Nigger Joe Hill

"Nigger Joe Hill", c. 1954 (HCHS)

First I apologize for the caption on the photo - it is offensive. 

Unfortunately it is also the caption on the photo and the well known name of that area of Eureka.

I recently received this as a comment/question:

I was wondering if anyone knows much about ‘Joe’, one of the first black people to live in Eureka who built a house on County Lane, I think in 1912. I think I heard that he sold vegetables…..

Anything anyone could share would be greatly appreciated.

8 Responses to Nigger Joe Hill

  1. My father and brothers knew him when they were children. My dad spoke very fondly of him and said Joe gave them apples. This street was referred to by this name while I was growing up in early fifties.

    • Lynette M says:

      Thanks for that input. I really hated to use that name, but I think it says as much about our history as any of the images I post.
      I am glad to hear that Joe was well thought of. Let’s face it, Humboldt still has a pretty pale population overall, and I can’t imagine what it would have been like for Joe.

  2. Myche Worth says:

    I live on Heather and I wonder if this is not another NJH? Absolutely nothing including the landscape looks familiar. Wish I could spot something familiar. Great blog btw

    • Lynette M says:

      I just know what the photo said. It is from the county collection (which, to be honest, was just a room full of file cabinets with photos –and if lucky, explanatory handwriting on the back.

      I will have to try to get back out that way and see. Considering the different perspective, does it seem more possible?

    • AjFunamura says:

      I think just County Land goes by that name…..lived there late 50′s early 60′s….it was more built up by then, than what is shown above…..The picture looks like it would have been taken closer to early 1900′s…..

  3. Myche Worth says:

    Well, unless it is looking northeast? I suppose it may be! Zane jr. high would be in the upper right hand corner; correct?

  4. Myche Worth says:

    Southeast, rather…sorry.

  5. Robert says:

    Below Berry Ridge near Berry Summit, is Nigger Ridge as mapped in Belchers Atlas of Humboldt County (1924). The use of this term was very common back then.

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