French-born Packer Delivers Supplies to Siskiyou County

May 12, 2014

Gus Meamber spent most of his life in Siskiyou County as a packer.  With no roads along the Klamath or Scott River, pack trains were essential for getting supplies to miners, merchants, and farmers.

Two or three times a year Meamber purchased goods in Crescent City, trekking with his mules on the Kelsey Trail over the Marble Mountains.

Meamber was born in France in 1827. His family emigrated to St. Louis in 1832, but in 1850, Gus and brother John joined a group of miners heading West. They arrived in Hangtown, later named Placerville, where they began a freighting business.

In 1851, Gus headed to Scott Bar. He mined for a time but again turned to packing when he realized there was money to be made. As that first winter waned, Meamber heard that supplies were needed along Salmon River. Taking four mules, he packed in enough provisions to relieve the settlers.  That’s when many came to regard Meamber as a friend.

Meamber ran pack trains all over the region until two sons took over the business. He died in 1891, the same year that roads down the Klamath and Scott Rivers were completed.


Source: Meamber, Jr., Fred J. Siskiyou Pioneer and Yearbook. Vol. 5. Yreka: Siskiyou County Historical Society, 1950. 13-18. 1 vols.