Willow Creek History
Willow Creek originally was inhabited by bands of Native Americans belonging to the Hupa Tribe. It has been documented that in 1828 the famous explorer, Jedediah S. Smith and his party, camped near the Trinity River, at what is now known as Kimtu Bar. They were the first white people to pass through this area , In the 1850s Willow Creek, then known as China Flat, became a distribution center for the pack trains carrying supplies to the gold mines in Siskiyou.Trinity and eastern Humboldt Counties. The packing trade continued until the great Depression of the 1930s.
After World War II, Willow Creek experienced, probably, its greatest "boom" economically. Lumber mills and logging operations dominated the business communities throughout the Klamath and Trinity river valleys.The demand for the region's quality fir timber kept the mills operating 24 hours a day for many years.By the late 1970s this era peaked and one by one the mills and logging companies ceased operations.
The spectacular beauty of the area has for many years been a magnet for recreationists.The Trinity and Klamath Rivers are renowned for their Steelhead and Salmon fishing,In recent years there has been great interest in the whitewater sports including rafting, kayaking, canoeing, as well as swimming and tubing. Many trails and back roads are available for the hikers,bird watchers and hunters.
Small produce farms, orchards and vineyards have been in business, off and on, for the past 60 years. Crops grown are peaches, pears, grapes, corn and tomatoes. Most recently a large wholesale floral farm has chosen to locate a branch of their operations in Willow Creek, which is a great asset to the community.
In recent years, because of the temperate climate and geographic location, substantial numbers of retirees have found the town a very satisfactory community in which to relocate.