The Londons on a Houseboat in Humboldt Bay, 1911

January 31, 2021

During writer Jack London and his wife Charmian’s VISIT and TOUR of Eureka in 1911, they were apparently invited to stay on former Eureka Mayor H.L. Ricks’ houseboat, the Harbor Rest, which was moored on Humboldt Bay. I had no idea there were ever houseboats on Humboldt Bay, especially over 100 years ago…

London Collection, Huntington Library

The Ricks family often used the boat for entertaining…

Humboldt Bay, 1854 & 1876

November 20, 2020


Source: County of Humboldt Collection 

This post makes me sad as Don Tuttle recently passed away and he is the one that connected me to the source of some wonderful historic photos. I am thinking of you Don…

Please click the photo to enlarge for wonderful detail…

Buy a City Lot for $150 or Chicken Ranch for $2,000

November 10, 2020

This is another fun one from the 1915 Humboldt County, California : the land of unrivaled undeveloped natural resources on the westernmost rim of the American continent

Ferndale Enterprise (1881 and…)

November 2, 2020
Source: W. W. Elliott & Co., “History of Humboldt County, California (1881).

Interesting- it looks like they swapped locations of a door and window at some point, but otherwise the building is wonderfully intact….

Photo: Ellin Beltz

The Ferndale Enterprise office is (now) located at 207 Francis Street in the historic Dr. Alford house, built in 1884. In 1881 the house next door to 207 Francis — the one with two front doors located at 219 Francis — was built in 1881 as an office for The Ferndale Enterprise.

The following history of the Ferndale Enterprise is posted on the newspaper website HERE.

It was on May 11, 1878 that the Jones boys — William Gaston, James and Archibald, sons of the town’s Methodist minister — launched their weekly newspaper. It hasn’t missed an issue since.

The Joneses had taken space on Brown Street to house their offices and printing press. William Gaston Jones was the editor. He and his brothers had launched the Enterprise as an answer to oft-expressed dreams of Ferndale citizens to have their own newspaper, and also in the face of skepticism that the venture could succeed financially. Within a few months, the Jones brothers had removed any lingering doubts by engaging sales agents in Eureka, Rohnerville, Petrolia — even Sacramento and San Francisco.

In 1880, the Reverend Jones left the Methodist Church, and his sons moved with the family. This caused them to sell the newspaper to F.A. Alford, a physician.

Over the years, the Enterprise has changed owners 14 times. The longest-running ownerships were those of Herbert N. Briggs (1901-10, in partnership with William E. Butler, and 1910-32 as sole owner); and George and Hazel Waldner (1939-80). Elizabeth Poston McHarry, owner/publisher from 1982, sold the Enterprise to TSM Publishing, Inc. in October 1995. In October 1998, the paper was sold to editor Caroline Titus, who had edited and contributed to the paper for seven years prior, and to her husband, Ferndale native Stuart Titus. Today, Ferndale’s hometown newspaper has more than 1,700 subscribers, an average of 3,500 to 4,000 readers each week, and subscribers in 28 states besides California.

In 1997, for the first time since Hazel Waldner announced the end of World War II with a hand-printed red banner headline, the Enterprise won a statewide newspaper competition. It was judged first in its class for editorials and second for spot news by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. Since then, its winning streak continues, with more than 30 state and national awards gracing the office wall.

Upcoming OLLI Class

October 26, 2020

Humboldt’s Historic Photographs and the Stories They Tell

In the midst of these challenging times, this class is strictly fun.

Coming up Wednesday….

Delve into the history of well-known and familiar Humboldt County sites and events. Discover the fascinating local history of these places, and see how structures and landscapes have evolved over time.

Wed., Oct. 28 • 2-4 p.m.


$20 • Class #: 43949


“The Gift Shop” (with Burhl Novelties), F Street, Eureka

September 17, 2020
Source: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Please click on the image to see some great details. The intentionally uninterested guy in the back is pretty funny…

I have no date for the image, nor can I find anything about “The Gift Shop” in Eureka. I welcome any info folks can find….

Arcata, 1857

September 8, 2020

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


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..


Logging Camp on the Scotia Bluffs (repost)

August 4, 2020

Please do click to enlarge so you can see the detail. And if you’re interested in the bluffs, you can check out this post as well, which shows what happened after a hard, rainy winter… 



Eureka’s G Street, 1864

July 17, 2020

A good reminder that things will always change….


Source: HSU Special Collection