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George Brown Settles Along Northern California’s Salmon River

In the 1860’s, a band of Indians gave George Green Brown a bad time at his trading post on the South Fork of the Salmon River.  He had opened the post just below Cecilville during the California Gold Rush when he was 24 years old.

The Indians took over his trading post by force when he refused to sell them liquor.  Brown fled upriver and hid in a limestone cave for a time before arriving hungry and exhausted at Cecilville, where he learned the Indians had destroyed his post and everything in it.

Fear spread through the region and several trading posts built log forts, but there were no more attacks.

Brown became a bookkeeper and clerk at P.F. Dunphy’s store in Cecilville before setting up his own store at Petersburg, where he engaged in trading and mining. 

Brown married Catharine George, and in 1873, their daughter Lillian was born. The couple moved to Sawyers Bar where their second daughter, Gertrude, was born.  Eventually they moved to Brownsville on East Fork, where Brown became justice of the peace for the mining district in 1892 and worked for George Sightman until 1896.  Brown died in 1903.

Source: Ball, Lottie A. "Four Men from Petersburg." Siskiyou Pioneer. Two ed. Vol. 10. , Yreka, Siskiyou County Historical Society, 1957, pp. 19-23.

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.