Oral history from generations of Lassen County families describe Chinese laborers working on railroads, mines, kitchens, and ranches. Ranchers used rock walls for corrals and fence lines to contain sheep and cattle. Near Susanville, Snowstorm Canyon is home to numerous historic rock walls, which were built by Chinese according to local oral history.
The walls do not appear in an 1880 map because either it was unrecorded, which was a common occurrence, or the walls were built shortly after the 1880 map. There was a settlement in this area from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, and archaeologists believe the rock walls are from that time.
Much of the rock walls in Snowstorm Canyon are still intact. Built from basalt stones native to the area, the walls are stacked 8-10 stones high and stretch for at least two miles.