August 18th, 2014

I leave Redding this morning, heading east into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. After getting back from the hot springs yesterday afternoon I did some shopping and a few other errands. Redding is the California town that, in fact, I now know the best. It’s where my mother lived for many years until her death in October of 2013. I would visit her here and spend days at a time in town and visiting the surrounding area.

I pass by my mother’s house on my way out of town. The new owners have, of course, changed it a bit. They have removed a large shade tree that was in front of the house, something I would not have done since summer temperatures here regularly reach 35 to 40 °C or higher. Here’s a picture of the house:

32_mom's house2


Van is ready to go:

33_next morning, ready to leave


And I arrive in the aptly named town of Johnsville around 2 in the afternoon, via the Feather River Canyon scenic route. I stop for a swim along the way, but take no pictures.

Here we are in the Sierra, in an old mining town, where a childhood friend of mine, Mark, and his wife Katie, have a house. We visit the old mine and its museum. Here’s Mark and Katie in front of the old asseyor’s office:

2_Mark and wife Katie


Here’s Mark:

1_my friend Mark

The sign on the end of the trough says the we can pan for gold here all day for just 4$. We have other things to do.


The mine facilities, which finally closed during the first World War:

3_the mine

It hasn’t been maintained the way the Assay Office has, or the Blacksmith shop:

4_blacksmith shop 6_inside the blacksmith shop


Johnsville is entirely surrounded by Plumas Eureka State Park, and the town itself is a Plumas County Historical Reserve. Houses must be restored or built respecting the styles of 1880. We take a long walk around the town.

Mark and Katie’s house:

7_M & K's house in Johnsville 7b_their house bis


Another house that was in Mark’s family for a long time:

8_red house in Mark's family 9_red house2


There are many picturesque and attractive houses in town:

10_grey house


These more rustic ones:

12_rustic wooden house 13_another rustic


These, either renovated or newly built in the style of the period:

14_cute farm style house 15_modern rustic house


This one is for sale:

16_house for sale

Mark tells me that there are at least six houses for sale in Johnsville at the moment.


Then there is the old Johnsville Hotel:

11bis_hotel 11ter_hotel


Of course there are a few period structures too:

18_old fire house 19_a period structure

The one on the left was once the Johnsville Fire Department.


The Johnsville Historical Society occupies the old church:




22_inside the old church

…there is a display of period kitchen wares…

23_display of period kitchen wares

…a period organ and piano:

24_organ 25_upright piano


After an excellent dinner we take a bumpy drive up the mountain to Eureka Lake for a swim:



The next morning I take a few pictures of the deer that come near the house. Mark has set out a salt lick for them on a tree stump:

29_deer at salt lick


They soon see me, but don’t seem too afraid:

30_they see me, but...

The chipmunks, however, avoid my camera.

I leave Johnsville just after breakfast.  And now, as promised, I am off on my true road trip, out across the desert.

2 thoughts on “Johnsville

  1. Merci John pour tout ce beau parcours ! J’ai vraiment l’impression de découvrir une partir des US, grâce à toi ! J’ai HATE de voir le true road trip 🙂 Take care ! Méline


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