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Opportunity is Knocking 

10 · 07 · 22

The Redding and Mt. Shasta area with its rich natural resources, and scenic beauty, has been a place that people proudly called home for centuries. Before the arrival of European explorers, five indigenous tribes, the Pit River Indians, the Hat Creek Indians, the Okwanuchu, the Wintu, and the Yana hunted the forests, farmed the valleys with its rich soil, and fished the streams and rivers. 

According to local legend, the first Anglo-European to see this as the land of opportunity was a man named Pierson Barton Reading. Shortly before the gold rush of 1849, he was awarded a land grant from Mexico and established the sprawling Rancho Buenaventura. 

The gold rush spawned a tsunami of settlers, opportunists, and ambitious people with vision. Tent cities such as Shasta and Whiskeytown quickly became boomtowns. Even though many people were myopically focused on gold, many others sought the riches of timber, copper, and agriculture. And that brought the railroad. 

Shasta County became the hub for trade in northern California. And when California achieved statehood in 1850, this was one of the first of twenty-seven counties.

The original name for Redding, a rough and tumble camp known as Poverty Flats, is in stark contrast to the growth and prosperity enjoyed by the city for more than one hundred years. The namesake for the town that remains a center of northern California commerce and trade was Benjamin Bernard Redding. 

Born in Canada in about 1824, Redding was lured to California by the gold rush and the opportunity it represented. As an ambitious man of many talents, Redding seized every opportunity that came his way and so he worked as a miner, as a clerk, and as an editor for a newspaper. 

Attesting to his diverse skills, he was elected to the California State Assembly and served from 1853-1854. In 1856 he was elected mayor of Sacramento. This was followed with a stint as Secretary of State. 

 In 1868 he accepted a position as the first Central Pacific Railroad land agent. In that position he purchased property for railroad right of ways, and for infrastructure sites such as railroads, depots, roundhouses, and repair facilities. And selected Poverty Flats as the northern terminus of the railroad. 

Just as during the gold rush and the late 19th century, Redding and the Mt. Shasta area still abound with opportunity. According to a recent study Redding was ranked as the fourth-best small city in America for small business establishment and operation. 

The study, according to data from the Small Business Development Center, noted that there were over 2,000 establishments in the county with less than five employees. Indicative of the areas business friendly climate, the Shasta-Cascade SBDC has assisted with the successful launch of more than sixty-five small businesses get off the ground since 2017. 

If you are giving thought to relocating or launching a small business, are looking for a great place to retire, or a place to raise a family, contact the Lynch Mortgage team for information about home sales, commercial property, or vacant land as an investment property. Opportunity is knocking. 

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America 

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