Igo is an unincorporated community with 625 residents 9 miles west of Redding, CA. Its ZIP Code is 96047. Wired Telephone numbers follow the pattern 530-396-xxxx. It has a neighboring town of Ono 4.0 miles west. It is also home to the Northern California Veterans Cemetery, dedicated in December 2005. It has a post office, elementary school, general store, and a restaurant/beer & wine bar/banquet hall - The Igo Inn. It is also home to Brigadoon Castle Bed and Breakfast, but it is now a private residence.
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Igo is the relocated town of Piety Hill, once located on the other side of Conger Gulch a quarter of a mile east of today's downtown Igo.
Because Piety Hill stood on top of an ancient riverbed that the Hardscrabble Mine was planning to hydraulically mine for the gold it contained, plans were made to lay out a new town across Conger Gulch. George McPherson, superintendent of the mine, began laying out the new town in 1866. The first resident in the new town was William Conger. Before long, others followed. Only the white residents moved to Igo; the Chinese stayed at Piety Hill. Piety Hill was not destroyed by hydraulic mining. It was a very close call because the mining stopped right at the edge of town.
Like Ono and Piety Hill, there's more than one colorful version on how Igo received its name. One version claims Igo and Ono received their names from McPherson's young son, who, when seeing his father leave for work, would put on his own hat and say, "I go," and his father would answer with "Oh no." Still another version claims the name was derived from an incident between a Chinese man and two white miners who came upon a prospective site occupied by a Chinese miner who didn't want to leave. When the Chinese man was asked to leave, he replied, "Oh no." When again asked to leave, this time with the gesture of a pistol, he replied "I go." One man named his claim for the first response, while the other named his for the second response. Still another version claims the name was derived from an incident between a Chinese man and white miners who came upon a prospective site occupied by the Chinese miner. When the miners claimed the land and told the Chinese man to leave, he said "I go" and moved on. Some time later, as the white miners moved on from the first claim, they again came upon the Chinese man and again told him to move on to which the Chinese man said "Oh no".
Igo quickly became a bustling community and the metropolis of western Shasta County. The largest concentration of silver mines in Shasta County was nearby on South Fork Road, now called Zogg Mine Road. In addition to its mines, Igo was also a good agricultural area that produced crops of hay as well as vegetables and fruits. Cattle raising was another good business. Stockmen wintered their cattle in the foothills near Igo where the wild oats and clover grew in abundance. Sheep were also brought in and successfully raised, but sheep-raising was not popular with the cattlemen.
The Igo Post Office was established July 14, 1873, and is still operating today.
The Masons purchased the land where the Igo Oddfellows building (aka The Igo Inn) stands today in 1885 for $50 and built it with the intention of it serving as their meeting hall. In 1887, the Independent Order of Oddfellows No. 209 (IOOF) moved into the building and began sharing it with the Masons. They shared the building until 1935, when the Masons moved to Shasta.
In the 1920s, the dance hall was added to the building. It still exists and is one of the few spring (aka sprung floor) floors still around. Over the years, the lodge hall served as the voting precinct and the location of many social gatherings, meetings, funerals, weddings and dances. However, IOOF membership and attendance began dwindling and funds to keep the building in good repair were becoming increasingly scarce. The building was abandoned, and stood vacant and open to the elements of Mother Nature and vandalization. It was eventually declared unsafe.
In 1987, Denise Wallace purchased the building and painstakingly restored it, without destroying the historical features of the building. Today it is the most prominent historical building in Igo and is operating as a steakhouse, beer and wine bar and banquet hall.
- California Veterans Cemetery
- "California's 1st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- "Travelin' in Time: Mystery surrounds name of small metropolis". Redding Record Searchlight. Retrieved 2009-01-23.
- Climate Summary for Igo, California