Skip to main content

The Town of Hornbrook

08/25/2017 11:00AM ● Published by Gary VanDeWalker

Quiet Memories

September 2017
By Gary VanDeWalker
Photos by Taryn Burkleo


As the lanes of Interstate 5 weave their way to the Siskiyou Summit, they pass through a small, quiet valley, where rolling hills cradle a town which breathes the voices of its past. A painted cattle guard marks the pavement, drawing visitors into the wispy past and present of the town of Hornbrook.

The California and Oregon Railroad came through this valley in 1887, where a Native American village once prospered. A town grew up around the tracks, named Cottonwood, after the creek which still runs through the town. However, when the post office was established, the name Cottonwood was already taken, so the area was renamed Hornbrook, after David Horn whose ranch was at the mouth of the creek.

As the two lanes meander into town from the freeway, cows watch with their heads leaning over barbed wire fences. Earlier pioneers and those who came after them rest in the Henley-Hornbrook Cemetery. A nearby home is joined by a tall water tower, whose container is cracked and empty, but echoes of days when it supplied water to the home.

Once this mountain village was busy with activity. The railroad depot had an active roundhouse and switchyard. A large saloon hosted dancing and social events. Horses and buggies lined up along a hitching rack. Walnut trees shaded a band stand. Ranchers and cowboys populated the streets and life moved swift as the town grew. South of town, when the trains were frequent, a hobo camp sprang up. Along these same tracks, in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson stopped and signed the American Legion charter. Herds of deer wandered through the ranch land, while the creek filled with fish.

Passing through the neighborhoods of Hornbrook, there is an ethereal threading of the past between the homes of its current families. A yellow painted church is now a home. The downtown is marked with buildings from its western past, waiting by themselves to see if they will be filled again. One house leans sharply to the south, empty and waiting to rest on the ground. A concrete shell of what was once a two-storied structure strives to remember its history.

In decades past, The T. Jones Company operated in a large brick building. The butcher and barber kept their doors open during the week. The Waldon Brothers Dry Goods Store did a brisk business. The D.C. Earhart Hardware Store kept the town repaired and building, along with the Post Office and Telephone Exchange inside its walls. The Livery Stable burned and was replaced by the Hornbrook Garage and the newly acquired automobiles of the residents.

The town is dotted with grassy fields, filled with cattle, horses and hay bales. Weathered barns and homes with no paint show the years which have passed. Tractors and farm equipment rust with grace alongside the road and homes, giving an antique feel to the community.

The small town of Klamathon arose, bringing a saw mill, box factory and door factory to the valley. This created a rival community which in 1902 disappeared in a fire. A few decades after, a fire swept through Hornbook, and much of where the city had grown was left to weeds, and the valley entered a quieter phase.

Today, Hornbrook is home to a California Department of Forestry station, and the highway offramp brings people to a gas station and convenience store. Yet between the rolling hills, the same winds from a century ago move the branches of Ponderosa pine over the 268 residents.  The same mountains watch and the same creek flows. Here, time moves forward and yet holds all that is past.


In Print, Life+Leisure, Today Hornbrook
  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/23/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/24/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewery 5th Anniversary Party

    11/24/2017
    02:00PM — 09:00PM

    Wildcard Brewing Company is excited to announce the 5th Anniversary Party on Friday, November 24,...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/24/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    11/24/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/24/2017
    07:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • The Redwoods Christmas Boutique

    11/25/2017
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Honestly, Santa's getting older and he can't keep doing that last minute stuff! Come on down to ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/25/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Start Up Saturdays | Winter Market

    11/25/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    Easily shop local this Holiday season at the Start Up Saturdays Winter Vendor Market where local ...


  • REDDING RANCHERIA

    11/25/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2017 IN THE WIN RIVER EVENT CENTER FROM 10:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. FOR INF...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/25/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    11/25/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/25/2017
    07:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/26/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/26/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/27/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • North State Giving Tuesday

    11/28/2017
    06:00AM — 08:00PM

    Each year at Thanksgiving and the week following, we have a day for giving thanks, two days for g...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/28/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Winter Concert

    11/28/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    The Enterprise High Music Department will be preforming several different song both from choir an...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/23/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/24/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewery 5th Anniversary Party

    11/24/2017
    02:00PM — 09:00PM

    Wildcard Brewing Company is excited to announce the 5th Anniversary Party on Friday, November 24,...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/24/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    11/24/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/24/2017
    07:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • The Redwoods Christmas Boutique

    11/25/2017
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Honestly, Santa's getting older and he can't keep doing that last minute stuff! Come on down to ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/25/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Start Up Saturdays | Winter Market

    11/25/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    Easily shop local this Holiday season at the Start Up Saturdays Winter Vendor Market where local ...


  • REDDING RANCHERIA

    11/25/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2017 IN THE WIN RIVER EVENT CENTER FROM 10:00 A.M. TO 4:00 P.M. FOR INF...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/25/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    11/25/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/25/2017
    07:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/26/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Cascade Christmas

    11/26/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/27/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • North State Giving Tuesday

    11/28/2017
    06:00AM — 08:00PM

    Each year at Thanksgiving and the week following, we have a day for giving thanks, two days for g...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/28/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Winter Concert

    11/28/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    The Enterprise High Music Department will be preforming several different song both from choir an...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/29/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    11/29/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesdays and get $3 off a growler fill! Come by the brewery a...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    11/30/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/01/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Button, Zip & Snap Event

    12/01/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    12/01/17 10 am – 6 pm 12/02/17 10 am – 5 pm 2961 Churn Creek Rd, Redding, CA 96002 530-221-3970...


  • Strikes for Strays

    12/01/2017
    04:00PM — 09:00PM

    JOIN US AT STRIKES for STRAYS!!! ... Let’s ALL be a reason for the season!!! STRIKES for STRA...


  • World AIDS day

    12/01/2017
    04:00PM — 06:30AM

    December 1st is World AIDS Day. Join us in the Downtown Promenade for free HIV testing, informati...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    12/01/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • First Friday on Main

    12/01/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Join us at Enjoy the Store Red Bluff, home to Cedar Crest Brewing and Vineyard, for live music, f...


  • Cascade Christmas

    12/01/2017
    07:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Whitmore Christmas Bazaar

    12/02/2017
    08:00AM — 03:00PM

    The Whitmore Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. invites you to the annual CHRISTMAS BAZAAR on December ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/02/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Start Up Saturdays | Winter Market

    12/02/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    Easily shop local this Holiday season at the Start Up Saturdays Winter Vendor Market where local ...


  • On Saturday December 2nd from 10AM-1PM, The Friends of the Shasta County Libraries will sell gent...


  • Button, Zip & Snap Event

    12/02/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    12/01/17 10 am – 6 pm 12/02/17 10 am – 5 pm 2961 Churn Creek Rd, Redding, CA 96002 530-221-3970...


  • Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and Shasta State Historic Park Partner for the Annual “Old T...


  • Cascade Christmas

    12/02/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • A Celebration of Music

    12/02/2017
    04:00PM — 06:00PM

    On Saturday, December 2nd Dunsmuir will be celebrating the beginning of the holiday season with a...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    12/02/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Cascade Christmas

    12/02/2017
    07:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    12/03/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • B--Monthly Free Concert & Open Mic

    12/03/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Redding - California State Old Time Fiddles Association, District 6 Free Old Time Fiddle, Bluegra...


  • Cascade Christmas

    12/03/2017
    02:00PM

    Produced & Directed by Jana Pulcini-Leard Redding’s holiday tradition returns with an all new ...


Enter to Win!

Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: South Valley Living
Wedding Style Guide 2017
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram
Enjoy Magazine Pinterest Enjoy Magazine

Enjoy Our Sponsors