, says a local account, a second Pompeii may be hidden beneath the lava and igneous rock which was belched in a far remote period from the mouth of the grim old crater.

A party of timber surveyors investigating their way over the rough country south of Nobles pass found within four feet of the surface human bones half petrified. They evidently had lain in much greater depth, but erosion had thinned the crust of earth above them.

The skeletons were in various postures, as though death had come suddenly upon the ancients, striking them down as they were engaged in the daily routine of life.

Next the searchers came upon rude spoons and bowls. They were apparently of stone, but they bore no resemblance to the Indian relics which the traveler sees often in that region. Instruments which perhaps were used as hammers and chisels were found. They, too, were totally unlike the known implements of the Indians. Some of the stone articles were of such design that they could not be classified at all.

The surveyors became convinced that they had chanced upon relics of a race that antedated the known Indians so far as to have little in common with them. It was the conviction of the party that the ruins of a settlement or city, possibly engulfed with its inhabitants by an eruption of the long extinct volcano, lie beneath the lava and can be reached with comparative ease from certain points where little lava remains.

We are always looking for new pictures to preserve and share in our historical photo collection and we would love to see yours.Your picture will be added to our digital archive for future use and we will make sure you receive credit whenever possible. Email your contribution along with your name and a short description of what you’ve sent to webxtra@susanvillestuff.com.A digital copy of every submission will also be donated to the Lassen Historical Society for preservation in their files.


Don’t know how to scan your photos?

Our friends at the UPS Store have offered to professionally scan your vintage photo submissions for free. Just stop by 2850 Main Street in Susanville and they will be happy to help you.



Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso
SusanvilleStuff.com Publisher/Editor
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