Pollock; A former townsite on the Sacramento River arm of Shasta Lake

Pollock was formerly located along U.S. Route Highway 99 at the junction of Salt Creek and the Sacramento River. Today, Pollock is located just opposite of Sugarloaf Resort and Antler’s Marina on the Sacramento River arm at the mouth of Salt Creek under Lake Shasta.

Construction on U.S. Route Highway 99 (also known as the Pacific Highway) began in California in 1914 and it was finished in 1922. During the interim years, a man named George G. Pollock, a native of Indiana and a general contractor, owned and operated the Pollock Construction Company, of Sacramento. His company was awarded a contract from the California State Highway Commission in 1916 to construct a bridge which would span the Sacramento River at this location. The bridge was open for auto travel in February of 1917.  

The historic Pollock bridge above the Sacramento River in 1936 with the town of Pollock in the distance on the north-east side of the Pollock bridge. From the collection of Jeremy Tuggle.    

SEE OTHER RECENT Exploring Shasta County History with Jeremy Tuggle:

Bella Vista: A lumber town

Legendary Mining Lore: Gold Nuggets of History

The historic foundation of the Mammoth Aerial Tramway

Exploring the rich history of McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

Cottonwood’s origins, from small 1850s townsite to 1890s growing RR hub

Later, a fire broke out on August 11, 1921, at Pollock “…which destroyed seven outfit cars sidetracked there, found that it was due to hoboes entering one of the cars and building a fire for cooking or keeping warm, and failure to extinguish it entirely when leaving.” (SIC)

As Pollock was emerging into becoming a permanent fixture along the new highway, north state locals Davis & Robinson obtained a permit from the local railroad commission to operate an automobile passenger stage line from Redding to Sisson (now Mount Shasta City) in Siskiyou County. Along the route this stage line conveyed passengers to Pollock, Delta, La Moine, Hazel Creek, Castella and Dunsmuir, and the route promised weary travelers fast traveling times at cheap rates.   

Above: a 1915-1945 map which predates the establishment of the townsite of Pollock at the junction of Salt Creek and the Sacramento River. This map shows the former alignment of the Central Pacific Railroad which was later acquired by Southern Pacific Railroad. It shows what was known as the Shasta Route on this map at that location. Source: CalTopo.

It was Redding resident Chris Kutras who purchased eighty acres on the east side of the Sacramento River near the highway bridge from landowner Mrs. N.S. Stillson on February 17, 1922. Kutras promised that this transaction would include the erection of a general grocery store, combination post office and service station building to be leased to H.L. Scott. Scott was slated to be the first postmaster of this U.S. Post Office, but he was bypassed by the officials in Washington D.C., for unknown reasons.   

Then, on January 5, 1924, John Steinaker became the first postmaster of the brand-new United States Post Office at Pollock. The Pollock United States Post Office was established by the United States Postal Service in Washington D.C., and they named the post office after George G. Pollock. It was a fourth-class post office which served about 30 families residing at Pollock. However, Steinaker had leased his store’s building from Kutras, and it was in operation before July of 1923 without the post office, which began serving the area on January 5, 1924.       

Above: the combined Pollock Grocery Store, Post Office & Service Station at Pollock owned by Chris Kutras and leased to John Steinaker on the Sacramento River at Salt Creek. Date unknown. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.  

As early as April of 1925, talk of a dam being built in the Sacramento River Canyon was already mentioned in statewide media coverage, and the Healdsburg Tribune of Healdsburg, reported the following about submerging the town of Pollock within in the future reservoir of what would become Shasta Lake by the construction of this dam in the following article:  

Would Create Lake In Shasta County

SACRAMENTO, April 10.- A dam in the Sacramento River canyon at the proposed Kennett site would submerge the towns of Kennett, Antler, Copper City and Pollock, twenty miles of the main line of the Southern Pacific, nine miles of the stale highway, two smelters, one mine and the state fish hatchery on the McCloud River. These consequences of the backing up of water in the Sacramento and Pit Rivers for thirty-two miles with a 400-foot dam are discussed by Paul Bailey, engineer who is making the survey of the state’s water resources begun in 1921, in his supplemental report on the work to date made to the present legislature.”  

Above: a 1939 mineral deposit map of Shasta County surveyed by Charles V. Averill showing Pollock and the railroad.

Six years later, a brush fire erupted into flames two miles south of the town of Pollock in April of 1932 on the Kobe farm which resulted in the death of resident Mathew Kobe, age seventy-two, a native of Austria, and a local farmer. He had been fighting the fire when his trousers got caught in the flames and he jumped into Salt Creek to extinguish them. The flames caused serious burns upon his body, and in time, those burns were fatal to him. The fire eventually grew to two acres with no structure damage; however, Kobe died from his burn injuries on April 18, 1932. He was survived by his wife, four sons and one daughter.  

Beginning May 1st of each year, swimming at Salt Creek kicked off and even during the summer months Pollock residents were able to cool off in the creek which flowed year round. It would rise during rain storms. Much like today, even the local wildlife shared the running water of Salt Creek with their human neighbors.    

Above: an article about Pollock happenings from the Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, dated: May 1, 1935, Pollock was a lively place along the Pacific Highway during the decade of the 1930s.  

The town of Pollock was flooded during the historic Sacramento River flood of February 28, 1940, with winter storms flooding the river at that location, as Pollock got its first taste of being submerged in water. The flooding caused the Pollock bridge to be under six feet of water and at Woolman’s store. The City of Redding was isolated in all directions which saw the traffic and the railroad trains stopped throughout the area until the routes were passable a week later when the flood water lowered.  

Four years later, on June 1, 1944, the Pollock United States post office was discontinued with Sarah Ann Moody being the last postmistress. Then it’s post office was relocated. The name of this United States post office was changed to Loftus in honor of Charles Loftus, a grandson of Mrs. Stella Woolman.

The reason the Pollock United States post off was discontinued was due to the construction of Shasta Dam which threatened with submerging the town site into the reservoir of Shasta Lake (or Lake Shasta). Pollock would eventually become under the main water mark of the reservoir at full pool 1,067-feet elevation or distance from crest of Shasta Dam at 0-feet, with its 365 miles of shoreline.

Shasta Dam was engineered by Frank T. Crowe the owner of Pacific Constructors Incorporated, and construction began in 1938. Lake Shasta began flooding its reservoir in 1942, and the dam’s construction was completed in 1945.  

Above: Where Pollock should be at the mouth of Salt Creek on the Sacramento River arm at 115.20-feet below the crest of Shasta Dam. Time to compare the ridge line of the mountains in the background with the first picture. This photo was taken by Jeremy Tuggle on June 11, 2021.  

The Pollock townsite has re-surfaced during the drought years of 1976, 1977, 1991, 2008 and 2021 with portions of historic U.S. Route Highway 99 surfacing and the railroad of the Central Pacific built in 1884 and later acquired by the Southern Pacific Railroad this railroad was also known as the Shasta Route and traversed on the westside of the Sacramento River at Pollock.  

POLLOCK POSTMASTERS:

  • John Steinaker – January 5, 1924
  • Mrs. Stella Klineschmidt – acting P.M. June 7, 1926, appointed June 10, 1926
  • Mrs. Stella Woolman (formerly Klineschmidt) – July 23, 1930
  • Mrs. Florence Mason – November 16, 1940
  • Mrs. Hazel N. Collins – April 23, 1942
  • Mrs. Sarah Ann Moody – December 1, 1942
  • Mrs. Sarah Ann Moody – June 1, 1943 – June 1, 1944.        

Above: originally labeled as the Pollack Auto Camp. This is the Pollock Auto Camp at Pollock on the Sacramento River at Salt Creek. Date unknown. Courtesy of Shasta Historical Society.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TaH-BBzMQo8  

Above: on top of the 1916 cut and grade (which is used for vehicle parking) on the north side of the Pollock bridge at Antler’s Marina with historic U.S. Highway Route 99 below me. The Lake Shasta water level was 135.00-feet below the crest of Shasta Dam. This video was filmed on location July 16, 2021.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qIzEZJubSPA  

Above: at 148.45-feet below the crest of Shasta Dam the historic Highway Masonry Wall on Historic Route Highway 99 at Salt Creek is FULLY OUT of the water. This is at Pollock. A lot of Pollock history is discussed in this film. Filmed on location August 6, 2021.

Above: Portions of the historic railroad at Pollock surfacing out of the water at Shasta Lake. This is the railroad just north of the historic Pollock bridge. This video was filmed on location, September 4, 2021.  

Above: the end of the Pollock bridge. The Pollock bridge is now full out of the water on 9-10-2021 at 900.13-feet elevation wise or 166.87-feet below the crest of Shasta Dam. This photograph was taken by Jeremy Tuggle.    

https://www.youtube.com/embed/YOvrjR9uwtI  

Above: Jeremy Tuggle discovers a foundation of a building possibly connected to the Shasta Route Railroad at Pollock, just north of the historic Pollock bridge, at 891.58-feet elevation wise below full pool or 175.42-feet below the crest of Shasta Dam. Filmed on location on October 2, 2021 in Lakehead, California.(Note: this article was featured in the  October 2021, Shasta Historical Society Stagecoach newsletter, page 9, written by Jeremy Tuggle for the Shasta Historical Society.)

RESOURCES: 

  • Canyon Roads Open For Automobiles – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, February 16, 1917
  • Sacramento Canyon Open To Auto Travel – The Sacramento Daily Union newspaper of Sacramento, February 16, 1917
  • Road From Redding To Dunsmuir Finished – The Sacramento Daily Union newspaper of Sacramento, February 18, 1917
  • Marin Journal newspaper of San Rafael, April 12, 1917
  • 1920 U.S. Census
  • The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, February 4, 1921
  • The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, August 21, 1921
  • The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, September 27, 1921
  • Stage Permit Granted – The Sacramento Daily Union newspaper of Sacramento, September 28, 1921
  • Pollock Will Have Post Office Store – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, February 17, 1922
  • Chris Kutras Buys 80 At Pollock – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, February 17, 1922
  • The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, July 19, 1922
  • The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, April 7, 1923
  • Automobile Truck Had Five Million In Gold As Cargo – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, May 29, 1923
  • Pollock Wants To Have A Post Office – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, June 23, 1923
  • For Pollock – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, July 10, 1923
  • Kennett-Pollock Road May Get State Money To Be Used As Detour – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, March 22, 1924
  • Would Create Lake In Shasta County – The Healdsburg Tribune of Healdsburg, April 10, 1925
  • Former Pollock Merchant Asks Divorce – The Searchlight newspaper of Redding, June 10, 1925
  • The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, August 20, 1925
  • Folks You Know – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 23, 1932
  • Personal – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, February 9, 1932
  • Pollock Man’s Death Blamed On Trousers – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, April 18, 1932
  • The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 9, 1935
  • The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 12, 1935
  • Pollock Woman Struck By Small Boy In Snowball – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, January 31, 1935
  • Camp Salt Creek Quarantine Lifted – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, February 7, 1935
  • Local Brevities – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, February 22, 1935
  • The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, March 9, 1935
  • Highway Rerouting Is Studied – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, March 16, 1935
  • The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, April 2, 1935
  • Pollock – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, April 8, 1935
  • Pollock – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, April 18, 1935
  • Pollock – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, April 20, 1935
  • Pollock – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, April 23, 1935
  • Pollock – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, April 27, 1935
  • Pollock – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 1, 1935
  • Pollock – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 8, 1935
  • Pollock Items – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 17, 1935
  • Pollock – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, May 18, 1935
  • Pollock – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 4, 1935
  • Pollock – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 11, 1935
  • Pollock – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, June 18, 1935
  • Pollock – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, July 9, 1935
  • The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, August 12, 1935
  • Pollock Items – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, August 17, 1935
  • Pollock Items – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, August 22, 1935
  • Pollock Items – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, September 4, 1935
  • U.S., Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971
  • Redding Isolated – The Courier-Free Press newspaper of Redding, February 28, 1940
  • That Ribbon Of Highway I: Highway 99 from the Oregon Border to the State Capital by Jill Livinston 1996 0-9651277-3-2 Second edition. Published by Living Gold Press. 212 Pages.
  • http://pdf.oac.cdlib.org/pdf/samcc/MS0032.pdf

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.  



Contact the editor: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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 or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

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.

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