The community of Magalia dates to the mining and lumbering days of the 1850’s. It was an important stage stop on the Oroville-Susanville road and a supply and entertainment center for miners of the Butte Creek and West Branch canyons. The Magalia area is best known as the location of the largest gold nugget find which weighed in at 54 pounds.
Among the first settlers to the Magalia area was the Bassett family. Mrs. Bassett loved to raise dogs and sell them to the miners for companionship and security. The area was thus named Dogtown, an unofficial name before it was named Magalia.
Kimshew School, first school, was organized December 31, 1859.
Magalia was established November 14, 1861. The name Magalia is believed to have orginated from the spelling of Mahalas, a word used by indians of the area to designate their squaws. Others claim it is from the latin word meaning cottages, resembling the log cabins which dotted the hillside. Prior to the name of Magalia the Post Office was named Butte Mills.
It was one hundred years later November 17, 1961, Magalia received its official name from the United States Post Office. The post office has since been moved to the Paradise Pines area and the postal name Magalia retained.
Can’t miss this beautiful lake. Skyway runs along side. A PG&E group picnic area is on the right side. De Sabla was named after an early PG&E pioneer, Eugene De Sabla. Construction was completed in 1903. Beyond De Sabla is Powellton Road which joins Doe Mill Road taking you to Highway 32. If you’re an adventuresome type person you may want to try this route sometime. The area of the bridge crossing Butte Creek is popular. Built in 1935, the bridge offers an awesome view of Butte Creek. It is about 3 miles to the bridge from Skyway. Remember these roads are narrow, dirt or gravel, and at times rocky. Not to be traveled upon during winter without 4-wheel drive.
Continue on Coutolenc Road for about 2 1/2 miles turning left on Lucretia Road to Paradise Lake. This lake feeds water into Magalia Reservoir. Has picnicking area, fishing, and hiking. Along Coutolenc Road are acouple vista points where you can look out over the West Branch of the Feather River, Whiskey Flats, and views of Sawmill Peak.
Winding up the Skyway with towering pines bordering the road we pass through Lovelock. Established by George Lovelock in 1855, quartz and placer mining attracted miners here. The Lovelock Inn here is near the site of the old Lovelock Hotel, Store and Dance Hall which were operated by the Kitchen family. Leaving Lovelock, Skyway takes makes a gradual downhill grade, levels out then begins to twist uphill.
About 1 mile southeast of Lovelock, on Coutolenc Road is the site of Coutolenc which was Old Lovelock, a beautiful, secluded area in the pines. A hotel and stores were located here. The Nimshew Pioneer Cemetery is off Coutolenc on Hupp-Coutolenc Road, a gravel road. Go left up the private road just a short distance after turning off Coutolenc Road. Continuing Hupp-Coutolenc Road brings you back to the Skyway between De Sabla and Lovelock.
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