I recently purchased this old map clipping that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. Stanton Delaplane, a young writer, went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for his series of articles written about the young State of Jefferson “movement.” He traveled the area and talked to locals about their lack of voice and their frustrations.
The note on this map reads: “Yreka, California: Here’s one for the geography book – the first (and last?) map of the proposed new State of Jefferson carved out of four northern California counties and one southern Oregon county. Lassen County is newcomer offering to bring into the commonwealth the only active volcano in continental United States. In the glare of huge bonfires, boarded and belted miners barricaded Highway 99, dramatically advertising the ‘rebellion’ of Curry County, Oregon; Del Norte, Siskiyou and Modoc Counties, California, against State governments which will not smooth bumps, grades and curves out of the Happy Camp and Somes Bar road, which could tap huge copper depositis in the area. The road is 150 miles and in good condition would open up exploitation of a mountain of copper 100 miles long, rich timber lands and valuable areas, in the interests of national defense, say the ‘seccessionists.'”
A fascinating note that brings more to light on the history of the 1941 State of Jefferson movement that was, of course, ‘halted’ when Pearl Harbor was bombed.
But the dream has never died! The mythical, magical State of Jefferson still remains.