The Eureka Woolen Mill


Source: Humboldt State University Special Collection [Palmquist/Yale 2012.02.0106]



The first photo was a random find-but a little internet search turned up the second graphic and Wikipedia (yeah, I know it isn’t gospel but can still be useful) provided the following. I didn’t know a simple photo could lead to something that makes me sad but it sounds like the demolition of this building was quite a loss…


Humboldt Bay Woolen Mill manufactured woolen cloth from 1901 to after World War II. The mill was listed as a National Historic Monument but demolished by the City of Eureka in 1987.


When the Humboldt Bay Woolen Mill was built in 1901, the company was capitalized to $100,000[2] by several local businessmen including timber mill owner, William Carson,[3]sheep rancher Hugh Webster McClellan,[4] and rancher Robert Porter who continued as Vice-President of the newly formed company.[2] According to the 1902 Illustrated Map of Eureka, the other officers included J.W. Henderson, President and N. McMillan, Secretary.

The Mill manufactured woolen fabrics from 1901 until it closed after World War II.[5] After sitting empty for many years, it was listed on the National Register on 25 June 1982,[1] but it only survived five more years.[6] After the city designated it a dangerous building in 1987, local preservationists and the Eureka Heritage Society tried to get funding to rehabilitate it, but it was torn down in the same year.[5]

The Mill was described as an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture[6] and one of the few industrial buildings historically not associated with timber or fishing.[5] Some architectural features of the Mill were saved by historians before the demolition.[5] The site is currently a chain pharmacy, a grocery store and parking.[5] The destruction of this building rallied community activists to save other historically significant structures in Eureka.[5]


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b “National Register Information System”. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b “Robert Porter”. Humboldt County, California – Biographies. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  3. Jump up^ McDonald, Jill; Jim Morrison, John Disiere and Linda Disiere (2007). “Carson the Man & Times”. Carson Mansion History. The Ingomar Club, Eureka, California.
  4. Jump up^ “Webster McClellan 1836-December 31, 1911”. Humboldt County, California – Biographies. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f “Draft City of Eureka Historic Preservation Plan”. 10 March 2004. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b Overhold, Ken (Editor) (1987, Second Edition 1994). Eureka: An Architectural Heritage. Eureka, California: Eureka Heritage Society. p. 270. ISBN 0-9615004-0-9. Check date values in:|date= (help)

15 Responses to The Eureka Woolen Mill

  1. lnaymorgan says:

    So interesting. Was it on Broadway??

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. vanduzengirl says:

    I remember the Woolen Mill and I also remember the Sheep Ranching. As a child I was taken to sheep shearing with my Grandpa, Henry Cox, who would throw his 4-5 sheep into the mix and get them sheared for the wool. It was every exciting to watch as a child

  3. Lynette M says:

    Facebook folks say Broadway and W 14th Street, Eureka.

  4. Ross Rowley says:

    I remember the Woolen Mills up until their demolition in the 1980’s. There was a junk store called “Flotsom and Jetsom” located in one end of it. I loved that old building, too. It was located where Eureka Natural Foods is today, except right next to Broadway.

    • aklucia says:

      I remember F&J! It was a real mix of cool junk. I remember being told that when people sheered their sheep in Humboldt Co. they had were able to receive wool blankets as well as money for the sheep they added to the Wool Co-op. I’d like to learn more about the Co-op and imagine there might be some info available through the FFA or the historical society. Price supports for sheep were gone by the 1980s in Humboldt Co.

  5. My mother took me to the woolen mills in the early 50s to pick out wool which she used to make school clothes. I wish I had appreciated the process more at the time, but I have very fond memories of the outings.

  6. Paul Pagan says:

    My Great great great grandfather was one of the owners of the Mill ( Hugh. W. McClellan). Like the building, much of our families history has disappeared along with it. If anyone has any other tidbits of history in relation to the mill and or the Mclellan family, I would love to hear them. please feel free to reach out to me.

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