Near Beckwourth in Plumas County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Step Back In Time
5,000 Years Ago
Archaeologists have learned that people have lived in Sierra Valley for at least 5,000 years! Why did they come? Two reasons: water and food. Sierra Valley, with its many springs, creeks, and artesian wells, has always been a good source of fresh water. This water attracted deer, rabbits, birds, fish, and other wildlife that the people hunted. Water also allowed a wide variety of food and medicine plants to grow here.
The Washoe word for the Beckwourth area – do? Ca? kila? am – translates as “medicine-root place.”
1,000 Years Ago
Beginning around 1,000 years ago (about the same time as the classic Maya cities in Mexico were being abandoned), much of the world was hit by a severe drought. At the same time, human populations
Camas root (Latin name Camassia), was a staple for many Indian tribes in the Northwest – it was even one of the foods offered to Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition. Only recently have we discovered archaeological evidence that the local tribes used it also.
See how they cooked the camas – look down and follow the footprints. Imagine a time long ago.
Location. 39° 49.41′ N, 120° 24.809′ W. Marker is near Beckwourth, California, in Plumas County. Marker can be reached from Feather River Highway (Route 70), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 78646 Feather River Highway, Beckwourth CA 96129, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sierra Valley History (here, next to this marker); James P. Beckwourth Ranch and Trading Post (within shouting distance of this marker); Beckwourth Trail – The Road Forks (within shouting distance Jim Beckwourth Trading Post (approx. 0.4 miles away); James P. Beckwourth (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hope Lodge No. 234 F & AM (approx. 1.8 miles away); Plumas County Honor Roll World War Two and Korea and Vietnam (approx. 3.4 miles away); a different marker also named Sierra Valley History (approx. 13.2 miles away but has been reported missing). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Beckwourth.
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Lester T. Davis Safety Roadside Rest Area west of Beckwourth.
Categories. • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 21, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 249 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 21, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.