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HomeThis Day in HistoryWheels West Day in Susanville History - June 17th, 1914

Wheels West Day in Susanville History – June 17th, 1914

Mt. Lassen's new crater in August 1914 after a summer of eruptions. ~National Park Service Photo~
Mt. Lassen’s new crater in August 1914 after a summer of eruptions. ~National Park Service Photo~

Mt. Lassen is True Volcano in Eruption
Eye-Witness of Titanic Action Sends Account to the Gazette
Four Susanville Men Visit the New Crater
One Party is Lowered Over the Brink but Cannot Tell Depth
June 17, 1914

A party consisting of J. L. Brambilla, Justin Feher, Alexander Sifford, George Olson and Harry Kaul, has just returned to Susanville from Drake’s Springs, seven miles southeast of Mt. Lassen, from which point they went direct to the active crater of Mt. Lassen, leaving here Sunday afternoon at 3:30 o’clock.

After going through the violet thunder and lightning storms they arrived at Chester at 8:30 p.m. at 8:05 of the morning of June 1, the second eruption took place. This they witnessed and photographed from Chester.

They left immediately for Drake’s Springs arriving at one o’clock that afternoon. They visited Devil’s Kitchen and Boiling Lake, fining the usual activity there. Boiling Lake is only one of its kind known, it being a lake of boiling water. Devil’s Kitchen is a mass of geysers, boiling mud and springs.

The morning of June 2, they left Drake’s Springs at five o’clock and started for Mt. Lassen, 10,640 feet high and seven miles northwest, arriving there at 10 o’clock. This trip was over snow that sometimes attained a depth of 15 feet and was made on horseback and on foot until the foot of the summit was reached, at which point the horses were abandoned.

The party spent three hours and a half taking photographs and noting conditions in general.

The crater is about 325 feet in length and 75 feet in width. Its depth unknown.

J. L Brambilla was held over the edge of the crater by other members of the party while observations were made and photographs taken, this being very difficult owing to the gases, steam and dust at the crater’s edge.

The edge is cracked for some distance outward. Volcanic mud, ashes and boulders, which range in size from those weighing a few ounces to tons, cover an area of over 1,000 acres, this area extending more to the northeast.

The ascent consumed some two hours, while the descent was made in 35 minutes, members of the party sliding down the snow from the summit to the point where the horses were tied.

The return journey was then commenced, arriving at Drake’s Springs at 4:30 in the afternoon and leaving there this morning at five o’clock for Susanville. The party has valuable photographs as they are the first ones actually to visit the crater since the eruption.

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 A digital copy of every submission will also be donated to the Lassen Historical Society for preservation in their files.

Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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