Yreka, Siskiyou County
North Central/Northeast area, Shasta Cascade region
Yreka Police Department
The most northerly California Carnegie community, Yreka is just south of the Oregon border on Interstate Highway 5. Many features of the old downtown are reminiscent of its early frontier mining heritage. In contrast is the small, Classical Revival, one story Carnegie building, now the home of the municipal police department. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
Yreka's interest in libraries dates from 1855 according to a San Francisco newspaper report on agitation for a joint stock library; possibly no formal steps were taken. In 1857 a "ladies' library" was formed which differed from gold country "saloon substitute" libraries in that it was intended to fill some of the void experienced by the women and children in the absence of the miners. This may have been the nucleus of the 1910 Yreka Improvement Club library, initial project of the newly organized group, which became the Yreka Public Library in 1910.The city requested Carnegie funding; $8000 was offered in 1913. The city purchased a lot for $1000 with the aid of the Improvement Club which later provided another $400 for furnishings. William H. Weeks designed the building; Peterson and Wilson of San Francisco won the contract, only to suffer financial reverses; C.L. Noel completed the project. After consolidation of city and county libraries at a new location, the police department moved into the Carnegie building. In 1980, when they in turn required more space, an addition was built to the rear.