Sick plumbing?

March 18, 2010

From the


Mon. Jun 15, 1953

Sick Plumbing???

Call your plumbing Doctor.


Serving Eureka since 1923

I8 3th St. Ph. 2-13D3




New rates in effect In Humboldt


Not to exceed  $20 for ANY residential

Septic tank. Work Guaranteed,

Licensed & Bonded 

(I just included this one because it cost us $450 the last time we had ours cleaned)





(Many ads have “adults only”)


In 1953 you could buy a lot in BAYSIDE HEIGHTS

124 X 193 for $2850 cash.


Women, an underprivileged and needing class…?

March 16, 2010


In the 19th century, teaching was one of the few "respectable" occupations open to women

On Saturday I attended a great workshop put on by WEI (Women Entrepreneurs Institute),  which focused on providing local female entrepreneurs with the tools and support they need to build successful businesses.

Before I started researching local history (and even now, I must admit) I tend to bristle at any organization or event focused on helping a particular ethnic group or gender (try having a Male Entrepreneurs Institute or a White Student Union).    Non-traditional or reverse discrimination is still discrimination.

Yet.  Yet… I’m the one who posted info about the feme sole trader laws,  which were needed before women were “allowed” to own and operate their own businesses independent of their husbands.   I’m the one who cited the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington, D.C.,  which found that white females earn 73 cents for every dollar earned by a white males for doing the same work. The institute that also found that minority women, such as Latinas, face greater earning disparities, earning, on average 51 cents for every dollar earned by white men.   

Things are changing, though,  and opportunities for women are growing.  Today women own about 40 percent of all businesses in the U.S. and the number of women-owned businesses is growing.  Women also benefit from events like WEI, even while male entrepreneurs,  who need the training and information just as much as women do,  are excluded.

I understand that in a sense, WEI was an affirmative action event*, as are the many small business grant and loan programs that are not available to other (male-owned) businesses.   

Yet, as a woman (and business owner) I look forward to the day when I am not considered part of a special, underprivileged class that needs extra help to achieve the same success as a man.  The extra help may be a necessary evil to address and reverse centuries of disadvantage and discrimination, but eventually we won’t be classified as white, black, male, female and instead we’ll just be people. People working hard to achieve our goals.


*The term affirmative action refers to policies that take race, ethnicity, physical disabilities, military career, sex, or a person’s parents’ social class into consideration in an attempt to promote equal opportunity or increase ethnicity or other forms of diversity. The focus of such policies ranges from employment and education to public contracting and health programs. The impetus towards affirmative action is twofold: to maximize diversity in all levels of society, along with its presumed benefits, and to redress perceived disadvantages due to overt, institutional, or involuntary discrimination.

Early Blue Lake

March 8, 2010


[Casebeer’s story is on hold for a bit while I focus on other projects]

In April I am going to be giving two presentations on the early history of Blue Lake (one where I talk, another of just photos) and would appreciate any photos or stories that folks are willing to share of the Blue Lake, Glendale, Essex, Warren Creek areas, especially anything prior to 1900.

You can reach me/send them to:  Thanks !

The following photo was among many great ones that can be found at the  Humboldt State Library.  Though many photos are online, it is worth a trip to the library to see the ones that haven’t been digitized yet.

Blue Lake Christening

Written on the back of the photo

Mystery of the fortunate little unfortunate

March 4, 2010

Manon House that still stands on Rohnerville Rc.

The following (including the photo) comes to us thanks to Hans Koster, builder/maintainer of and historical researcher extraordinaire. 

It is a wonderful story and  a nice break from settlement period stuff.  Thanks, Hans !!!

Note the bay window in the first image, it plays a part in this story.

This house is located next to Strongs (Manon) Creek on the northwest corner of Rohnerville Road and North Loop in Fortuna. The stagecoach horses (along with the teamster and anyone who couldn’t afford to stay at the Star Hotel) would bed down in the barn after being fed a superb meal by Mrs. Manon. The next morning, after a hearty breakfast from the gracious hostess, the stage would pick up the rest of the passengers in Fortuna and continue on its way. J. T. Manon and his wife ran a thriving business. But that has little to do with this story…

Originally from the website, poor spelling and all

“The Daily Humboldt Times” Eureka, California
Saturday, February 6, 1897

 A WAIF of the STORM
A Fortuna Family Find a Foundling Friday
Fortuna & Rohnerville are all agog over the unexpected arrival of a little stranger at the home of Mr. & Mrs. J. T. Manon who reside on the county road between those two towns about a mile from Fortuna. The stranger is one of the cutest little baby girls ever seen, & the men & women folks who have seen it go into ecstasies over it.
Just where the little waif came from or who are its parents are, mysteries, which so far no one has been able to fathom. It was found yesterday morning on the front step of the house, & the manner of its arrival is suggested by fresh tracks made by a buggy being turned around in front of the house, but the time is a question. The wet condition of the wrappings would seem to show that it had been left at the house very early in the morning. Its presence, however, was not known until nearly 10 o’clock in the morning when it announced itself.

Read the rest of this entry »

Casebeer shot through the breast

March 3, 2010


Continued from Part 1

And Part 2

An inquest was held by Justice Jameson of Eel River (the Fortuna area).  Jameson examined Casebeer’s body and declared the case a homicide.     

Neighbors, as is typical, talked about the murder and a “squaw” “intimated” to James Tukesbury,  a local farmer (and white man) that Indians may have committed the crime. 

Though many of Humboldt County’s indigenous people died at the hands of whites (in early September, seven were killed for slaughtering  “a few head of cattle”), the murder of a white man was uncommon.   The murder of a white man at the hands of an Indian was considered an egregious and intolerable crime.

Local Natives were questioned and Jack, an Indian living with Tukesbury, most likely as a servant, finally admitted that he witnessed the murder.    According to Jack, he was walking by Casebeer’s house with another Indian , “Big Jack” , and two Indian women when they spotted Casebeer’s gun through a window.  Casebeer was in the distance chopping down trees and hadn’t seen them.   Big Jack decided to steal Casebeer’s gun and shoot him for being “very bad”.  Jack said he protested, fearing the murder of a white man would prompt the whites to “plenty kill Indians”, but Big Jack climbed through Casebeer’s window and retrieved the gun. He then approached Casebeer and shot him “through the breast”, killing him.   Big Jack then hid Casebeer’s body by pulling it into the brush.

To be continued…

A Murder in Loleta, Part 2

March 1, 2010

Continued from this post

James Casebeer was a 33 year old from Ohio who, by May of 1860, was farming 160 acres of “The Island” located between the Eel and Salt Rivers (between Ferndale and the Loleta Bottoms) in Humboldt County.  There was a house  on the property and he had made some small improvements, but at the time of his death Casebeer had yet to make any real money from his enterprise.   He lived alone and was, by newspaper accounts, a “peacable and unoffensive citizen”, the only living son of a poor and sickly widow living in Ohio.  Casebeer wrote his mother letters, but didn’t do it often.

He seems to have kept to himself.  Neighbors had noticed him missing, but supposed he’d gone away on business. No one investigated. 

In September of 1860, William Johnson, a barber originally from New Jersey, was out walking  when he discovered the body of his neighbor, James Casebeer.  The body was lying a short distance from his house, and appeared to have been dragged from where it was hidden in the brush.  Observers guessed that Casebeer had been dead about three weeks and the remains appeared to have been partially eaten by his dog.   Johnson noticed a deep cut on the back of Casebeer’s skull and found a hatchet nearby.  

Casebeer’s house was locked, but nearly empty of valuables.  Even the bedding was gone.

To be continued…