The Shasta Historical Society was formed January 18, 1930, under the name of “Trails of ‘49”, with interest in pioneer history and in historical landmarks. The charter members were: Miss Alice M Reading, Miss May Hazel Southern, Mrs. George B. Lowdon, Mrs. Edna Behrens Eaton, Charles Browne, Francis Carr, Lew Carrigan, Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Loomis, Charles Litsch, Mrs. Nettie Prehn, Mrs. Amelia Early, Mrs. Thyra Heffelfinger, Fred Dersch, James M. Bartlett and M.E. Dittmar.
The original purposes of the Shasta Historical Society were to obtain, preserve, and perpetuate the early history of Shasta and other counties of northern California and the pioneers thereof; and to identify and preserve the places of historic and romantic interest. In the years since 1930, Trinity, Siskiyou, and Modoc Counties have organized historical societies covering their particular areas, and have enthusiastic, successful organizations.
SHS was incorporated in 1951 as a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization. SHS has had many homes over the years beginning with the original Chamber of Commerce facility next to the old Carnegie Library, then to the Carter House in Caldwell Park, eventually moving to a shared space in the Museum of Art and History in Caldwell Park. Following the establishment of the Turtle Bay Museums the Society, in 1998, purchased its present site in Downtown Redding at 1449 Market Street. The current facility consists of a 4,400 square foot ground floor with a second level “archive section” of approximately 1,100 square feet. The building itself is historic in nature, having been built in 1902.