Yreka (pronounced why-reeka) was incorporated in 1857, but miners began flocking to the area in 1851, after a gold miner discovered some gold in the area. The name origin of the town remains a mystery, but Mark Twain claims, “there was a bakeshop with a canvas sign which had not yet been put up but had been painted and stretched to dry in such a way that the word BAKERY, all but the B, showed through and was reversed. A stranger read it wrong end first, YREKA, and supposed that that was the name of the camp. The campers were satisfied with it and adopted it.” I am going with his story, because how can you make up a story like that.
Yreka has so much potential. It just needs to hire one mediocre PR person. With Miner Street’s proximity to the 5 freeway, and its amazingly well maintained mid-1800s buildings, this place should be like Julian or Old Town San Diego (swarming with people). All its lacking is a saloon selling old fashion mixed drinks, a homemade sarsaparilla shop, a place to make your own candles… or maybe they just need some places open on a Sunday. I think there were two shops open on the entire street. Some are closed on Sundays, others look like they haven’t been open in thirty years. Honestly, if we had extra money… one of the buildings was for sale for $100,000. Yreka is a social media page away from making it.