February 9, 2017
Source: History Of Humboldt County,Elliott
…In 1854 we find that Arcata had about fourteen stores carrying large stocks of goods, besides saddle and harnessmakers, jewelers, gunsmiths, tin- smiths, and several blacksmith and wagon shops, all of which did an active and profitable business. It seems that the first active officers of Arcata were elected in April, 1856, under the order of county judge, incorporating the village. There were four towns on the bay in 1855 — Humboldt, Bucksport, Eureka, and Union. The first three boasted of a store each, while the latter had seven large wholesale establishments, with harnessmakers, saddlers, etc., as indicated.
Source: HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY CALIFORNIA, History by Leigh H. Irvine
HISTORIC RECORD COMPANY, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, 1915
April 1, 2016
Nicholas Hubbard, who grew up in Humboldt and is currently going to school on the east coast, is doing a masters project focused on Fort Humboldt. He is asking local folks to respond to his survey-which will help him with his efforts. Please take a moment to take the survey (it is quick and simple and will help him immensely). Thank you.
“Through Various Hazards and Adventures We Move is a series of site specific installation and participatory performance events created by artist Nick Hubbard, that will take place in late April in Eureka. The work examines the meaning of Fort Humboldt in the present day.
Nick has designed a survey as part of Through Various Hazards. Your anonymous responses may appear as quotes on installation plaques, in tweets by the artist, or on the project website. By participating you have the opportunity to enrich the community’s understanding of one of its foundational sites and share what Eureka’s history means to you.
The questions in the survey are open to interpretation, and there’s no right way to answer them. Whether you grew up going to Fort Humboldt, or you’ve never been, you are invited to share your perspective. And please share widely amongst your Eureka and Humboldt circles.”
March 15, 2016
c. 1878. Brizard Collection
I ran across this photo while doing research for a client and had never seen it before.
I have to wonder if the photographer climbed a tree, maybe, to get this angle…? (see comments for other theories).
We are looking from the G Street area down at the Plaza and the bay beyond.
Unfortunately this photo was taken a few years after a fire that took a lot of plaza buildings..
“In July 1875, a catastrophic fire swept the Plaza, burning the entire block to the north, all the buildings on the west half of the east side of the plaza and buildings on the block at the north east corner. ” [The Plaza, Arcata. by Susie Van Kirk]
Click on the photo to enlarge and enjoy…
January 29, 2016
Source: Humboldt County Collection
HISTORY OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY CALIFORNIA, by Leigh H. Irvine
HISTORIC RECORD COMPANY, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: 1915
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  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. Read the rest of this entry »
January 27, 2016
Source: History Of Humboldt County,Elliott. Left caption says: Robt. Burn’s Hardware Store. Right caption says: Burns Block.
You may recognize the commercial building on the upper right…
I have to admit I just grabbed this illustration out of Elliott’s book because it showed some early Arcata structures but I looked up Mr. Burns in the 1880 census (Ancestry.com). He appears to have done very well as a “tinman” who immigrated from England…
January 24, 2016
Source: Humboldt County Collection (notice the Yacht Club in the background)
Jeannie Pfaelzer included a photo in her book, Driven Out, The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans, that references a Chinese expulsion in Humboldt County in 1906- I’ve finally found the story…
In the summer of 1905, the Tallant-Grant Co. of Astoria, Oregon established a cold storage plant at Port Kenyon on the Salt River and with the commencement of the salmon season in October, purchased the fishermen’s catches for two cents a pound. During two months of fishing and at various times, daily receipts of nine, ten, and twelve tons were recorded (Ferndale Enterprise, 1 Aug. 1905; 17 Oct. 1905; 27 Oct. 1905; 5 Dec. 1905). Because Eel River salmon were no longer of the size or grade most desirable for cold storage purposes and in order to handle this surplus, the Company explored the feasibility of developing a cannery at Port Kenyon (Ferndale Enterprise 2 Oct. 1906). An inquiry was made to the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce about the employment of Chinese labor, without which, the Company claimed such a plant could not be successful. The Chamber responded that there would be no objection as long as certain conditions were met,including 1) the Chinese would work only at the cannery, 2) stay no longer than the period of operations, and 3) they would not be permitted at any time to leave the vicinity of the cannery (Ferndale Enterprise 22 June 1906). The Tallant-Grant Company built a 110×50 addition to the Port Kenyon Cold Storage Company building for the cannery, which began operations during the 1906 season. The investors felt that such a facility would be economically viable by utilizing the smaller salmon caught by the local fishermen and easily exported via the Salt River (Ferndale Enterprise 4 Sept. 1906; 9 Oct. 1906). Read the rest of this entry »
January 21, 2016
It goes without saying that losing these old school houses was a tragedy.
According to Fred Nelson (posted on Facebook):
Winship School replaced the old Grant School and was opened in 1890 with 500 elementary grade children. In 1896, it became the first high school in Humboldt Co. It became an intermediate school for 7 and 8 grades in 1914 and was closed in 1926. The old Winship was then demolished and the Eureka Municipal Auditorium was built at the location. (Please note, though, that other folks are saying that the Muni actually incorporated some of the original school building)
Source: Humboldt County Office of Education Collection