Desert River Church   


 Land of the Never-Sweats

First established in 1864, Lassen County was born from the mostly ignored territory known as Nataqua by the locals. The area remained mostly unpopulated, except for the local Indian tribes in the area. During the gold rush of 1848, people were looking for a way to cross the mountains. The route across Donner summit was difficult and dangerous most of the year and Lassen provided a lower elevation to cross. Peter Lassen, an emigrant from Denmark, first explored the area and in 1851, the Nobles Emigrant Trail was established to help settlers cross the mountains. Many of these first emigrants settled the Honey Valley area instead of moving over the entire trail.

One of the first establishments to help the early pioneers was known as Roopville, a trading post in the valley that provided the travelers with provisions for the crossing into the Sierra. Later, this establishment was renamed to Roop's Fort. A town sprang up around the fort was called Susanville, after Issac Roop's daughter.

In 1856, Peter Lassen & Issac Roop led a citizen revolt over the taxing of the citizens by nearby Plumas County into their affairs. This was the cause of the  two day Sagebrush War fought against the Sheriff and Deputies of Plumas County when they tried to enforce the levied taxes. The emigrants of Lassen in the end lost that war. The folks of Nataqua considered themselves not in California or Utah territory (Nevada was not a state then). Upon a survey, the folks learned differently though, that Susanville was in fact, in California. As soon as possible the citizens formed the new county to avoid the taxes going to Plumas County over the mountains.

Living off the soil was so easy here that the townsfolk soon acquired an undeserved reputation of indolence. The name "Never-Sweats" was applied to the people here and the name stuck into well into the 1860's and beyond. Life in Lassen was difficult and isolated most of the time. The area was hemmed in by mountains full of snow in the winter, surrounded by hostile Pit River, Modoc, Washoe and Paiute Indians on three sides, and internally by bandits and roadmen who came into the valley during the Gold Rush.  It took quite a pioneer spirit to survive in this area. People were usually very dependent of neighbors, wary of strangers and bore six-guns and rifles where ever they went. A fierce independence rose in the early settlers.

Later in Lassen history, the railroads came to harvest the land of the trees. The NCO, the Lassen & Fernley, the Red River Lumber Co, and others came to tap the resources. Along with the railroads, came the tough loggers and railroad men that were needed to do the job.

Lassen County in the present day has all the traits of its early pioneer days. The last sawmill is closing soon, and the railroaders are all gone. The last tracks into town are being considered for removal by the ICC as well. No major industry exists here except the Sierra Army Depot base, and even that is up for consideration for BRAC (Base Realignment And Closure) in 2005. The present Susanville has quite a few buildings that remain condemned, but still standing, mixed with newer buildings.

 Why do we list this history?

Renewal and Revival is needed everywhere and that is what we are about. We gather to pray and ask God for a change for this valley. You see, in Ezekiel 22:30, it says that God is looking for someone to stand in the gap on behave of the land, but He found no one. In Jeremiah 14, The prophecy of the empty cisterns and desert comes to Jeremiah. Generational sins comes to the land and destroys it. Spilled blood cries out to God (Gen 4:10). Sins such as stealing, murder, corruption and the like, are not forgiven automatically, but through prayer, repentance and reconciliation.  To tear down walls of division is a vital part of being "ministers of reconciliation". 2 Chronicles 7:14 gives the pattern to follow to accomplish the task, as we stand in the gap. All we have to do is be obedient to it. We pray to tear down walls of division, seek God's face and get answers that cannot come by physical means. The River of change is coming!!



   "Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negev.Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy". Psalms 126:4-5