Indian slave labor—Back in 1862 during Humboldt’s Indian hostilities, actions by the whitemen against the redmen were often on the verge of scandalous… today the occupants of Fort Humboldt would have been court-martialed for their activity…-Captured Indians who were held prisoner were often forced to build roads and do heavy labor of various types… They were not always treated humanely, and often the Indians died from disease and lack of proper feeding because of their captivity…-The prisoners on one occasion cut a military road from Elk Creek to Larabee Creek, named for an infamous pioneer. The road intersected near Cooper’s Mills not far from Hydesville. The route shorted the distance several miles between Forts Humboldt and Baker… and armed guard kept the Indians at work… [Susie Baker Fountain Papers-Undated -volume 34, page 533]
Susie Baker Fountain, Humboldt State University’s first graduate in 1915, was a local historian and professional columnist for the Blue Lake Advocate. She developed an extraordinary clipping file and collection of materials on Humboldt County and Del Norte County people, activities, and history from 1850-1966. The collection’s particular strengths include the early period of settlement and development, Indian-white interactions, early military history, real estate, the lumber and railroad industries, accounts of families and individuals, small communities, mining history, and a wide variety of other subjects not found in other sources.