|View of Manton from Wilson Hill Road just south of Shingletown, CA|
"Maybe not every little piece of heaven is well-known, or is listed on most maps, but once you set foot within the town limits you just may find a diamond in the rough." ~ Linda G. Strawn
This is exactly what happened when my husband and I first looked at a piece of property nestled on a pine and oak studded slope two miles above downtown Manton. About a year and half earlier, we made the move from bustling Sonoma County to the quiet mountain hamlet of Shingletown in Shasta County. For more than a decade, Shingletown had been the place we loved to visit at least once a year to get away from the rat race. We loved the thick pine forests, the snow, and the people who called the area home.
Over the years we had heard about Manton, but it was nothing more than an obscure little town laying in a valley somewhere south of Shingletown. Mantonites traveled up the ridge to bank in Shingletown, eat at its restaurants, or connect with friends.
I have a vague memory of a trip down the hill to Manton for a crab feed several years before our big move, but I must have blinked one too many times because I don’t remember anything about the town. Another recollection is the time I went to the bank just after we settled in Shingletown and overheard an excited customer talking about a major drug raid in progress and pot-growing Mexican Nationals on the loose. I was beginning to think Manton was not a very nice place to live.
Who would have thought a year or so later we would relocate to that same obscure little town?
We’ve been residents of Manton for over seven years now and have grown to love this little piece of paradise in spite of two close calls with forest fires, the occasional siting of mountain lion, and the strong smell of the marijuana harvest I once mistook for skunk. These things pale in comparison to all the good things that make this town so special.
In the coming weeks, I’d like to tell you more about this place that lies in a valley about 30 miles east of Red Bluff, roughly 7 miles south of Shingletown, and a short drive to Lassen Volcanic National Park. A town split between two counties—Shasta and Tehama—and one I’m proud to call home.
Welcome to Manton Monday!