Anderson, California: A Historical Perspective


Shasta Dam courtesy of Apaliwal.

History of Anderson, California

I’m Ed Smith, a personal injury lawyer in Anderson. Anderson, California, is a booming town, which isn’t surprising considering its location near Redding, nearby attractions, such as Lassen Volcanic National Park, beautiful scenery and a relaxing way of life. With Interstate 5 running through the middle of town and the Sacramento River on the west side, the area is ideal for those looking to get away from big cities.

Naming of Anderson, California

Anderson, in Shasta County, was named after Elias Anderson by the Central Pacific Railroad, after he granted a right of way in 1872 to lay tracks for the railroad through his ranch property. The railroad constructed a depot, spur track, siding and corral near Center Street, as well as the original town of 12 lots.

Background of the Area

The history of Anderson, California, begins with Elias Anderson. Anderson was a farmer, rancher and hotel owner who moved to current-day Anderson in 1856 from Cottonwood, where he bought the American Ranch. It was located southeast of the current Highway 273 and Anderson Cemetery and consisted of 165 acres. This area was used as a stopping place for people traveling along the California-Oregon Trail. After purchasing the property, Anderson constructed and operated the original wood-framed American Ranch Hotel. In 1865, he purchased an additional 210 acres from one of the original settlers, Pierson B. Reading, for about $1,300. Reading had received a Mexican land grant in 1844 for 26,632 acres of land where he had built Rancho Buena Ventura, and he was the second recorded resident in the area that was to become Shasta County. In 1873, Anderson built a home on East Street, which was once designated as a California Historical Landmark. Anderson purchased a town lot for $100 in 1876 and moved his hotel into the town at the corner of Ferry and Main streets, across from the railroad depot.


The Central Pacific Railroad was a driving force in Anderson.

Early Settlers in Anderson

The first settler known to buy in Anderson was Thomas Freeman in 1854. After he built an adobe, it was used as a place where miners, pack trains and freighters stopped when traveling to the gold diggings. One interesting early settler was Phoebe Colburn, a former slave from Alabama. She first appears in local records in 1855, carrying the mortgage to pay for the American Ranch from Thomas Freeman to Pierson Reading. She was a good businesswoman and left a large estate when she passed away in 1876. The second home constructed in Anderson was built by W. W. Elmore. After cutting his way through manzanita to his property on Silver Street, he laid the foundation for his mansion using tombstones that had been mislabeled or damaged.

Anderson Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, an Anderson personal injury lawyer. Personal injuries can be caused by car accidents, motorcycle accidents or truck accidents. These types of accidents are categorized as personal injuries when the harm was caused by negligence. If you have been injured by a negligent driver or by another form of negligence, call me at (530) 392-9400 for free and friendly advice. You can also call using my toll-free number at (800) 404-5400. If you prefer, use my online contact located on the website if that is more convenient.

I am proud to have served the people of California since 1982.

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For more information about cases I have resolved, visit my Past Verdicts and Settlements page.

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