About the town of McCloud, CA

by Shasta Cascade on November 24, 2008

McCloud Town SignMcCloud is a small historic mill town (population 1,350) located on the south-east slope of Mt. Shasta around the 3,200 foot elevation alongside highway 89, about 12 miles from I-5.

Its central location to fishing, hiking, and skiing make it an attractive tourist destination year-round.

Temperatures average 85 degrees in the summer, although it can get up to  100 F.  During winter the temperatures average in the 30’s, although it can get as low as zero F, and its common to have five feet of snow in unplowed areas.

It’s very quiet in McCloud: there are no streetlights in town, and the only grocery market closes at 7pm, and the Chevron convenience store and Reginato’s Snack Shop close by 11pm.  Plan accordingly!

McCloud was a company-owned town before 1965.   The major employer was the local lumber mill, and if you didn’t work at the mill, you couldn’t live there.   The company built and maintained all the homes and services in town.  If you had a burned-out light bulb or something that needed to be fixed, you called the company (affectionately known as “Ma McCloud”) and somebody came out and took care of it for you.

In 1965, the company sold off the homes to the occupants for $5,000 apiece.  The company also created the local governing body, the McCloud Community Services District, which is responsible for Garbage collection, wintertime snow removal, sewer/water, and ambulance/fire services.

Through the 1980’s and ’90’s, mill ownership changed a few times.   Due to the declining economics of the lumber industry, the mill closed in 1996.  At the time of closure, the mill was owned by Champion Int’l and was used to make cedar pencils.  Today, the massive mill site and cavernous buildings sit vacant.

In the early 2000’s, the town experienced a resurgence in tourism and investment.  The Mercantile and many other buildings came under new ownership and were renovated.

In 2004, the town made international headlines when it was announced that the Services District had signed a 100-year lease with Nestle allowing the largest water bottling plant in the US to be built on the former mill site.  The contract caused a great deal of controversy and divided the town’s residents into Pro-nestle and Anti-Nestle camps.  Residents who supported the bottling plant argued that McCloud was in desperate need of jobs, and that having a large company like Nestle would be a foundation for the community.  Residents who were against the Nestle contract argued the town had sold a valuable resource for much less than it was worth, and that the jobs created by the plant would be few and low wage.  In 2008, the company announced that it had canceled the contract.  Informal negotiations continue to this day.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

TOM COOLEY January 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I HAVE AN 1931 AA FORD TRUCK THAT WAS BOUGHT BY MCCLOUD LUMBER CO IN 1931 THAT HAS BEEN RESTORED SO IM LOOKING FOR A PICTURE OF THE SIDE OF A TRUCK FOR THE LOGO OF THE LUMBER COMPANY IF YOU HAVE ANY IT WHOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED THANK YOU AND HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! HOPE ALL IS WELL WITH THE TOWN !

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