Evidence of railroad lines built by Chinese labor in the late 1800’s occur throughout California.
During construction, Chinese laborers had to carve a path through harsh terrain and canyon walls with picks and shovels; a grueling task.
One such project took place in Redding in the 1870’s. About 1800 Chinese cut and filled a route through rough canyons in an effort to connect this rail line to Ashland, Oregon. In 1887, workers finally completed this scenic portion, named the Shasta Route. In 1938, the government began building a dam in Shasta Canyon, which would ultimately flood the original route. Consequently, the trains ceased use in 1942, and the railroad built a new route on the eastern side of the canyon.
The portion that remains above the reservoir has been converted into a recreational trail in part managed by the Bureau of Land Management. In 2018, the Carr burned a small bridge on the trail, and therefore is currently closed.
Submitted by: Felicia Luna