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Roop's Fort
(Fort Defiance, Lassen County)
 
Roop's Fort
 

Enlarged into a fortified blockhouse in June 1854, Roop's Fort is Susanville's oldest structure. Today it is home to the William H. Pratt Memorial Museum on Weatherlow Street. It was formerly the log built trading post built by Isaac N. Roop in the spring of 1853 after be arrived in the Honey Lake Valley on horseback from Shasta. Susanville was originally founded as Roopville, until the name was change to honor Roop's daughter, Susan.
 
These new residents found that they needed some type of government for their new home and established the Territory of Nataqua. It was perceived that the area was outside the jurisdiction of California and the Utah Territory (Nevada having not been formed yet.) By the early 1860s, with a survey of California boundaries, it was discovered that Honey Lake area, including Susanville, was part of the California and belonged to Plumas County. The citizens were not pleased with the fact, since a part of their independent nature was due to their isolation being cut off from the rest of the State by the Sierra Nevada mountains, nor were they pleased with the fact that now they were being forced to pay taxes. These ensuing events led up to the Sagebrush War, a two-day skirmish fought in Susanville in February 1863 between the residents and the Plumas County Sheriff and Tax Officials. The blockhouse, now named Fort Defiance, with its "garrison" of 100 men, played a leading role in the bitter conflict, . The boundary dispute was resolved when the California-Nevada line was run northward from Lake Tahoe, east of Honey Lake Valley. However, hard feelings persisted until the California Legislature, on April 1, 1864, created Lassen County with its Seat at Susanville. The county was named after Peter Lassen. Lassen was a Danish emigrant who came to this state in 1840 and spent his last years prospecting the Honey Lake Valley. He was murdered in 1859 on an expedition in the Black Rock Desert.
 
Issac Roop
 

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