Horse Racing in Eureka

Eureka Race Track


The geography is pretty distinct, but I can’t tell where this is.  Again I’m asking for clues…?

8 Responses to Horse Racing in Eureka

  1. skippy says:

    While not an expert by any means, my guess would be the South Park race track, located in the area of Clark and Washington streets, or thereabouts, near the bay. It was quite an exciting place in its time.

    You can see a portion of this famous track in this 1902 Eureka map. It’s on the right side of the picture frame, near the middle section. Only half of the track is pictured.

    Other readers may have a different idea, or perhaps offer a more specific location or history of the track.

  2. Ross Rowley says:

    Skippy, I will agree with that assumption. Looking at the bluffs in the background along what is now Broadway, that looks exactly where that is at. Somewhere around the Schmidbauer lot. That tidal marsh wetlands area around the corner of the track looks similar to areas seen down by Washington Street/Koster Street today.

    • Lynette M says:

      If you gentlemen are correct, we might be able to identify at least one of the houses in the background. Many old structures still exist in that area.

      Gotta love all those water towers, which I hadn’t noticed before…

  3. Kevin Flannery says:

    I’m kind of getting more of an Elk River Road feeling from this, near the Herrick interchange on 101….no?

  4. Kevin Flannery says:

    There must be more of a story to this photo, the more I think about it. That is more of a challenge between two riders than a horse race, and the “track” seems way too big for a race track. Odd spot for the photographer to set up as well……wouldn’t there be some kind of grandstand or at least a betting window, and wouldn’t a photographer be there?

    I think someone recorded a challenge race between two individuals on a lumber company bridge. Great photo!

    • Lynette M says:

      Boy, so hard to tell. You’re right that it doesn’t really look like a track when you look at the surface magnified. Very smooth. At first I was thinking the photographer was in the stands, but it doesn’t make sense that they would be in the middle, in the marshy area. There is a what looks like a sign (we can only see the back) off the bridge on the left… strange.

  5. Tony says:

    I think it is actually in Arcata, just north of the Arcata High. Looking at the 1931 Fairchild Photos, a 1 mile track is visible. The Arcata HIgh track is also noticible but smaller since that is only a quarter mile track. Behind the track and in front of the bluff, the railroad grade corresponds with the aerial photo.

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