Arcata, 1857

September 8, 2020
Arcata.1857.Omnia

Source: Omnia

In my search for more information on this photo I ran across this old story in the Arcata Eye about early Union/Arcata.


Eureka Fish Market and More (c 1870)

August 20, 2020

HC.EkaC1870

County of Humboldt Collection

I’ve posted this absolutely fantastic  photo before but it has been a long time.

Please click to enlarge to see more detail,  including the chickens in the road..

 


Enslaved in Humboldt- Class Aug. 11

August 6, 2020

Course:  Enslaved in Humboldt: The Story of Caroline Wright

With Lynette Mullen, Historian

In 1916, while inventorying county records for the state of California, Owen Coy discovered clear evidence that “human slavery… [had] existed within the boundaries” of California. These records were found in Humboldt County and recorded the indenture of several Native American children and adults to white masters in the early 1860s. Attend this presentation to learn more about this appalling but little known history of slavery in our community. Hear the story of Caroline Wright, who was born in Arcata in 1856, and enslaved as a young girl after her mother’s brutal murder.

Tues., Aug. 11 • 10 a.m.-noon

Online

$20 • Class #: 31223

REGISTER NOW


Fifty Cents to Cross Humboldt Bay (repost)

July 25, 2020

 

Ferry.HSU.2003010021

Ferry, possibly at the Eel River (I couldn’t’ find a pic of the bay ferry). Source: HSU Special Collection. 

In October of  1854, the county supervisors approved the petition by Heammon and Marvel to establish a ferry crossing Humboldt Bay.  The partners needed to pay the county $5 for the privilege, follow Section 16 of the Act  Concerning Public Ferries and Bridges and get a bond of $1,000.

The men were also required to have at least two boats, one large and one small, and at least two “hands”, meaning two men and literally four hands, I’m guessing.

As licensed ferrymen, they could charge foot passengers  fifty cents and could demand $2 for anyone wanting to cross the bay with a horse, mule, ox, cow, hog or other animal .

Anyone wanting to get from Eureka to Arcata was pretty much stuck taking the ferry, as there was no reliable trail and the wagon road that would eventually follow along Old Arcata Road wasn’t built yet.  The ferry dropped passengers off near the present location of Fairhaven, and they hoofed it (ha, ha), to Union/Arcata from there.

Read the rest of this entry »


OLLI Class Tomorrow- Enslaved in Humboldt

June 10, 2020

image.little upperlake girl.Hudson

Painting by Grace Hudson

Today is the last day to register for my upcoming OLLI Class focused on the history of indenture in Humboldt County- and Caroline Wright- a young girl indentured, or effectively enslaved, right here in our community.

Please click here to learn more about the class and/or enroll

More information….

Over the years I have shared a lot on this blog and in the community about Lucy Romero, a woman brutally murdered in Arcata in 1862.

The upcoming class is through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Humboldt State University (OLLI at HSU)

This class focuses on Carrie, Lucy’s daughter, who was indentured, or legally enslaved, following her mother’s death. I spoke about Carrie at our fall Humboldt Bay History Symposium  but this class will allow me to take a deeper dive into Humboldt’s settlement period. I will talk about the culture and laws that allowed the practice of kidnapping and human trafficking to flourish in Northern California. I will also talk about the experiences of victims like Carrie. This is not an easy history to talk about . But it is an important one.

Please click here to enroll in the class

 


Origin of Humboldt’s Place Names (along with the rest of California’s)

June 9, 2020

Of course this was another random, but entertaining,  find.

Click HERE to find the book:  California Place NamesThe Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Names, written by Erwin Gustav Gudde.  You can use the search feature to find Humboldt-specific locations or just have fun with California.

This is one simple example of what you’ll find….

placenames.Alton

And then another, not so simple, not so fun…

PlaceNames.CutThroatGulch

 

The book also give us the maps below, which tell us, among other things,  that Trinidad Bay was named in 1775 and Humboldt Bay in 1850…

 

Map.PlaceNames.googlebook.names about 1800

 

Map.PlaceNames.googlebook.names applied Early American Period


Lashed and Bound by the Pacific- Humboldt Map 1865

June 7, 2020

cover image

Old maps have been popular posts according to my stats, so below you’ll find another fun one.

AJ Doolittle published the map below in 1865- which,  if you’ll notice the detail on the left, was accepted by the county supervisors on February 9. Interesting that William Carson, whose buildings have been the subject of past posts,  represented Eureka and Union (later Arcata)  townships.

According to this blog,  the map’s creator, Alonzo J. Doolittle, was born in Vermont in 1821 and came to California during the gold rush. Apparently AJ  was a road and bridge builder as well as a map maker.

Please click to enlarge the map- though you’ll need to be patient, as it is a VERY large file and moves slowly…   You can also try to access the map HERE if the link below is too slow…

There is a wonderful narrative about Humboldt on the right and when you look at the map, you’ll find that Ferndale was not yet and Arcata was still Union on the main map. Many property owners are listed, including Augustus Jacoby of Jacoby Storehouse fame and J (Joe) Russ, whose descendants still have ranches and timberland in Humboldt …

You can also see our many trails to the mines and elsewhere…

Doolittle Complete.HSULink.Archive.gov

Source: HSU Special Collection

 

I pulled this fun little description of early Humboldt off the map. I love that they noted that we are twice the size of Rhode Island and about equal to Delaware- with a fraction of the population. I also love that we are “lashed and bound by the Pacific Ocean” and “destitute of the bleak winds of San Francisco”. Hmmm….

Humboldt.Desc.1865

And here are some interesting ag stats…

Copy of Doolittle Complete.HSULink.Archive.gov

 


1866 Map of Northern California

May 26, 2020

I ran across this web entry on Fort Baker – and the map below,  by accident, of course. But for those who like old maps and/or early Humboldt history, it is pretty cool.

Interesting that the town of Centreville, now really just a beach outside of Ferndale, was a place before Fortuna (originally Springville) was…

Centerville was also the location of a well known shipwreck and (maybe if it is still standing) the location of an historical landmark.

Please click the map to enlarge.

 


Enslaved in Humboldt

May 23, 2020

image.little upperlake girl.Hudson

Painting by Grace Hudson

Over the years I have shared a lot on this blog and in the community about Lucy Romero, a woman brutally murdered in Arcata in 1862.

Next month I teach a class through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Humboldt State University (OLLI at HSU)

This class focuses on Carrie, Lucy’s daughter, who was indentured, or legally enslaved, following her mother’s death. I spoke about Carrie at our fall Humboldt Bay History Symposium  but this class will allow me to take a deeper dive into Humboldt’s settlement period. I will talk about the culture and laws that allowed the practice of kidnapping and human trafficking to flourish in Northern California. I will also talk about the experiences of victims like Carrie. This is not an easy history to talk about . But it is an important one.

Please click here to enroll in the class

 


1850 Description of Humboldt

May 6, 2020

HSU Collection: 2003.01.0490

Eureka as painted by a soldier in 1854- Please click on the painting to enlarge.

 

Understanding Our Region Through Historic Landscape Narratives

October, 2013

When the first Euro-American ships arrived off Humboldt Bay in the spring of 1850, those onboard witnessed a spectacle that we can only dream about.

“I must now tell you that the land is so beautiful and the soil so rich that I was almost fascinated with the scene, and if I could have you and Ginney, Rachel and our family, with some of our valued friends, I could almost give up Erie. In addition to the good qualities of the land, the waters produce clams in abundance as well as fish; and geese, ducks, snipe, plover, etc. are about as numerous as wild pigeons at Erie in the spring. The wood is not less productive than the water and droves of elk and deer, with a goodly number of bears are always to be found….” (Lewis, 1966)

Captain Douglas Ottinger, on board the Laura Virginia, in Humboldt Bay, April 1850, to his “Good Wife,”

 

Note: Susie Van Kirk was an amazing and generous historian and a wonderful human being. She passed away in 2016 and I miss her still….