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Weaverville Whites Massacre 153 Wintu Indians

A natural bridge in the Hayfork Valley of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest is part of the Northern California region’s history.  The bridge is a geologic formation created over time by water forcing a passageway through the soft limestone.

A Wintu Indian legend says the bridge was formed when a mystical man carrying a huge bundle of hides came down Bridge Gulch tired and hungry. He slipped and the bundle fell and rolled into the creek.  The Wintu called the bridge “Kok -Chee-Shuhp-Chee,” or “Bundle of Hides,” because of the texture and color of the walls. 

The bridge was also the site of a bloody and tragic incident known as the Bridge Gulch Massacre.  It was touched off when a well-known settler from Weaverville was murdered and his cattle stolen in 1852.  After his body was found, a search party tracked a group of Wintu to their camp located at the confluence of Bridge Gulch and Hayfork Creek.  About 70 whites set out from Weaverville and massacred 153 of some 155 Indian villagers in what became known as the Bridge Gulch Massacre. Reportedly only two or three children survived the attack.

Source: "Bridge Gulch Massacre." Trinity County: Adventure Around Every Turn. Visit Trinity County, Web. 16 May 2015. .

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.