The first European explorers to visit Modoc County were the American John C. Frémont and traveling party (including Kit Carson) in 1846.

In 1856, the residents of Honey Lake Valley attempted to secede and form a territory they called Nataqua. After Nevada was granted statehood in 1864, the region of current Modoc County was placed within jurisdiction of Shasta County and Siskiyou County.

In 1864, the Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin band of the Shoshone signed a treaty ceding lands in both Oregon and California, and the tribes were co-located on the Klamath Reservation.

The Modoc War (or Lava Beds War) of 1872-73 brought nationwide attention to the Modoc. Peace talks in 1873 stalled when they shot and killed General Edward Canby and Rev. Eleazer Thomas.

During World War II, the US government developed several thousand acres just south of Newell as a Japanese American internment camp.


#6: Fremont Camp
#8: Bloody Point
#14: Cressler and Bonner Trading Post, 1865
#15: Bonner Grade
#16: Infernal Caverns Battleground, 1867
#108: Battle of Land’s Ranch, 1872

#109: Chimney Rock
#111: Old Emigrant Trail
#125: Evans and Bailey Flight, 1861
#430: Fort Bidwell
#546: Applegate-Lassen Emigrant Trail (Fandango Pass)
#850.2: Tule Lake Reservation Center