Klamath County, California

Klamath County was a county of California from 1851 to 1874. During its existence, the county seat moved twice and ultimately portions of the territory it once had were carved up and added to nearby counties. It was formed from the northwestern portion of Trinity County, and originally included all of the northwestern part of the state, from the Mad River in the south to Oregon in the north, from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the middle of what is now Siskiyou County in the east. It is the only county in California to be disestablished.[1]

Klamath County
Estuary of the Klamath River on the Pacific Ocean coast.
Estuary of the Klamath River on the Pacific Ocean coast.
Map of California highlighting Klamath County
Location within the U.S. state of California
Map of the United States highlighting California
California's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 41°N 123°W / 41°N 123°W / 41; -123
Country United States
State California


The original county seat was Trinidad, on the county's southwestern coast. In 1854 the county seat was moved to Crescent City, because of its larger population. But the western portion of the county was unrepresentative of the mining interests in the eastern portion of the county, and so, in 1856, the county seat was moved inland, to Orleans Bar, now Orleans.[1] In 1857, Del Norte County, including Crescent City, was split off from Klamath County.

The county's economy was never healthy after the gold rush. The area was contested with Native American tribes. The "Klamath and Salmon River Indian "War" and the 1858-1864 "Bald Hills War" involved white vigilantes hunting down and killing most adult males and killing, capturing, or enslaving women and children. Many of the captive natives subsequently died of starvation and exposure at Fort Humboldt.[2] The white settler's economy suffered from the effects of the Indian "wars", which disrupted the supplies to the settlements from the coastal towns. Worse still was the devastating effects of the Great Flood of 1862 which swept away the riverside settlements, mining works and ferries. In 1874 Klamath County was finally abolished, divided between Siskiyou and Humboldt counties. The official reason for dissolving of Klamath County was its electoral corruption. In one election there were many more votes tallied than voters. Present day Del Norte County occupies part of Klamath County.

Towns and other settlements of Klamath CountyEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Turner, Dennis W. and Gloria H. (2010). Place Names of Humboldt County, California: A Compendium 1542-2009. Orangevale, Ca: Dennis W. & Gloria H. Turner. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-9629617-2-4.
  2. ^ <Madley, Benjamin, "An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe", Yale University Press, 2016, pages 234-237>
  3. ^ a b c Theodore Henry Hittell, History of California, Volume 3, N. J. Stone, San Francisco, 1897, p.140
  4. ^ a b Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of California, Vol. VI, 1848-1859, The History company, San Francisco, 1888, p.370, note

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 41°18′N 123°30′W / 41.3°N 123.5°W / 41.3; -123.5