The Roops, The Arnolds and A Girl Named Susan
Having lost his wife, Isaac Roop left his children with friends and family in Ohio and followed his brother Josiah west to California via ship and the arduous crossing of the Isthmus of Panama. By the time they were reunited, Josiah had given up prospecting for the more lucrative and dependable business of supplying the miners in the gold rush town of Shasta. The town that would eventually become Susanville began as Isaac Roop’s dream of having a trading post of his own along the emigrant trail.
Members of the Arnold family were also lured west by the promise of gold, and eventually their paths would cross with the Roops. They all struggled with losses and celebrated triumphs along the difficult road to a new life and a place in the history of California as new business ventures, public service and politics would become important parts of their lives.
Sandra Jonas has compiled the history of these families and the town that began as Rooptown and was eventually renamed for Isaac’s daughter Susan, who came west to make her home there. Jonas’ tremendous research efforts have paid off, capturing the history of the birth of the town and the founders of Susanville.