1850s Eureka


Source: Humboldt County Collection




Early in 1856 the county seat was moved to Eureka from Arcata and business revived very much the spring thereafter. Ever since that date its course has been steadily onward, until now [1915] it is a city approximating fifteen thousand population, with excellent chances ahead of it. The town was incorporated on April 18, 1856, and the first election of officers resulted in a satisfactory manner as follows : Trustees, James T. Ryan, C. F. Ricks, A. F. Rollins, J. M. Eddy, and George Graham. C. F. Ricks was president of the board, and J. M. Eddy was secretary.

It is interesting to know that Eureka contained a large number of saw-mills, general stores, hotels, boarding houses, drug stores, fruit stores, shoe- maker shops, blacksmith shops, livery stables, saloons, wagon and carriage factories, butcher shops, etc., a few years after it was founded. The first church was a rude structure surrounded by logs, stumps, and brush, and it simply had the title of “the church.” It was used as the place of public worship for all denominations. It was a hall for the Sons of Temperance, for singing schools, school house, public speaking and various gatherings.

It was not very long before a number of other churches and halls were built, and this was soon followed by the establishing of other institutions and houses for conducting business and taking care of the social welfare in general. The Humboldt County Bank, it is interesting to know, was established in 1873. In the same year John Vance built the city waterworks.

HERE is photo of Eureka in 1864

And another… 

(Very) early Eureka-looks south a bit. Source: Jessie Wheeler Collection

(Very) early Eureka-looks south a bit. Source: Jessie Wheeler Collection

After I posted this Jessie Wheeler sent me this –  to me if looks to be the valley just northeast (?)  of the Hilfiker Road Overpass and hill…  viewed from Samoa, maybe-or another little island..

2 Responses to 1850s Eureka

  1. Catherine Mace says:

    Lynette, Where is the Humboldt County Collection that you credit with your picture? Looking at the picture that Jessie sent, I think it was not Eureka, but Bucksport because of the flag for Fort Humboldt flying on the bluff above the buildings. Catherine Mace

    • Lynette M says:

      I think you are absolutely right about Bucksport.
      And the County collection is Don Tuttle’s-collected mostly in the 1970s I think. . It is located in the public works building in Old Town Eureka. They are all hard copies and I’ve gone down periodically to scan some and then post them on the blog.

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