Pierson B. Reading settled on a large land grant in Shasta County in the 1840s, planting California's first cotton and northern California's first grapevines on his Rancho Buena Ventura, which included the current town of Redding. Although first nicknamed Poverty Flats by the early settlers, the Southern Pacific Railroad chose this spot for its turnaround roundhouse in 1872, ignoring the neighboring mining boomtown of Shasta. To honor a powerful Sacramento politician who acted as their general land agent, the railroad named the new town Redding.As Redding grew, so did the tug-of-war with the town of Shasta over the location of the county seat, a contest Redding won in 1884. Redding experienced two growth spurts, one during a copper mining boom before World War I, and the other at the end of the Great Depression, when thousands of workers poured in to build Shasta Dam. A gateway city to the large recreational area that surrounds it, Redding now enjoys fame for its world-renowned bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava.