RED BLUFF derives its name
from its location on a high vertical bank at the end of the bend of the
Red Bluff began seven to
eight years before the community came into existence. Red Bluff became the
marketing and distribution center for a large area and its scope in that
role widened steadily. By 1853 it was the chief commercial city in the
northern part of the Sacramento Valley, with pack trains operating to and
from points as far away as Oregon, Nevada and Idaho.
Red Bluff achieved and
retained commercial importance because, for more than a century, it was
the head of navigation on the Sacramento River. The initial attempt at
river shipping was made by Lassen in 1849 when he was still trying to put
over Benton City. The last trip was losing venture and he abandoned his
plan. The following year steamers commenced regular and frequent trips
between San Francisco and Red Bluff and soon arrivals and departures were
almost a daily occurrence. The service continued until after the turn of
A pioneer of Red Bluff was
William B. Ide, commander of the group of Americans who, in the summer of
1846, revolted against the Mexican rule, seized control of Sonoma, raised
the Bear Flag and proclaimed the Republic of California. Ide was
President of the Republic from June 10 to July 8, 1846, when couriers
brought word that two days previously Commodore John Drake Sloat had taken
over California in the name of the United States. Ide's home on the river
bank about two miles north of Red Bluff is now under the State Park
Red Bluff is located in the
northern end of the Sacramento Valley, which is the the northern half of
the Great Valley of California. Mountains surround the city on three
sides, forming a huge horseshoe. The Coastal Range is located about 30
miles to the west, the Sierra Nevada system about 40 miles to the east,
and the Cascade Range about 50 miles to the northeast and north,
completing the horseshoe. The western portion of the valley floor is
composed of oak and grass woodland range. While some areas are farmed,
most of these rolling hills and terrace lands are used for winter and
spring grazing by cattle and sheep.
The Sacramento River is
controlled by Shasta Dam located just north of Redding. Drainage from Mt.
Lassen, Mt. Shasta and the Trinity Alps and many smaller creeks make up
the Sacramento River.
Snowfall is not common in
Red Bluff. Occasional thunderstorms occur during the winter months. Annual
precipitation for the area is about 21".
Temperatures are the highest
from June to September and can surpass 100 degrees. Although the
temperature surpasses 100 degrees it rarely maintains that temperature for
a only few days at a time. At night the temperature usually cools off
considerably. Winter months the temperature occasionally drops below
freezing but not for long periods of time.
Red Bluff's weather is a classical
four season pattern and is not extreme from one season to another.
This content is from
Red Bluff-Tehama County Chamber of Commerce and edited for content by the webmaster