Vance Hotel, from 1881 to Now

February 4, 2016

When I was young the Vance Hotel was run down and full of squatters. The renovation represents a great success story for Old Town.

Soon the Carson Block Building will as well.

The Vance…


Source: History of Humboldt County. Elliott, 1881 



1925 Source: Humboldt County Collection/Woods

387HSE00, 1/10/01, 3:09 PM, 8C, 6000x8000 (0+0), 100%, HSE1 Curve, 1/40, R1214, G1064, B1243,

Undated Source: HSU Special Collections/Ericson


Source: Google Earth, Street View


JOHN M. VANCE. – The late John M. Vance, of Eureka, at the time of his death the president of the Humboldt County Bank, became a resident of the county the year before he reached his majority, and it was the scene of his remarkable success, for in the management of extensive railroad, timber and milling interests he proved himself equal to unlimited responsibilities. Read the rest of this entry »

Eureka’s Washington Schools- 1, 2 & 3

February 1, 2016

HCOE.Washington 1 HCOE.Washington 2 HCOE.Washington 3

Thanks the the Humboldt County Office of Education for the photos.

1850s Eureka

January 29, 2016

Source: Humboldt County Collection




Early in 1856 the county seat was moved to Eureka from Arcata and business revived very much the spring thereafter. Ever since that date its course has been steadily onward, until now [1915] it is a city approximating fifteen thousand population, with excellent chances ahead of it. The town was incorporated on April 18, 1856, and the first election of officers resulted in a satisfactory manner as follows : Trustees, James T. Ryan, C. F. Ricks, A. F. Rollins, J. M. Eddy, and George Graham. C. F. Ricks was president of the board, and J. M. Eddy was secretary. Read the rest of this entry »

Results of an Arcata Tinman’s Hard Work…

January 27, 2016
Arcata 1881 Source: History Of Humboldt County,Elliott

Arcata 1881
Source: History Of Humboldt County,Elliott.  Left caption says: Robt. Burn’s Hardware Store. Right caption says: Burns Block.

You may recognize the commercial building on the upper right…

I have to admit I just grabbed this illustration out of Elliott’s book because it showed some early Arcata structures but I looked up Mr. Burns in the 1880 census ( He appears to have done very well as a “tinman” who immigrated from England…



Eureka, 2nd & F Streets 1901 and Today

January 25, 2016

This is looking up F Street “standing” about 1/2 way between 1st and 2nd Streets.


Source: Humboldt County Souvenir Book, 1901


Source: GoogleMaps, Street View

1906 Expulsion of the Chinese

January 24, 2016
The County photo is dated 1885, but Pfaelzer dates is 1906...

Source: Humboldt County Collection (notice the Yacht Club in the background)

Jeannie Pfaelzer included a photo in her book, Driven Out, The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans, that references a Chinese expulsion in Humboldt County in 1906- I’ve finally found the story…

In the summer of 1905, the Tallant-Grant Co. of Astoria, Oregon established a cold storage plant at Port Kenyon on the Salt River and with the commencement of the salmon season in October, purchased the fishermen’s catches for two cents a pound. During two months of fishing and at various times, daily receipts of nine, ten, and twelve tons were recorded (Ferndale Enterprise, 1 Aug. 1905; 17 Oct. 1905; 27 Oct. 1905; 5 Dec. 1905). Because Eel River salmon were no longer of the size or grade most desirable for cold storage purposes and in order to handle this surplus, the Company explored the feasibility of developing a cannery at Port Kenyon (Ferndale Enterprise 2 Oct. 1906). An inquiry was made to the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce about the employment of Chinese labor, without which, the Company claimed such a plant could not be successful. The Chamber responded that there would be no objection as long as certain conditions were met,including 1) the Chinese would work only at the cannery, 2) stay no longer than the period of operations, and 3) they would not be permitted at any time to leave the vicinity of the cannery (Ferndale Enterprise 22 June 1906). The Tallant-Grant Company built a 110×50 addition to the Port Kenyon Cold Storage Company building for the cannery, which began operations during the 1906 season. The investors felt that such a facility would be economically viable by utilizing the smaller salmon caught by the local fishermen and easily exported via the Salt River (Ferndale Enterprise 4 Sept. 1906; 9 Oct. 1906). Read the rest of this entry »

Whitethorn School-Bit of a contrast to Winship…

January 23, 2016
HCOE.Whitethorn 1

Undated (sadly). Source: Humboldt County Office of Education Schools Collection


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