Redding is a city in and the county seat of Shasta County, California, United States, in the northern part of the state. It lies along the Sacramento River, 162 miles (261 kilometers) north of Sacramento, and 120 miles (190 km) south of California's northern border with Oregon. Interstate 5 bisects the entire city, from the south to north before it approaches Shasta Lake, which is located 15 miles (24 km) to the north. The 2010 population was 90,322. Redding is the largest city in the Shasta Cascade region, and it is the sixth-largest city in the Sacramento Valley, behind Chico, Sacramento, Elk Grove, Roseville, and Vacaville.
During the Gold Rush, the area that now comprises Redding was called Poverty Flats. In 1868 the first land agent for the Central Pacific Railroad, a former Sacramento politician named Benjamin Bernard Redding, bought property in Poverty Flats on behalf of the railroad so that it could build a northern terminus there. In the process of building the terminus, the railroad also built a town in the same area, which they named Redding in honor of Benjamin Redding. In 1874 there was a dispute over the name by local legislators and it was changed for a time to Reading, in order to honor Pierson B. Reading, who arrived in the area in 1843, owned the Buenaventura land grant on which Redding sits, and had died only a few years before, in 1868. The name, however, was officially changed back to Redding by 1880.