Crescent City has undergone continuous transformations since 1853 when the area was first surveyed for city lots around the harbor area.
Crescent City was the result of a need for a harbor in the 1850s. In 1850, with rich finds of gold along the Klamath River and tributaries, gold was a favorite topic of the area. Trappers from the town of Klamath City, established near the Mouth of the Klamath, started exploring north of the Klamath River and found a crescent bay that might be favorable as a harbor. By 1853, the harbor area had been surveyed into town lots. The new town was dubbed Crescent City and incorporated in 1854. The harbor proved a favorable spot for newcomers heading to the inland gold fields.
Quickly, the Smith River and Elk Valley areas were being developed for farming in 1854, mostly dairies. The butter created in the area was in great demand in the San Francisco area.
In 1857, Horace Gasquet purchased 320 acres and developed Gasquet Village, a popular stopping place on the journey between Crescent City and Oregon.
By 1858, a road connected Crescent City with the Illinois Valley area. The road was create by the Crescent City and Yreka Plank Road and Turnpike Company to meet the needs of a young community supporting the needs of the gold fields.
Unfortunately by 1865, a railroad connected Redding (California) and Roseburg (Oregon) was completed. Crescent City harbor was no longer the hub for connecting supplies with the inland miners, the railroad was better servicing the needs of the miners.
Luckily by 1869, development of a saw mill near the south end of Lake Earl helped the community by supporting a new lumbering era that lasted for many years.
1886 arrived with new benefits to the area. 1886 marked the creation of the first Cannery at Requa along the Klamath River. This kicked off the areas Salmon Industry, enhancing the value of the area.
From 1886 to 1926, travel to Crescent City from the south implied a ferry ride across the Klamath River. In 1926, The Douglas Memorial Bridge was completed and Highway 101 finally had access to the north side of the Klamath River and more convenient access of Crescent City up 101. By 1933, commercial fishing was on the wain in Klamath.