Volume XIII Issue 224 | Thursday, June 10th, 2021
The Susanville Brewery can just be seen at the far left side
of this picture of snowy Susanville in the early 1920’s
From the Files of the Lassen Historical Society: Joachim Kroeger and The Susanville Brewery
by Susan Couso

As news of the California Gold Rush surged around the globe immigration increased dramatically, and California was the place to make a fortune. The fortune-seekers soon learned that mining was difficult work, and a trip to the closest saloon was welcome relief.

Probably more money was spent on liquid refreshment than anything else. Many of these ’49ers’ had come from European countries where a good dark lager was the drink of norm. But, in California, without the usual means to cool the brew, lager could not be properly made.
Ingenuity never ceases, and from the desire to recreate the European-style lager, ‘California common’ or ‘steam’ beer was created. It was made with lager yeast and various other ingredients, whatever was available, and the process was changed so that it did not require extreme cooling.

Malted barley and wheat were used for ‘normal’ brewing, but that was not generally available to the California brewers. They substituted grits and cereals, and the other additives were adjusted to create the new beer style.

The reason for the name ‘steam’ beer is not known for sure, but some sources say that the German word for a beer made from various found ingredients was called, “dampfbier”, and these German brewers, who came to the U.S. used that term.

‘Dampf’, in German, means ‘steam.’ And so, the dark fruity steam beer became a part of the West. It is said to be the only true indigenous beer style in the United States.

Joachim Kroeger was one of these German brewers who began brewing in Susanville in 1905. Kroeger was born in Germany about 1863 and emigrated to the United States in 1882.

He had brewed in many other U.S. cities, before trying his luck in Lassen County. He is credited for brewing from New York to San Francisco’s Cliff House, learning how to brew the most perfect beer as he traveled.

Once here, he established the Susanville Brewery at the northeast corner of Main and Union Streets and began using his big copper kettles to turn hops and malt and grains into one of the best steam beers around. Three times a week, he would stir up a new batch of the dark foamy liquid and set it out for his customers.

In 1912, the brewery business was booming. Kroeger had filled a need and his business had become a success. He used his gains to build a stone beer hall just to the east of his brewery. Here, he could sell his beer to his own customers and not send it out to other establishments.

The hall was built in the true German style with large tables and big comfortable chairs and decorated as a German beer hall should be. But, of course, the best feature was the beer. It was a booming place.

The railroad reached Susanville in 1913, and brought in a new onslaught of customers, including the railroad workers themselves. Travelers, staying at the new St. Francis Hotel across Main Street, frequented the hall, locals halted there for a refreshing drink and businessmen stopped at the beer hall for lunch and stayed for ‘way too long.’ It was an extremely popular establishment.

Joachim Kroeger would have probably settled in Susanville, enjoyed his thriving business, and became a well-known name, but that darned Prohibition reared its ugly head in 1920, and set everything askew.

As the beer business faltered, the hall was used to sell ‘soft drinks’, but alas, beer was Kroeger’s game, and he moved on.
City Police Department Mourns the Loss of Well-Respected Officer

The City of Susanville’s Police Department, and the community as a whole, are grieving tonight after the announcement that Police Officer Ryan Barham, who had worked in Lassen County law enforcement for twenty years, had passed away while hospitalized in Reno, Nevada. Barham was 43-years old.

“Officer Barham is a beloved member of our police force,” said Interim Police Chief Ryan Cochran in a brief statement late Wednesday afternoon. “He is well respected, hardworking, skilled, dedicated, and took pride in serving our community. He will be greatly missed as an officer and friend.”

Officer Barham joined the police department in January of 2019, serving as a Field Training Officer, Senior Explorer advisor and a Rangemaster.

He began his law enforcement career in July of 1998 with the Yreka Police Department and first began serving the citizens of Lassen County in May of 2001, when he was sworn in as a Lassen County Deputy Sheriff. After serving as a Deputy Sheriff and Police Officer in different jurisdictions, Barham wanted to return to the area he had always considered home.

“On behalf of the Susanville Police Department, the City of Susanville staff, the Susanville City Council we would like to offer our deepest sympathies to Officer Barham’s family, friends, colleagues, and loved ones.”
Fire Department Quickly Extinguishes River Street Vegetation Fire
Firefighters from the Susanville Fire Department were called out to a vegetation fire in the area of South Sacramento and River Streets Thursday, and made quick work of the blaze, stopping the spread and keeping the flames away from homes in the neighborhood.

The vegetation fire was reported at around 5:00p.m., and Engine 621 from the SFD arrived on-scene to find a 10×20 foot fire alongside the roadway.
“The fire was burning at a slow rate of spread in approximately 3′ tall grass,” explains SFD Engineer Kalvn McFarland.

“The fire was burning down the embankment toward the river and away from the homes on River Street.”

Fire crews made an aggressive fire attack and contained the fire without further spread.

There were 2 fire engines, 5 firefighters and 2 chief officers that responded to this incident. There were no fire service or civilian injuries.

The Susanville Fire Department was assisted by Cal-Fire, Susanville Police Department, BLM, and LMUD.

According to McFarland the fire appears to be human caused.
Sheriff’s Update: One Person Found Dead in Fiery Highway 139 Crash
The body of an as-yet identified driver was discovered by Sheriff’s Deputies and a Cal-Fire crew late Sunday night, 300-feet down an embankment on Highway 139 just north of Hidden Valley Ranch. The crash also sparked a vegetation fire which firefighters had to contend with before it was safe to reach to reach the vehicle and recover the driver’s remains.

Lassen County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the scene for a reported vegetation fire at about 8:20p.m., to find Cal-Fire personnel on-scene tending to the fire.
“Deputies saw an overturned vehicle on fire approximately 300-feet down the hillside,” explains LCSO Lieutenant David Woginrich. “Once it was safe to examine, Cal Fire personnel located human remains inside the vehicle. Based on the condition of the body, deputies were unable to positively identify the decedent.”

California Highway Patrol officers were on scene conducting a traffic accident investigation and located skid marks on the highway and extensive damage to the guard rail.

Susanville Towing arrived on scene and, after several hours, were able to pull the vehicle up to the highway.

“The decedent’s remains were removed from the vehicle and sent to the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office in Reno, Nevada, for DNA testing. Pending positive identification, a name is being withheld.”

Woginrich and the LCSO thanked the California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire, Cal Trans and Susanville Towing for their assistance in the incident.
Lassen Crime Stoppers Update for June 10th
Lassen Crime Stoppers, a local organization which pays up to $1,000 for tips and information leading to the arrest of someone who commits a crime, has released this week’s list of names and photos of subjects ‘wanted’ by local law enforcement agencies.
To report information about a crime you can anonymously call a simple telephone number, (530) 502-TIPS, and if that information pays off for local law enforcement you will be paid up to $1,000 in cash.

Help clean up Lassen County by anonymously working with the Susanville Police Department, the Lassen County Probation Department and the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office through Crime Stoppers.
Highway 395 (the Three Flags Highway south of Ravendale in 1956
Photo courtesy California Department of Highways
Motorlogue Set For Lassen Scenes
June 10, 1941

Beverly Keim of Los Angeles conferred recently with George McDow Jr., secretary of the Susanville chamber of commerce, about pictures and material which he is gathering for a motorlogue of the Three Flags highway, U.S. 395, between southern California and Washington. Keim is a newspaperman.

Information collected will stress Route 395 as a high-speed highway, free from army truck movement through southern California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and into Canada. Colored motion pictures also are being taken of the scenic highlights along the route.

McDow arranged with the Lassen national forest officials for a number of views of the scenic wonders and beauties of Lassen County, to be incorporated in the motorlogue.

Harold Eugene Neff, Gaylord Clayton Bowden, Don Maxwell, Ivan Leroy Wright, all of Westwood, Ernest Peter Batal, John Vernon Peconom, Rufus Leon Connelly and Manley Wilson Inlay, all of Susanville and George Franklin Van Houton of Bieber will leave here June 23 for selective service training in various parts of the United States.

The Susanville flower show, held in the parlors of the Methodist church this week, was successful, according to Mrs. Fred J. Davis Sr., chairman of the garden section of the Monticola club, and her assistants.

Over three hundred people visited the show, coming from Reno, San Francisco, Willows, Berkeley, Milford, Likely, Alturas, Orland, Chico, Red Bluff, Litchfield, Standish, Westwood and Susanville.

Grand prize, chosen by those attending, awarded Mrs. Oscar O’Dell for a beautiful arrangement of rose-colored water lilies in a rose-colored dish. The prize was a low bowl with figurettes donated by Mrs. J. MacDonald.

Mrs. Emma Schumacher, second prize for arrangement of peonies, third to Mrs. Floretta Clark.

Men’s prizes, first, Dr. Fred J. Davis Sr., for bachelor button; second, C. W. Morrill for red rosebud, third, M. R. Arnold, poppies.

Children’s grand prize, first, Dolores Lucero, French bouquet on glass table; second, Dick Hughes; third, Frances Mueller. Junior exhibit award, Camp Fire Girls, display of wild flowers.

Ribbons awarded: Miniature, first, Mrs. Davis; second, Mrs. Bridgeford. Pyrethrum, first, Mrs. Hunt.

Delphinium, first Mrs. Hardin Barry, second Mrs. Emma McClure.

Delphinium arrangement, first, Mrs. A. J. Mathews. Delphinium, mixed, first Mrs. E. E. Smith.

Sweet Williams, first, Mrs. Mae Emerson. Columbine, first, Mrs. Emma McClure, second, Mrs. Marc Edmonds.

Dianthus, first, Mrs. Gallo. Snapdragons, first, Mrs. J. W. Crever, second, Mrs. Mae Emerson.

Roses, one bud, first, Mrs. Jack Adams, second, Mrs. C. W. Morrill.

Roses, group, mixed, first Mrs. Fred J. Davis; second, Mrs. O. S. O’Dell. One variety, first, Mrs. C. W. Morrill, second, Harry Stewart. Flower arrangement, first, Mrs. Ross Draper, second, E. W. Smith. Flower arrangement, Snapdragons first, Mrs. Mae Emerson, second, Mrs. Floretta Clark.

Flower arrangement, under twelve inches, first, Mrs. Floretta Clark, second, Mrs. W. M. Bryant. Flower arrangement of water lilies, first, Mrs. O. S. O’Dell. Dish gardens, first, Mrs. Ross Draper, second. Mrs. W. E. Hunt. Lilies, first, Mrs. Maud Wood. Cacti, first, Mrs. Packwood, second, Mrs. Tom Winchester. House plants, first, Mrs. Galloway, second, Mrs. L. Cleland.

Men’s exhibits, first, C. W. Morill, second, E. P. Honsberger.

Peonies, first, Mrs. H. L. McMurphy, second, Mrs. Perle long. Pansies, first, Mrs. Floretta Clark, second, Mrs. Bob Williams. Iris, single blossom, first, Mrs. Grace Christie. Dutch, first, Mrs. Ray Needham, second, Mrs. C. W. Morill. California Poppies, first. Mrs. Duerne, second, Mrs. E. W. Smith.

Children, first, Dolores Lucero, second, Dick Hughes, third, Cub Scouts, fourth, Davis children.

Oriental Poppies, first, Mrs. E. W. Hunt, second, Mrs. O. S. O’Dell. Iceland poppies, first, Mrs. Emma Schumacher, second, Mrs. L. Cleland.

Display of Roop’s Fort by the Native Daughters, with Georgia Jensen as chairman, was interesting and attractive. A silver tea was served from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m.
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