Friday, March 18, 2011

First Tehama Courthouse

August 17, 1993

Of all the state landmarks in California, this most certainly is one of them. This landmark makes one wonder a bit about the selection process, and what made this particular courthouse so special in its less than one year of operation. The selection process for a state landmark works a bit like getting a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, you need a fan club, and preferably one with influence. The Native Daughters of the Golden West and the boys from E Clampus Vitus are the groups that most often step up and handle the tedious submission process. In this case it was the Clampers.

The name ‘Tehama’ may be Arabic in origin and if so, it would mean ‘hot low-lands’ which is true. This whole area on up through Red Bluff and Redding can get just as hot as the desert in summer…which is a setback for someone coming from the Coachella Valley, since being this far north with 113 degrees, you’d expect a little relief from the August heat. In the winter it floods, or at least it used to till Shasta Dam came along to regulate things, and that’s why most older homes are on high foundations.

These newer photos from the historical marker database and show that with the exception of an overactive oleander trying to engulf it in 2008, the marker remains unchanged. Worth the trip? Sure, if you’re including it with other area landmarks, it’s not too far from the interstate, and it’s a relaxing drive through the residential area of the small, quiet town of Tehama.

Plaque inscription: NO. 183 FIRST TEHAMA COUNTY COURTHOUSE - Tehama County's Board of Supervisors and other county officials first met in rented rooms in the Union Hotel, later called Heider House. The county seat remained here from May 1856 to March 1857, when it was moved to Red Bluff. The Heider House was destroyed by fire in 1908. This property is part of original land grant to Robert Hasty Thomes, 1844.
Location: 75 ft E of intersection of 2nd and D Sts, Tehama
Google maps: 40.026374,-122.121062

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