One of the Native Sons treasures is Lott’s Lake, located in extreme western Plumas County, at the headwaters of Chips Creek, which feeds the Feather River. The lake is open to all brothers in good standing and their families at no charge. Maps, info sheets and advice are available from the Lott’s Lake Committee.
Charles Fayette Lott, a 49er who settled in the Oroville area from Quincy, Illinois, where he had been a protégé of Abraham Lincoln, originally acquired Lott’s Lake. After a long and successful legal and political career, he willed the property to his daughter, Cornelia, whom on his death married one Jesse Sank.
Members of the Native Sons and Daughters were often guests at the property during the Sanks’ tenure, and this couple determined on their deaths to will the property to the Grand Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West, an event which occurred in 1957. Grand Parlor appropriates funds each year for taxes and maintenance, and appoints a Lott’s Lake Committee to manage the property.
Rules of conduct are posted in main cabin and are available from the committee chairman. Lott’s Lake lies at nearly 7000 feet and is therefore snowed in much of the year. Wheeled vehicle access in average years begins after July 4th, but travelers should check with the local Butte County Highway Department, Sheriff’s office, or Lott’s Lake Committee Chairman.
The main cabin sits on the south slope looking north over Lott’s Lake. The cabin, with its massive stone fireplace and beautiful front porch view, was probably built 100 years ago and has been slowly revitalized with protective roofing and newer shake sides. A new front foundation was added in 2009.
Most visitors have found that the best way to utilize the property is to camp out in tent or RV, particularly during the annual August work party when the main cabin becomes a gathering point for all campers. Sanitary facilities presently include a new pit toilet installed in 2008 and has been dedicated the “Taj Mahal”.
The lake contains pan size trout and most fishermen fish it from the bank, although the lake can accommodate light aluminum, electric powered dinghies or small sailboats. The lake is probably volcanic in origin, and the eastern end is over 125 feet in depth. A low place in the road serves as the “boat launch” area: there are no facilities for launching large boats, and the lake is only ¾ mile long. No gas motors are allowed. Our road to the Lake is only accessible by high clearance pickups, preferable 4WD.
Camping requires self-sufficiency. Campers should bring their entire food supply as well as adequate refrigeration or ice chests to keep food cold; supplies or fuel and water. Clothing should be sturdy and include strong shoes or boots and warm garments as the evenings do get chilly. Please bring garage bags and pack your garbage out with you. Respect our neighbors–no trespassing!
A cable with a lock secures the driveway to the property. The combination to this lock, which also opens the main cabin, is available from the Grand Secretary’s Office, Grand Officers, or the Chairman of the Lott’s Lake Committee and committee members. Please inform Lott’s Lake Chairman of visits and condition of property. This combination is changed on a yearly basis.