As It Was: Hayfork, Calif., Figures Prominently through Time
Hayfork, Calif., is off the beaten path, but with a population of only 2,400 it ranks as the second largest town in Northern California’s Trinity County. Settled in 1851 during the California Gold Rush, it was first known as Kingsbury or Kingsberrys, then South Fork, followed by Hay Town. It became Hayfork in 1854, its name derived from the hay and food grains produced along the North Fork of the South Fork of the Trinity River.
The most famous mine in the area was the Whiskey Hill or Tom Cook mine.
The original inhabitants were the Wintu people, who camped along the streams in winter and hunted in the mountains in summer, subsisting on salmon, acorns, berries, and small game.
Trailblazing fur trapper Jedediah Smith passed by in 1828 on his way to Oregon. His expedition went up Hayfork Creek and the South Fork of the Trinity, then along the Trinity and Klamath Rivers to the Pacific Coast of Northern California and Southern Oregon.
Rafters know Hayfork Creek today for its high-class rapids. The town hosts the county fair in August and also celebrates a Tribal Stomp.
Source: "History of Hayfork, California." Hayfork Valley Website. 2008. Web. 20 Aug. 2014. http://users.snowcrest.net/wb6fzh/hvhist1.html; "Trinity County Area & Towns." The Trinity County INFOsite & Webcam 2006. Web. 20 Aug. 2014.