Folks seem to like old photos, so I decided to dig up another one.
The last photo of downtown Eureka in 1864 got people thinking about the amount of mud that would have been flowing down those dirt streets during the rainy season. Anyone that has lived in Humboldt for even one winter can probably imagine the mess. Ugh !
This photo got me thinking about heat–or rather, lack of it. There is definite crispness in the air now and the nights are getting cooler. I could likely see my breath in the morning air if I ventured out early.
In the 1870s, Mrs. Crosby moved to Humboldt County with her new husband. They bought themselves a plot of land and set about building a house. In the mean time, there was a small cabin on the property and the Crosbys spent a couple of nights there. According to Mrs. Crosby, these were the
“most miserable as regards to comfort I ever spent. Such a lonesome, dark , dreary place I never was in!… I couldn’t keep warm; the floor was very open… some of them [floor boards] were so thin they bent with my weight…. nowhere did they join at the sides of the cabin and the cold came in from above, below on all sides…” [At the Banks of the Eel River, by Denis P. Edeline].
In December of 2007, my family moved into an old house and though all the floors and walls did come together, the first winter we spent here was miserably cold. We had a large, inefficient wood stove that ate a lot of wood, but didn’t seem to turn much of it into heat. I have to admit, though, that we did cut the firewood with a chainsaw and hauled it home in the back of our truck… There was also a gas furnace in the kitchen that I could turn on in the mornings to warm the room before everyone got up for breakfast…
The house also had a small electric water heater and we had to ration hot water for evening dishes and bathing. Fortunately, though, we didn’t have to draw cold water from a well or haul it in a bucket from a nearby creek. Nor did we spend time heating it over a fire before we could use it.
I mentioned in the comments section of the previous post that my grandmother always said that running water was her favorite modern convenience. If you add “hot” to that description, I think I’d have to agree.