Historic Yreka – Pronounced (Why-Reeka)
Yreka is a quiet little city located in an area rich in history and generous in natural resources and is located twenty-two miles south of the California/Oregon border along Interstate 5. Close at hand are recreational opportunities featuring; golf, tennis, fishing, white water rafting, gliding, hiking/back- packing, camping, hunting, water skiing, bowling, snowmobiling, snow skiing (at two nearby ski parks), racquetball and bicycling.
Nestled in the northern most corner of the Shasta Valley, this community is just 22 miles from the Oregon border. Serving as the county seat of Siskiyou County, geographically the fifth largest county in the state, Yreka is the largest full service community situated along I-5, from the Oregon border to 120 miles south in Redding. The population base provides support for professional services, medical facilities and a full range of retail businesses which make Yreka the trade center for the county.
Siskiyou County Museum: Both indoor & outdoor exhibits showcasing this county’s early history. (530) 842-3836
Historic District Downtown Yreka: various unique shops and restaurants in the business district housed in buildings constructed in the late 1800’s. Victorian style heritage homes, circa 1890, in the area of 3rd, Lane, Gold & Oregon streets. Brochures available for walking tours of area.
City Parks: Miner Street, Upper & Lower Greenhorn, Discovery & Ringe parks offer wide assortment of play equipment for children, a pool, athletic fields, nature trails, picnic areas, barbecue pits and fishing.
Yreka Creek Greenway Exhibit: Adjacent to Siskiyou County Museum.
Native American Heritage park: On Miner Street, west of Yreka Fire Department Hall
Yreka is abundant in its intrinsic beauty and enjoys the diversity of all four seasons.
Average (mean) Temperature:
- January – 33.6°
- April – 49.2°
- July – 71.5°
- October – 51.5°
- January – 2.88
- April – 1.03
- July – .36
- October – 12.95
Gold was discovered here in 1851 at a spot called “Thompson’s Dry Diggins”. Miners poured into the town which was called Shasta Butte City. Residents found this confusing with the town of Shasta, in Shasta County, so the name was changed. There are several tales as to where the name “Yreka” came from. Some say from the word “Ieka” Indian for white mountain or cave, some say from an upside down Bakery sign hanging in town. The mining boom was over in 1885, but by then the town was well established.
Joaquin Miller described Yreka during 1853-54 as a bustling place with “…a tide of people up and down and across other streets, as strong as if in New York”. More stage lines used the town for a stage stop than any other community in the state. Two sizable Chinatowns existed on Miner Street and in 1889 a short line railroad connected the city with the Southern Pacific’s west coast line. The heart of the community, then and now, was Miner Street–named appropriately enough after those hardworking individuals who built the town.
Yreka is truly a community where history lives on. Over seventy-five homes built in the 1800’s have been preserved as well as many more constructed after the turn-of-the-century. The residential district of Third Street has been listed on the National Register of Historical Places in Washington, D.C. The historical/commercial district of Miner Street offers visitors a view into Yreka’s past with buildings maintained from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Detailed brochures with designed walking or driving tours of both the Heritage Homes and the Historical District are available.
Located within the Historical District are churches built in the 1800’s as well as the Siskiyou County Courthouse, built in the mid-1850’s, which houses an extensive gold display in its lobby. Also situated in the district are historical signs noting specific buildings with their history and past/present activities. Inside many of these commercial structures are points of interest such as the beautifully carved antique bar in the Elk’s Lodge, hammered tin ceilings and a landscape mural painted by a noted Russian Immigrant artist.
There are 983 acres in the Yreka city limits zoned for light and heavy industry; about 69% is vacant and available in parcels ranging in size from lots to 100 acre parcels. Included in this acreage total is 1 industrial park or district. The terrain is level to gently slopping. Drainage is good and the subsoil is gravel/hardpan, piling is not required. The population as of 1998 was 7,100.
For more information, visit the Yreka Chamber of Commerce.