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LAKE SHASTA HISTORY AND AREA INFORMATION
In early California, the area around Lake Shasta was wilderness inhabited by the Wintu Indian tribe as well as an occasional trapper, rancher or gold miner.
In the early 1800's Michael LaFramboise blazed a trail up the Sacramento River that eventually became known as the Oregon Trail. This route was used extensively by travelers until 1872 when the railroad was built following the same route.
Lake Shasta, Shasta Dam and Mt. Shasta were named after the mountain and the many Indian tribes in the north state. The name Shasta actually derived from the name Saste used by early settlers to describe the mountain and the local Indian tribes. The name evolved through the years as Shaste, Sasty, Shasty, Chasty, Shastl, Shastika and finally as Shast. The modern spelling ("Shasta") did not appear until 1850 when the name was first chosen for "Shasta" County by the California State Legislature.
Lake Shasta is the largest manmade reservoir in California. Shasta Dam is the northern most dam in the Central Valley Project. Construction on the dam began in 1935, was completed in 1945 and the lake was full in 1948. The dam was built to control the waters of three major rivers; the Sacramento, the McCloud and the Pit.
Three towns are under Lake Shasta; Kennett, Copper City, and DeLaMar. They were copper mining communities that flourished between 1905 and 1925 before it became too expensive to mine the copper from the surrounding hills.
Although originally built for flood control, Lake Shasta's 365 miles of shoreline provides one of the most desired "Watersport Playland" in the western United States.
Today Lake Shasta has developed into a vacation wonderland for those seeking an escape from the daily work grind. Thousands of vacationers flock to the lake each year to unwind and play in the pure emerald green waters.