Justin Hinckley Sisson is the original founder of the town of Sisson, which was later renamed the City of Mt. Shasta. He first came sometime in the 1800s and was so taken by its beauty that he returned to Ohio to bring his wife Lydia here via horse and wagon ... an overland trip that took six months.
They built and operated an inn called Sisson Tavern which was located near the present-day Sisson Museum and hosted many travellers, including notable guests like John Muir and famous landscape artists Alfred Bierstadt and Thomas Hill. Between Muir’s eloquent writings and Bierstadt and Hill’s inspiring landscape paintings, the U.S. Congress and President Teddy Roosevelt were prompted to establish the first national parks.
Justin and Lydia raised six children, and several streets in Mount Shasta bear their names, including Jessie, Alma, Hinckley and Ivy.
Numerous grandchildren of the Sisson daughters gathered recently for a reunion in Mout Shasta. Traveling from Idaho, Oregon and California, they came together to reminisce and share stories of their family history.
They were also introduced to a historic hiking trail that enabled guests at the old Sisson Tavern to climb from town to the summit of Mt. Shasta.
Appearing on maps dating back to 1894, it is known as the Sisson Southern Trail, and is now being considered for inclusion in the Gateway 2 trail expansion plan by the U.S. Forest Service.