“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Susanville in Lassen County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Migration of Peter Lassen

Migration of Peter Lassen Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, April 11, 2008
1. Migration of Peter Lassen Marker
Inscription.  “We do not know the exact date on which Peter Lassen arrived in America. Let us suppose that he landed in the early spring of 1831. Most reports say that Lassen arrived in Boston, Massachusetts. Also his passport had Boston written as the destination. Besides, this town was at that time one of the most important immigrant gateways.

“In Boston, Lassen got his first impression of his newly adopted country, America. He must of felt confused by hearing all the different tongues: English, Italian, German, Spanish, French and many more. Lassen soon learned that if he wanted to make progress here, he would have to learn the most important and used language: English.

“In Boston, Lassen worked as a blacksmith. He may have not liked the big city with its crowd of people of different nationalities, because he only stayed there a couple of months. We do not know why Lassen left Boston. Boston only became one of the many stop-overs on his way, trying to find the luck.

“It was after his arrival to America that he changed his name from Larsen to Lassen. It is still unknown why he did so – but he
Peter Lassen Information Kiosk at Entrance to Cemetery image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, April 11, 2008
2. Peter Lassen Information Kiosk at Entrance to Cemetery
Click or scan to see
this page online
might have found that Lassen was easier to pronounce and that it sounded better in the American language.

“Little is known of Lassen during the years 1831 – 1840, when he was moving from one place to another on his way from Boston to California. In his first years in America he was just among the masses. He was not able to understand the language – still less speaking or writing it. He did not stay very long at the different places on his route. He was still moving on, trying to find new places where he could explore, operate, be effective, have a beneficial effect – and maybe settle?

“His next stop was Missouri. Lassen settled in a small town which was quite new. Its name was Keytesville, and it was located in Charlton County. Lassen must have stayed here for about 7 or 8 years. Again, Peter Lassen found himself in a small community, working as a blacksmith. Peter Lassen became a member of the Masonic Lodge: Warren Lodge No.74, Keytesville. He liked the idea of brotherhood, and was later working hard to start new lodges.

“It was in Missouri that Peter Lassen for the first time met with a certain Mr. Johan August Sutter. Lassen should later, when arriving in California, receive Sutter’s help. Sutter left Missouri in 1838.

“Lassen sold his land and headed west again. Some other people wanted to
Close Up of Map on Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, April 11, 2008
3. Close Up of Map on Marker
Route to the West
It took Peter Lassen ten years, from time he arrived in Boston, to reach California in 1840
follow him, and his party counted 11 men and 2 women. The party started from Keytesville in the spring of 1839. The trip was a success, but when the group got to Fort Hall, north of Salt Lake, the two women were so exhausted that it was decided they should stay at the fort. When leaving Fort Hall, Lassen’s party was increased by 27 trappers. The route led to a small immigrant station, The Dalles, which already at the time was placed on the southern bank of Columbia River. At this place some of the trappers left.

“They went by boat down the river till they came to Fort. Vancouver. Fort Vancouver was located where Columbia River and Willamette River meet, a little north of where Portland is placed today. From here the party was heading south, following Willamette River, until they came to a small town, Camponit – which now is Oregon City. Another party coming from California, told that it had begun snowing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains – it would be quite impossible to cross over the mountain range.

“Peter Lassen and his companions decided to stay in Camponit for the winter. He was now waiting impatiently for the winter to be over so he could reach his goal: California.”.”
From “Uncle Peter” pages 52-54
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites
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ExplorationFraternal or Sororal OrganizationsRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1831.
Location. 40° 21.066′ N, 120° 38.389′ W. Marker is in Susanville, California, in Lassen County. Marker is located 5 miles SE of Susanville on Wingfield Road (via Richmond Road) on the Kiosk at the entrance to the Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2550 Wingfield Road, Susanville CA 96130, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Birth of Peter Lassen (here, next to this marker); Lassen’s Bosquejo Rancho (here, next to this marker); Burial of Peter Lassen (here, next to this marker); Peter Lassen In California (here, next to this marker); Peter Lassen Grave (a few steps from this marker); Susanville Railroad Depot (approx. 4.3 miles away); Susanville Veterans Memorial Building (approx. 4.6 miles away); Lassen County Courthouse (approx. 4.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Susanville.
More about this marker. This is the second in a series of six markers. These should be reviewed in the following order:
1. Birth of Peter Lassen
2. Migration of Peter Lassen
3. Peter Lassen In California
4. Lassen’s Bosquejo Ranchero
5. Peter Lassen Grave
6. Burial of Peter Lassen
Credits. This page was last revised on November 6, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 7, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,768 times since then and 10 times this year. Last updated on June 10, 2010, by Jana Stanley of Susanville, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 7, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.

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Mar. 27, 2023