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Miners Settle on the Mighty Salmon River

By 1852, mining in the Klamath River region attracted nearly a thousand miners. Most moved on as easy gold played out, but a number settled along the rivers.  One such settlement was Somes Bar at the confluence of the Klamath and Salmon Rivers in Siskiyou County.

The town was named after Abraham Somes, who originally acquired property about two miles above the mouth of the Salmon River. In 1868, Somes sold his store to Alexander Brizzard.

Authors of the book titled “In the Land of the Grasshopper Song,” Mary Ellicott Arnold and Mabel Reed, wrote in 1908: “Except for the hotel and the store and the barn, there seems to be nothing in Somes Bar but the river and the mountains.  The mountains surround the narrow little valley on all four sides.  Behind the hotel races the Salmon River and on the other side of the Salmon is East Mountain.  It is a huge, rocky crag over which the sun peers for the first time a little after eleven o’clock.  Even on bright days there are only three hours of sunshine in Somes Bar in the wintertime.”

Source:  Toleman, Vera. "Somes Bar." The Siskiyou Pioneer and Yearbook 3.No 9 (1966): 3-5. Print.

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.