The Rising Tide of History in the Trinity Unit of the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area
By 1956 the Gold Rush was only an echo along the river now covered by Trinity and Lewiston Lakes. The abandoned remnants of fevered mining activity sat broken and rusting on the landscape... A reminder of the glory days when men and women sought their fortunes in Trinity gold.
Wintu culture was all but destroyed, the miners moved on. Ranchers, farmers, loggers, owners of fledgling resorts, and merchants stayed on. Each group of people, in its own way, was fiercely dependent upon water so abundant in the Trinity River and its tributaries. Indian, white or chinese, their communities and their work were never far from it.
With the completion of the dam in 1961, the face of this country was changed forever. Generations of human effort were lost beneath water hundreds of feet deep... a way of life in the "Trinity Valley" had died... A new one was born.
Today we water ski, houseboat, fish and swim in water that overlays a rich history. Somewhere below, in ages past, a stagecoach brought the first teacher to the school in Minersville... Cattle grazed contentedly on the verdant paturage of the Scott Ranch... A Wintu indian woman gathered acorns beneath the blue oaks of Hays Gulch... Miners toiled over rich diggings... San Francisco tourists fished for prize salmon at Cedar Stock Resort on Stuart's Fork of the Trinity River.
This National Recreation Area was established by Congress in 1965 to accommodate the growing national need for expanded outdoor recreation facilities. Water impounded by Trinity and Lewiston Dams has become the Gold of the 21st Century... In a way the early settlers here never would have imagined.