The Shasta Historical Society is proud to work with Shasta State Historic Park. Located six miles west of Redding along State Highway 299 in the town of Shasta, the state park is composed of a row of half ruined brick buildings, historic roadways, cottages, cemeteries and the restored (1861) County Courthouse. The Courthouse serves as both the Park’s museum and visitor center and a reminder of Shasta’s prominence as the historic seat of Shasta County. Shasta SHP, lovingly referred to as “Old Shasta” by locals, is home to well-attended annual events that are known throughout the north state. Events include the popular Holiday in the Park and Shasta Heritage Day. Educational and public events focus on the daily life in a gold rush town circa 1860 including a working blacksmith and bakery. The poet Joaquin Miller refers to Shasta in his novel, Life Amongst the Modocs, based on his experiences as a young man living in northern California in the 1850s. In this book, Miller describes his brief imprisonment in the Shasta Courthouse for stealing a horse and subsequent escape with the aid of his wife. Every May, local residents and visitors alike enjoy a tour and reenactment of Joaquin Miller’s story. Visitors are continually amazed to find that Shasta SHP is the home to an unparalleled collection of early Californian artwork donated to the State by Mae Helene Bacon Boggs. Her express intent was that the collection remains in Shasta in perpetuity for the future generations of the area.
The Shasta Historical Society has an outstanding record of working with the local community to preserve local history. In fact, the restoration of Shasta State Historic Park’s Courthouse Museum and parklands was spearheaded by the Shasta Historical Society in the 1930s. In 2012, the Shasta Historical Society’s Board of Directors unanimously decided to launch the Save Old Shasta campaign. The Society raised urgently needed funds to keep the Shasta State Historic Park open after the proposed closing date of July 1, 2012. The Shasta Historical Society entered into a Donor Agreement and successfully secured an AB 1478 Matching Agreement with the State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation. The initial commitment by the society was to open the park two days a week. However, due to local support and grants from the California State Parks Foundation, the Shasta Historical Society surpassed its original goal and is currently funding the operation of the Shasta SHP three days a week and the wonderful school programs for local third grade students.