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Novels and Plays

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Whether used as a metaphor or setting, the mountain has played a worthy role in the fictional works set in our locale. Even such famous writers as Robert Heinlein and William Least Heat Moon have commented on the mountain's power and immensity.

While Most of the novels making use of the mountain might best be cataloged as "low-brow" or "dime" novels, a few are fairly well written or at least offer unusual perspectives. For example, Daniel Boone Dumont's 1889 The Witch of Shasta, or The Man of Cheek: A Romance of California and Howard Holmes' 1877 The California Sleuth; Or, the Trail of the Gold Grandee, A Story of Shasta are both entertaining "dime" novels. A far more interesting read is the 1895 novel The Shoulder of Shasta. Written by Bram Stoker while he was writing Dracula, the romantic novel is rarely read today.

Besides being referenced in a number of other novels and short stories, Mt. Shasta has a prominent role in at least two plays. In Bartley Theodore Campbell's 1879 play, My Partner, the mountain is a constant place-holder as the actors tackle the roles of local pioneers and gold miners. A much newer production, James Witherell's 1983 Bigfoot's Revenge, is a humorous melodrama where the villain makes use of a fake Bigfoot in a effort to scare miners out of the Mt. Shasta area in the summer of 1870.

Front of 'My Partner' playbill courtesy of the Mount Shasta Collection Backside of 'My Partner' playbill courtesy of the Mount Shasta Collection
Front and back of playbill for My Partner
Courtesy of the Mount Shasta Collection

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