*Happy April Fool’s Day! This article is part of the Active NorCal April Fool’s Day Extravaganza. Don’t @ us.
It turns out historians have been all wrong about Burney Falls. It was previously believed the rural Shasta County town and famous nearby waterfall were named after settler Samuel Burney who lived in the area in the 1850s. Burney, it was assumed, was an immigrant from Scotland. And like so many others, he was. But not that Scotland.
Modern scientific scanners were recently applied to Burney’s birth certificate, picking up words too faded to make out all these years, and the results were stunning.
Rather than hailing from Scotland (the country at the northern tip of the United Kingdom), it turns out Burney came from “Scotland,” Vermont.
It turns out Burney was not even the pioneer’s last name, but his middle name. The lost last name has been finally discovered. Just after the word “Burney,” the faded word (and real family name) of the early Shasta County pioneer was revealed: “Sanders.”