The historic Lime Kilns
Author: Jeremy Tuggle – Education and Community Engagement Manager – Shasta Historical Society
There are two wood-burning lime kilns which were made from natural stone in the Clear Creek area of western Shasta County in between the pioneer towns of Briggsville and Horsetown at Bulgin Gulch (name also found as Buljon Gulch & Bulgin’ Gulch).
Since the early 1850s the production of quicklime remained active at this location. The limestone was extracted and fired to quicklime then hydrated into lime to be utilized as the main source for making plaster and mortar for building purposes. Today, both kilns are located on private property.
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Among the earliest known owners and operators of this lime kiln operation was Samuel R. Clough, a native of England, who ventured west from Luzerne County, Pennsylvania with his wife Debora (Turner) Clough, and their daughter Mary K. Clough to Shasta County. The family settled at Briggsville about 1855 when Samuel R. Clough partnered with Isaac Parks in the lime kiln industry. Then on, June 20, 1855, the partnership was dissolved by mutual consent for their lime kiln business of which Clough took sole possession of.
Above: The historic lime kiln fully intact, date unknown. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.
Two years later, Debora (Turner) Clough had the Shasta Republican newspaper of Shasta publish a notarized announcement to the public stating the following facts:
KNOW ALL BY THESE PRESENT, that I, Debora Clough, and wife of Samuel Clough, a resident of Briggsville, in Shasta County, and State of California, do hereby declare my intention to avail myself of an “Act to authorize married women to transact business in their own name as sole traders,” passed April 12, 1852 in conducting the Lime Kiln, and business connected there with about a half mile from Briggsville in said County of Shasta. And I do further declare that the whole sum invested in said business aforesaid does not exceed the sum of five thousand dollars. Witness, my hand in seal at Shasta this 16th day of February, 1858.” (SIC)
This announcement was notarized by Homer A. Curtiss, a notary public and resident of Shasta.
It was rather unusual for women to conduct business in the lime kiln industry; and she was a pioneer woman. Eventually, more women exercised their rights as sole traders in Shasta County. Then on, April 12, 1858, a sheriff’s sale took place against Samuel Clough at Briggsville for his personal property. This personal property consisted of “one town lot, thirty feet front and running back one hundred feet, situated in the town of Briggsville, together with a two-story frame dwelling house situated thereon.”
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By December 4, 1858, Debora (Turner) Clough owed the County of Shasta $8.40 in delinquent taxes which included one house, a lot of lime, and debts in Briggsville. Apparently, she paid them off because the amount didn’t roll over into the following year’s delinquent tax list.
According to the 1860 U.S. Census, the Clough family was living at Shasta, when their district was enumerated on June 5, 1860. It was probably due to the sheriff’s sale of their property two years before at Briggsville which forced them to move to the county seat. Samuel was the head of the family at the age of thirty-four and his occupation was listed as a brick mason. His wife was listed at the age of thirty, with no occupation given which is rather interesting because of her interest in the Sole Traders Act. Their daughter Mary K. Clough was listed at the age of nine years old; it was more than likely that she attended school at Shasta.
Above: An advertisement for lime by Samuel Clough, from the September 15, 1855 edition of the Shasta Courier newspaper.
Six years later, Debora (Turner) Clough relocated to Idaho, where she married a second time to Stephen J. Pierce. It’s not known what happened to Samuel R. Clough, he seems to have disappeared from historical records. The historic lime kilns on Clear Creek appeared to have been abandoned after the Clough’s operated it.
According to the “Mines and Mineral Resources of Shasta County, California – County Report 6” written by Philip A. Lydon and J.C. O’ Brien, they reported that this lime kiln operation produced small amounts of quicklime prior to 1893. Then in 1926, brief periods of activity occurred at this site, “when a few hundred tons slaked lime were produced and sold for agricultural use. Idled since.”
Retraction: In my book, A Journey Through Time: Ono and the Bald Hills, page 17, published by Preserving Memories in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2008. I documented Debora (Turner) Clough’s name as Dana Clough which is incorrect. The correct name is: Debora (Turner) Clough. Sometimes recorded as Deborah. She was born in 1831 in Pennsylvania and Debora (Turner) Clough Pierce died at Emmett, Gem County, Idaho on June 28, 1908 at the age of seventy-seven.
Above: A zoomed in shot of the lime kiln from Clear Creek Road. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on January 10, 2021.
- Dissolution – The Shasta Courier newspaper of Shasta, June 23, 1855
- Sole Trader – The Shasta Republican newspaper of Shasta, February 20, 1858
- 1860 U.S. Census
- 1870 U.S. Census
- 1880 U.S. Census
- 1900 U.S. Census
- Place Names of Shasta County by Gertrude A. Steger revision by Helen Hinckley Jones, ©1966 by La Siesta Press, Glendale, California
- Mines and Mineral Resources of Shasta County, California – County Report 6 – by Philip A. Lydon and J.C. O’ Brien ©1974 by California Division of Mines and Geology, pages 1-178.
- A Journey Through Time: Ono and the Bald Hills by Jeremy M. Tuggle, published by Preserving Memories, Charlotte, North Carolina. 2008 Pages 95. ISBN: 978-0-9742576-8-6
Meet the writer: Jeremy M. Tuggle
Education and Community Engagement Manager – Shasta Historical Society
Jeremy M. Tuggle, born in Redding, is a descendant of 11 pioneer families who settled Shasta County between 1849-1889. Jeremy attended Shasta College and is the author of two published books, Rooted in Shasta County (2003), and A Journey Through Time: Ono and the Bald Hills (2008), as well as various articles on local history.
In 2017 Mr. Tuggle was awarded a Community Service Award, a prestigious national award for community service in historic preservation, by the Major Pierson B. Reading Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Jeremy is a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of California, and an Eagle Scout.
Tuggle has been employed at the Shasta Historical Society since November of 2009. In his present role as Education & Community Engagement Manager, Jeremy conducts research for the historical society’s programs and events, contributes to the Society’s social media presence, and ensures the highest quality guest and patron experience at our programs and community events.
Mr. Tuggle enjoys sharing his knowledge of local history and events, and is available to community organizations to present programs about Shasta County history.
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Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes for or has written for several other news organizations; including Mountain Echo in Shasta County, Riverside County-based newspapers, Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.