Belcher Map, 1921 (Rio Dell and other Humboldt Areas)

Belcher Map, 1921, Calisphere

So you’re going to want to click on the map.  It will take you to the source site, where you’ll find a lot of other Humboldt Maps (I grew up in Rio Dell and that’s why I picked this one).  I always heard that Wildwood became Rio Dell, but it looks like they were two separate towns in 1921 and must have merged later.

As a reminder, once you click on an image you’ll go to a page with the image and a miniture version of it in a box on the left.  Adjust the zoom, then drag that little red box around on the mini-image to change the main image focus area.  Oh yes, and have fun.

13 Responses to Belcher Map, 1921 (Rio Dell and other Humboldt Areas)

  1. olmanriver says:

    Love these maps! Thanks Lynette…
    there is another way to view them through HSU’s webpage , click here and then on the section you wish to view.

  2. skippy says:

    What a nice resource, Lynette and olmanriver. I didn’t know these maps existed online. Both of your fine links will come in handy for exploring Humboldt.

    Wandering down a forgotten aisle to a very lonely corner in one of the Smithsonian museums, I saw on the wall to my surprise a rarely seen map: an 1849 maritime survey map of Humboldt’s North Coast in fairly pristine shape. Not much was on the map except a for some basic sea stacks and a jutting point simply entitled, “Trinidad, Whaling Station.” How could this be? Humboldt Bay to the South hadn’t really ‘discovered’ yet. Although the Spanish had been to Trinidad 74 years prior it was only a sparsely settled hamlet by 1850. This was a mystery. I wondered also how few visitors might have found this map on the wall much less having any personal connection to it, myself being perhaps the only ‘local’ in the past decade discovering it until being rotated back to the storage archives eventually.

    Well, on the subject of other interesting maps, Jerry Rhode, local historian and author, recently wrote:

    “… For several years (Eureka Books’) Scott Brown has kept watch, at my request, for those gems of the local cartographer’s art– the handful of hard-to-find maps and atlases that depict Humboldt county in the glory of its past…

    “And then there are the masterpieces, but their numbers are few: the 1886 Forbes, the 1898 Lentell, the 1911 Denny. The names and dates drop from the cartophile’s tongue like those of great wine vintages emitted by an enologist. Of the three, I have had partial access to one: a scan of the 1886 Forbes from the Bancroft Library… The other two were, for years, geographic grails that were always searched for but never found.

    “Except that now I had Scott Brown searching for me.

    “I went to the store one day. Scott greeted me, his almost omnipresent smile even brighter than usual. ‘Would you come over here?’ he asked. ‘I have something to show you.’ Somethings– plural– actually, for Scott proceeded to take down from a shelf and unroll not one but two very large and very old wall maps.

    “I was looking at an 1898 Lentell and a 1911 Denny. Moreover, they were each unique versions. Most of each had been painstakingly hand painted with delicate pastel shades of water color to show the individual land ownerships. The redwood forests of the Pacific Lumber Company were rendered a pale indigo, the pastoral hillsides of the Tuttle ranch were a soft yellow, and so on through the spectrum.

    “… I asked Scott about the price. Not so much, it turned out. Scott indicated he could easily sell the maps to Stanford or to a private collector in the Midwest, but he would like them to stay in Humboldt County as a local resource. Scott was willing to hold them until we could put a deal together. We did some trading, and I went home with the favorite of the two, the 1911 Denny. And the Cultural Resources Facility at Humboldt State, for which I work, got the 1898 Lentell after President Rollin Richmond offered some special funds to purchase it.

    “And thanks to another stellar bookseller, the two finest maps of Humboldt County that I’ve ever seen will someday be seen by many others, as I’m sure whoever painstakingly colored them with a special paintbrush intended.”

    (Jerry Rhode, “Six Stellar Book Sellers– Who Helped the Cause of Humboldt History: Part II,” Humboldt Historian, Summer 2011: page 25)

    I hope we might be able to see these rare and beautifully colored historical maps someday, Mr. Rhode and Mr. Richmond. That would be a fine treasure to behold. Thank you for keeping them here locally.

    • Lynette M says:

      My fondest hope is that they will scan (and then frame) this great treasure so it was available for viewing both online and in the library.

      I’ll email Jerry and see if they have a plan yet.

  3. skippy says:

    My sincere apologies: That’s noted local historian and author, Jerry Rohde.

    Mr. Rohde (and wife, Gisela) have authored Best Short Hikes In Redwood National & State Parks, Humboldt Redwoods State Park: A Complete Guide, and Traveling the Trinity County Highway, among others. Their books are available at Eureka Books, the Booklegger, and the Humboldt County Historical Society.

    To note, the 1922 Belcher’s Map of Humboldt County is available at the Historical Society for $7. The 1865 A. J. Doolittle Map of Humboldt County is also available for $10.

    • Lynette M says:

      Skippy brought up another really great resource–one of my favorites, actually

      The Doolittle Map from 1865 show Humboldt County townships, wagon trails and homesteader names (many of whom, like Janes in Arcata and Rohner in Fortuna) you’ll recognize.
      There is also a period description of the county right on the map.

      If you are from the Eel River Valley or south of there, you can also find the map at the Ferndale Museum.

      • olmanriver says:

        That Doolittle map has been sooo helpful for my Sohum research.
        The 1911 Denny map is on the wall of the Redwood State park center at Burlington.
        Over at West of the Redwoods, Laura Cooskey has taken the time to scan and post primarily the Mattole sections of those maps.
        How I would love to have scans of the whole maps.

  4. olmanriver says:

    The names and dates drop from the cartophile’s tongue like those of great wine vintages emitted by an enologist.… great line Jerry!
    Thanks again Skippy.

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