|City of Yreka|
|— City —|
|Siskiyou County and the state of California|
|• Total||10.053 sq mi (26.036 km2)|
|• Land||9.980 sq mi (25.847 km2)|
|• Water||0.073 sq mi (0.188 km2) 0.72%|
|Elevation||2,582 ft (787 m)|
|• Density||770/sq mi ( 300/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (PST) (UTC−8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC−7)|
|GNIS feature ID||1652661|
In March 1851 Abraham Thompson, a mule train packer, discovered gold near Rocky Gulch while traveling along the Siskiyou Trail from southern Oregon. This discovery sparked the California Gold Rush from California's Sierra Nevada into Northern California. By April 1851, 2,000 miners had arrived in "Thompson's Dry Diggings" to test their luck, and by June 1851, a gold rush "boomtown" of tents, shanties, and a few rough cabins had sprung up. Several name changes occurred until the little city was called Yreka. The name comes from the Shasta /wáik'a/, for which Mount Shasta is named. The word means "north mountain" or "white mountain". Mark Twain, in his Autobiography, first published in 1906, (p. 162, Harper/Perennial Literary, 1990), tells a different story:
- Harte had arrived in California in the [eighteen-]fifties, twenty-three or twenty-four years old, and had wandered up into the surface diggings of the camp at Yreka, a place which had acquired its mysterious name — when in its first days it much needed a name — through an accident. There was a bakeshop with a canvas sign which had not yet been put up but had been painted and stretched to dry in such a way that the word BAKERY, all but the B, showed through and was reversed. A stranger read it wrong end first, YREKA, and supposed that that was the name of the camp. The campers were satisfied with it and adopted it.
Well-known poet Joaquin Miller described Yreka during 1853–1854 as a bustling place with "... a tide of people up and down and across other streets, as strong as if a city on the East Coast". Incorporation proceedings were completed on April 21, 1857.
In November 1941, Yreka was designated as the capital of the proposed State of Jefferson, a secession movement along the Oregon and California border that has gained cultural traction in the following decades.
Commerce and tourism 
West Miner Street-Third Street District
West Miner Street in Yreka
|Governing body:||City of Yreka|
|Added to NRHP:||December 11, 1972|
Located at the northern edge of the Shasta Cascade area of Northern California, Yreka sees many tourists. The core of the historic downtown, along West Miner Street, is listed as an historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as a California Historical Landmark. Yreka is home to the Siskiyou County Museum, and to a number of Gold Rush-era monuments and parks. Visitors also come to enjoy trout fishing in the nearby Klamath, Sacramento and McCloud Rivers, or come to see and climb Mount Shasta, Castle Crags or the Trinity Alps. Visitors also engage in nearby skiing (both alpine and cross-country), or bike or hike to the waterfalls, streams and lakes in the area, including nearby Falls of the McCloud River, Burney Falls, Mossbrae Falls, Lake Siskiyou, Castle Lake and Shasta Lake.
In addition, because of its status as the county seat of Siskiyou County, there are a number of businesses related to the County courts, County Recorder, and other official county functions.
Yreka is located at (41.726617, −122.637568).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.1 sq mi (26 km2). 10.0 square miles (26 km2) is land, and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.72%) is water.
The elevation of Yreka is approximately 2,500 feet (760 m) above sea level. It is nestled in the Shasta Valley south of the Siskiyou Mountains and north of Mount Shasta, a dormant volcano towering above the valley at just over 14,000 ft (4,300 m) above sea level.
|Climate data for Yreka, California|
|Record high °F (°C)||66
|Average high °F (°C)||45.9
|Average low °F (°C)||24.9
|Record low °F (°C)||−11
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.09
|Snowfall inches (cm)||3.7
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||13.2||9.7||10.3||8.7||7.6||4.6||3.0||2.5||2.7||5.3||11.4||12.7||91.7|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||2.0||1.2||.5||.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.8||1.8||6.7|
|Source: NOAA |
The 2010 United States Census reported that Yreka had a population of 7,765. The population density was 772.5 people per square mile (298.2/km²). The racial makeup of Yreka was 6,495 (83.6%) White, 57 (0.7%) African American, 491 (6.3%) Native American, 94 (1.2%) Asian, 9 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 168 (2.2%) from other races, and 451 (5.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 753 persons (9.7%).
The Census reported that 7,718 people (99.4% of the population) lived in households, 33 (0.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 14 (0.2%) were institutionalized.
There were 3,394 households, out of which 983 (29.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,338 (39.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 471 (13.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 160 (4.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 269 (7.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 17 (0.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,202 households (35.4%) were made up of individuals and 636 (18.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27. There were 1,969 families (58.0% of all households); the average family size was 2.92.
The population was spread out with 1,871 people (24.1%) under the age of 18, 678 people (8.7%) aged 18 to 24, 1,603 people (20.6%) aged 25 to 44, 2,119 people (27.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,494 people (19.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.7 years. For every 100 females there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.5 males.
There were 3,675 housing units at an average density of 365.6 per square mile (141.2/km²), of which 1,751 (51.6%) were owner-occupied, and 1,643 (48.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.7%. 3,895 people (50.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 3,823 people (49.2%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,290 people, 3,114 households, and 1,880 families residing in the city. The population density was 730.8 per square mile (282.0/km2). There were 3,303 housing units at an average density of 331.1 per square mile (127.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.6% White, 0.5% African American, 6.0% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.7% from other races, and 3.3% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 5.4% of the population.
There were 3,114 households, out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.8% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.6% were non-families. 34.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.5% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 19.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.3 males. For every 100 females, age 18 and over, there were 83.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $27,398, and the median income for a family was $37,448. Males had a median income of $31,632 versus $23,986 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,664. About 17.5% of families and 21.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.6% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.
General information 
The city is the seat of Siskiyou County and has many services that support the many small communities in the area. Yreka is also home to a branch campus of College of the Siskiyous which is home to the Rural Health Science Institute and Administration of Justice programs. The College is one of 10 California Community Colleges to offer on campus lodging. The high school buses carry students from towns that would not otherwise be able to fund a secondary education.
In Yreka, the gold-mining era is commemorated with a gold museum, as well as with a remnant of a silver mining operation in Greenhorn Park. The high school sports mascot is a gold miner. School colors are red and gold.
- "Yreka Bakery" is a popular palindrome. The loss of the “B” in a sign read from the reverse is mentioned as a possible source of the name Yreka in Mark Twain’s autobiography. The original Yreka Bakery was founded in 1856 by baker Frederick Deng. The palindrome was recognized early on: “spell Yreka Bakery backwards and you will know where to get a good loaf of bread” is quoted as an ad in the Yreka Semi-Weekly Journal May 23, 1863. Twelve loaves sold for $1. The Yreka Bakery moved eventually to its long-time location, 322 West Miner Street, where it remained under several ownerships until it closed in 1965 on retirement of the baker "Martin", and clerk Alta Hudson. Another Yreka Bakery reopened in a different location in 1974, but is no longer in business. Author Martin Gardner mentioned that Yreka Bakery was in business on West Miner Street in Yreka,:246 but it was pointed out by readers "the Yreka Bakery no longer existed. In 1970 the original premises were occupied by the art store Yrella Gallery, also a palindrome",:251 which was owned and operated by Yreka resident B'Ann Dunlap. The historic building, the Brown-Nickell-Authenrieth Building, 322–324 West Miner Street, currently houses a restaurant.
- Yreka is mentioned in Ann Rule's true crime novel, "The I-5 Killer".
- The official city flower of Yreka is the Yreka Phlox.
- Convicted murderer Jodi Arias dropped out of high school in Yreka and was living there in June 2008, when she drove to Mesa, Arizona to see her boyfriend Travis Alexander. She was found guilty of first degree murder on May 8, 2013
There have been two documented lynchings in the town of Yreka. The first took place on August 26, 1895, when four men – William Null, Garland Stemler, Luis Moreno, and Lawrence Johnson – were simultaneously hanged by a lynch mob from a railroad tie suspended from two adjacent trees. The four men were all awaiting trial for various charges of murder and robbery.
Yreka's second lynching took place in August 1935. At the funeral of Dunsmuir, California Chief of Police, F. R. Daw, a number of mourners planned the lynching of his alleged murderer, Clyde Johnson. Early on the morning of August 3, 1935, the masked mob, estimated as large as fifty, forcibly removed Johnson from his jail cell and dragged him three miles (5 km) south of town where they hanged him from a pine tree. Local and state officials expressed mixed reaction to news of the lynching.
District Attorney James Davis declared that he would open an investigation and "do everything the law requires to apprehend members of the mob." On the other hand, the California Attorney General, referring to the recently delayed execution of an accused murderer, stated that the "uncontrollable unrest" was a natural result of the "apathy of the Supreme Court of the United States."
See also 
- U.S. Census
- Bright, William (2004). Native American placenames of the United States. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 582. ISBN 978-0-8061-3598-4. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
- The Boomtown That Didn’t Go Bust - A History of Early Yreka Accessed June 4, 2007.
- A short history of the cities in Siskiyou County and a directory to their current addresses and telephone numbers Accessed June 4, 2007.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- "West Miner Street-Third Street District". Office of Historical Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-14.
- Siskiyou County Museum website accessed 2008-02-21.
- Siskiyou County information site accessed 2008-02-21.
- Ross, John (2005). Trout Unlimited's Guide to America's 100 Best Trout Streams, Updated and Revised. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press. ISBN 1-59228-585-6.
- Brooks, Wade (2006). Fly fishing and the meaning of life. St. Paul, MN: Voyageur Press. ISBN 0-7603-2575-8., p. 92. Excerpts of the text of this book are available here courtesy of Google Books.
- Outdoor recreational activities in area accessed 2008-02-24.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2012-11-30.
- All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
- "California's 1st Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
- Yreka Bakery, Snopes.com
- Carey, Don, ”Yreka Bakery”, Yreka Echoes, Yreka Historic Preservation Corporation, April/May 1983
- Carey, Don, ”Yreka Bakery”, Yreka Echoes, Yreka Historic Preservation Corporation, April/May 1983, quoting a column by editor Ed Foss in the Siskiyou Daily News, February 9, 1973
- Yreka Bakery Solution
- Martin Gardner (1979). Mathematical circus: more games, puzzles, paradoxes, & other mathematical entertainments from Scientific American ; with thoughts from readers, afterthoughts from the author, and 105 drawings & diagrams. Knopf. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Local restaurant owner preserves history of building". January 20, 2010. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011.
- Hunt for the I-5 Killer, Lifetime Entertainment, 2013, accessed April 6, 2013
- Smith, David (September 11, 2009). "Council names Yreka Phlox city flower". Siskiyou Daily News..
- Curry, Colleen, Jodi Arias Must Overcome Her Lies If She Testifies This Week, ABC News, January 29, 2013, accessed April 8, 2013
- Lohr, David, Jodi Arias Case: Twists And Delays In Alleged Femme Fatale's Murder Trial, The Huffington Post, December 29, 2011, accessed April 8, 2013
- Curry, Colleen, Jodi Arias Borrowed Gas Cans Day Before Killing Travis Alexander, Ex-Beau Says, ABC News, January 29, 2013, accessed April 8, 2013
- Lohr, David (January 2, 2013). "Travis Alexander Murder: Trial Of Jodi Arias Opens". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
- "The corpse of Clyde Johnson. August 3, 1935 . Yreka, California". Without Sanctuary lynching photos and history. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
- Yreka City
- Yreka Chamber of Commerce
- Museum of the Siskiyou Trail
- Siskiyou County Historical Society
- Siskiyou Daily News