William Spencer Lowden Papers mssLowden

Gayle Richardson
The Huntington Library
June 2020
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
Title: William Spencer Lowden papers
Creator: Lowden, William Spencer, 1830-1912
Identifier/Call Number: mssLowden
Physical Description: 19 Linear Feet (8 boxes and 94 volumes)
Date (inclusive): 1856-1930
Abstract: A collection of business and personal papers related to the lives and work of William Spencer Lowden and his son Henry L. Lowden, California businessmen.
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. William Spencer Lowden papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Leo J. McGlynn, November 1951.

Biographical / Historical

William Spencer Lowden (1830-1912) was born in Windsor, Massachusetts and came to Sacramento, California by wagon train in 1849. He moved to Weaverville, California, in 1850, where he engaged in mining. Following work as a trader, contractor, surveyor, and express rider, he settled in Grass Valley, California. In 1857 he founded the Weaverville and Shasta Wagon Road Company. Lowden's son, Henry L. Lowden (1857-1935) worked with his father in a surveying company for many years and served, at one time, as U.S. Deputy County Surveyor.

Scope and Contents

A collection of approximately 12,500 items from 1856 to 1930, it consists of letters, documents, account books, diaries, and letter books related to the business and personal lives of William S. Lowden and Henry L. Lowden. The collection contains family correspondence and records; business records of the three companies with which the Lowdens were involved: the Weaverville and Minersville Wagon Road Company, the Weaverville and Shasta Wagon Road Company, and the Lewiston Turnpike Company. Also included are miscellaneous land and legal papers as well as various mining and surveyors' reports, unsorted bills, receipts, and material related to the wagon road operations.

Processing Information

Processed by Huntington Library Staff, circa 1955. In 2020, Gayle Richardson created the finding aid derived from a legacy summary report.


Arranged by subject and format.


Former call number: mssLowden papers.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Land tenure -- California -- Trinity County
Mines and mineral resources -- California -- Trinity County
Real property -- California -- Trinity County
Roads -- California -- Trinity County -- History
Surveyors -- California -- Trinity County
Surveyors -- California -- Weaverville
Trinity County (Calif.) -- History
Trinity County (Calif.) -- Surveys
Weaverville (Calif.) -- History
Weaverville (Calif.) -- Surveys
Account books -- California
Business records -- California
Letter books -- California
Letters (correspondence) -- California
Surveys -- California
Lowden, Henry L., 1857-1935
Lewiston Turnpike Company
Weaverville and Shasta Wagon Road Company
Weaverville and Minersville Wagon Road Company

Box 1

Family correspondence, inventory of personal property, Irwin family genealogical record 1830-1895

Box 2

Business papers and correspondence A-Z connected with Wagon roads and Turnpike, mining claims 1872-1930

Box 3

Early history of Wagon roads and Turnpike; Operation of Wagon roads and Turnpike; Rates of Toll 1856-1907

Box 4

Reports of receipts and expenditures 1869-1911

Box 5

Reports of receipts and expenditures 1860-1909

Box 6

Reports of receipts and expenditures; Toll House Travel Sheets; Time Sheets; Land papers; Legal papers; Mining papers 1860-1912

Box 7

Miscellaneous Mining and Surveying papers; Agricultural and Horticultural material 1876-1917

Box 8


Volume 1-94

Volumes: account books, cash books, daybooks, diaries, letter books, Lewiston Turnpike Company books, memoranda books, mining records, time books, Toll House books, Weaverville and Shasta Wagon Road Company books