Alta C. A. LaTour, was born February 8, 1878 at the Vilas-Cunningham sawmill near Shingletown. She was a fourth generation native American; her ancestor Anthony William LaTour of Toulon, France sailed to America with Lafayette and settled in New York. Her father James C. LaTour was one of the early pioneers in Northern California who married Arena Cunningham, daughter of another pioneer.

In the spring and summer months, the family lived in their home at La Tour Meadows; in the winter, they lived in the Shingletown and Plateau area so the children could attend the Klotz School. For her last two years of school, Alta lived with her Uncle Joel Cunningham in Anderson and atfended the "Red Brick School." After finishing school, Alta worked at the Shingletown Hotel for Aunty McCarley.

Robert Evermont Phelps was born October 11, 1874 in Green County, Missouri to Franklin Marion and Jennie Jamerson Phelps. He was still an infant when the family came to California and soon after that his mother died so he was raised by his mother's family, the Jamersons in Colusa. In 1895 Robert moved to the Shingletown and Plateau area; he had a desire to make shakes which was a growing and prosperous industry.

Robert and Alta were married June 30, 1897 and purchased a sawmill east of Shlngletown on Baldwin Creek. They cut two million board feet of lumber for the Northern California Power Company (later P.G. & E.) to build flumes, bridges and water boxes for the ditches they had in the area.

The couple had four children:

Myrtle May b. July 30, 1898 d. December 21, 1982 m. Bruce Munfrey
Percy Alden b. January 6, 1901 d. July 20, 1962 m. Marcia Goertz
Ray Vernal b. January 19, 1903 d. September 8, 1978 m. Hazel Gianni
Mazie Mary b. May 29, 1905 d. November 22, 2002 m. Calvin George Sanders

Robert's family were musical and family gatherings were lively with singing. Many people visited Just to hear Robert's Edison phonograph with a morning glory horn and a good collection of cylindrical records.

In 1914, the Forest Service said that Lassen Peak had come alive so Robert and his mill crew went to investigate; he, Lance Graham and Floyd Tipple were looking into the crater when Lassen erupted. Ash, rocks and strong fumes Immersed the men in total darkness for about one hour. B. F. Loomis had warned them that the mountain would erupt while they were up there. He was right but he got the first pictures ever of a volcano erupting.

In 1910, Robert and Alta bought a winter home in Anderson so the children could go to school. In 1915, they made it their permanent home because the trees in Shingletown area were depleted and they had sold their mill. Robert continued to work in lumber mills in summer--sometimes as far away as Klamath Falls. Robert spent the winter months at home in Anderson until his death, May 13, 1933.

Alta saw all four children through school, was active in community affairs, worked with Edna Saygrover, the County Child Welfare Officer and helpd the sick and needy until 1941 when she, herself became ill and needed someone to care for her until her death August 10, 1963. Mazie
 Sanders, her only surviving child is her only descendant remaining in Shasta County.

Source: Shasta Historical Society - August 1994

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