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   Lahontan Images Presents
 Exploring Northeastern California History

Lassen Monument
(Honey Lake)

In April 1859, Lassen was buried where he was murdered, in the Black Rock Desert. In November 1859, U. Johnson Tutt, Antone Storff, and Joe Kitts went to the Black Rock Desert to retrieve Lassen’s body. However, a number of Honey Lakers were bothered, as the party did not bring back Clapper’s body. On November 27, 1859, Lassen was reburied under the majestic Ponderosa pine tree where he camped the first night he stayed in the Honey Lake Valley.

The Territorial Enterprise reported: “The remains of Peter Lassen, the old pioneer, were buried with Masonic honors, Sunday November 27th on his own ranch at Honey Lake. The attendance upon that occasion, was a very large one for the place.” In May 1990, rock hunters in the Black Rock Desert, at Clapper Canyon, unearthed a skull and upper body portions of a skeleton. After extensive research and computer analysis, the skeleton was determined to be the remains of Edward Clapper.On May 30, 1992, a burial ceremony was held, and the internment of Clapper’s remains placed at the Lassen Monument.

On June 14, 1862, the local Masonic Lodge placed a ten-foot tall stone marker on Lassen’s grave. By the early 1900s, a portion of that monument had deteriorated. In 1917, after a year and half long campaign to raise funds, a new Lassen monument was erected next to the old one. In the 1920s, a movement was started to purchase this property and establish it as a public monument. On April 23, 1952, Hannah F. Hulsman deeded the plot to the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Susanville Parlor No. 243, who later donated it to the Masonic Lodge.

On Sunday, September 10, 1961, the mammoth Ponderosa pine tree, that Lassen was buried next to, was felled. The tree had been deemed a potential hazard to visitors and to the monuments. The 164 foot tall tree measured nine feet in diameter and 27.3 feet in circumference at the butt. It was estimated that the tree was 600 years old and it was the oldest and largest Ponderosa Pine in the United States. A section of tree was shipped to the University of Arizona for studies and another section placed at the museum in Susanville.

Besides Peter Lassen and Edward Clapper burials, several members of the Hulsman family are also interred there:

Hulsman, Hannah – b. 13 July 1882 – d. 5 December 1960
Hulsman, Henery - b. 14 February 1874 d. 13 February 1880
Hulsman, William – 1827-1887
Tangeman, Phyllis Boyle – b. 26 May 1926 – d. 26 June 1990

  
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