City Handed a Mystery: Historic Bronze Plaque


The City of Redding has been handed a solid-bronze mystery – a weathered plaque unearthed miles from the city limits.

The bronze plaque was given to Mayor Patrick Jones and the City this week by Redding businessman Mike Davis, who said he found it while digging on his property at the confluence of the Sacramento River and Churn Creek. He said the plaque was about five feet underground.

A check of records by the City Clerk’s Office determined that the plaque likely was created between 1938 and 1940 as it lists Mayor Joseph R. Sober, who served during that period. It also lists Councilmen A.H. Gronwoldt, W.B. Menzel, C.V. Hill and A.C. Thatcher, along with City Engineer W.K. Adams. The only other notation on the plaque is “City of Redding” at the top.

Although weathered, the plaque is in good condition. Four wood or concrete screws still protrude from the back of it, indicating it likely was mounted on a bridge, building or other structure. But where it came from – or how it became buried along the river eight miles south of downtown Redding – is a mystery. Historical records show that a flood in 1940 damaged a new bridge on what is now North Market Street, prior to the completion of Shasta Dam, which later controlled such events. But it is unknown if the plaque might have been a victim of that disaster.

Citizens with any information about the plaque’s history are welcome to contact the City.
Contact: Greg Clark, assistant to the city manager
530.225.4064 | 530.949.4991 – cell

-from press release
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2 Responses

  1. Avatar Chris Nagy says:

    Greg…you still write a good story, succinct and interesting. But, as with all of us, you have to make a living. You've found a good niche.

  2. Avatar Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    Wonderful story Greg! I know, but am intrigued by how quickly historical items, and stories, and information about events fall by the way.d This is a wonderful mystery.