NAME: Cottonwood
COUNTY: Shasta
CLIMATE: Mild winter, hot summer
COMMENTS: Existed as early as 1849, but probably even earlier, then seriously settled in 1872 when the railroad arrived. Became the agricultural center of the county. Main industry is still agriculture. Lots of cows, cowboys and cowdogs around! The West Coast's largest cattle auction yard is in Cottonwood. Front Street, the main part of downtown, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Easy to find off Interstate 5. Just take either Bowman or Gas Point Road and follow the signs to the historic district.
REMAINS: All of the buildings listed on the National Register are still there. The only difference is the train depot which was put on skids and moved a short distance down Front Street. When you're there, you feel like you've stepped back in time. It looks just like its right out of the wild wild West. And, it comes complete with the OK Corral Bar down on Main Street!
Cottonwood first existed in 1849 alongside a trail that ran north/south through California. 1st post office was established in 1852 at this place which was on the south side of Cottonwood Creek. It moved many times and ended up on the north side of the creek where it is now located. The mainstay has always been agriculture. The population has never been large because most of the residents live in the country outside of the downtown area. There is a local legend about a ghost existing in one of the commercial buildings. Arnie Weaver, owner of Bowman Feed on Front Street, gets the prize for being a main character in town. You can usually find him sitting on a bench outside his feed store either waving or talking to anyone he can. Submitted by: Dottie Smith
Courtesy Dottie Smith