A lot of us Californians like to hit the open road, explore miles of highway and venture off onto some back roads. Sometimes, we come across towns with some pretty bizarre and surprising names. For this installment in our series “A Place Called What?!” we head to Whiskeytown, in Shasta County.
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The small mining settlement of Whiskeytown got its name from an incident involving a mule and, unsurprisingly, some booze.
"There was no road there yet or anything," says Jay Thompson. Thompson grew up near Whiskeytown, in the small city of Shasta. Now he works at the Shasta Historical Society.
Thompson says that during the Gold Rush, all supplies were brought in by mules. One fateful day, a pack mule was carrying a barrel of whiskey to town.
"They were crossing a creek, and it fell off and broke open," he explains. "They named the creek Whiskey Creek, and then from there they just went ahead and called the [town] Whiskeytown."