Susanville. In 1853 the Honey Lake Valley was an oasis for emigrants, the first green grass and free flowing water after months of desert and dry. During that summer the Roop brothers built a cabin at the head of the valley, just west of the meadow where thousands of emigrants camped. That cabin would go on to act as a trading post, a seat of government and as a fort in the ‘Sagebrush War’ of 1863.
In 1864 Lassen County came into existence with Susanville as the county seat. The town’s unique location, on the crest of the Sierra with dense old growth timber, arid desert and lush farmland, brought quick progress to the valley. The decline in lumber production in the in late 1950’s and 1960’s left Susanville with a sagging economy, but in 1963 that slack was taken up by construction of the California Correctional Center.
Susanville's City Hall in the Early 1920's
Throughout Susanville’s history agriculture and ranching have always played a prominent role, contributing to both the economy and its rural atmosphere.
The clean environment and easy access to outdoor recreation make it attractive to both visitors and residents. The town’s pioneer heritage lives on in our goal to keep the city on the list of top places to live in America.