Sites in Humboldt County listed by the State Office of Historic Preservation
NO. 146 TRINIDAD HEAD – On June 11, 1775, Bruno de Hezeta, commandant of an expedition up the northwest coast, marched with his men and two Franciscan fathers from the shore of the bay to the summit of Trinidad Head. Here they erected a cross and took possession in the name of Charles III of Spain.
Location: 1.5 mi W of Hwy 101, Trinidad, USCG Station
NO. 154 FORT HUMBOLDT – By the early 1850s, newly arrived white settlers had moved into the Humboldt Bay area, causing conflict with the native inhabitants. To protect both Indians and settlers, Fort Humboldt was established in 1853 and operated until 1866. It became a focal point in the violent struggle between two cultures. Many Native Americans were assembled here before removal to reservations.
Location: 3431 Fort Ave, Eureka
NO. 164 THE OLD ARROW TREE – This site is said to have been used by Indians to commemorate an important peace treaty. In memory of the treaty, each tribe, upon passing, was supposed to have shot an arrow into the bark.
Location: 0.8 mi E of Korbel County Hwy F5L 100 (P.M. 2.2), Korbel
NO. 173 CENTERVILLE BEACH CROSS – On January 6, 1860 the steamer Northerner, northward bound from San Francisco, struck a hidden rock two miles off Cape Mendocino, and from there drifted to the Centerville Beach. Thirty-three passengers and 32 crew members were saved – the cross was erected by the Ferndale Parlor No. 93, N.D.G.W., in memory of the 17 passengers and 21 crew members who lost their lives in this disaster.
Location: 5 mi W of Ferndale on Centerville Rd (P.M. 0.8) USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: FERNDALE
NO. 215 CAMP CURTIS – Camp Curtis was the headquarters of the Mountain Battalion from 1862 to 1865. There were many military posts established throughout this area for the protection of the white settlers. (Army spells Curtis with one s.)
Location: Take Sunset Ave offramp Hwy 101, go N 0.9 mi on L. K. Wood Blvd frontage Rd, Arcata
NO. 216 TOWN OF TRINIDAD – Founded April 8, 1850, Trinidad is the oldest town on the Northern California coast. During the 1850s, it served as a vital supply link between ships anchored at Trinidad Bay and miners in the Klamath, Trinity, Salmon River, and Gold Bluff mines. It was the county seat of Klamath County (now disbanded) from 1851 to 1854, but its population declined as Eureka and other area port cities developed.
Location: NW corner of Edwards and Hector Sts, Trinidad
NO. 477 CITY OF EUREKA – Eureka was founded as a town in 1850 and incorporated as a city in 1874. Located on the remote northwestern coast of California, Eureka was the region’s major port of entry by water in the 19th century before the construction of good access by land, and rose to historical prominence as the major social, political, and economic center of the region. ‘Eureka’ is a Greek expression and a popular mining term meaning ‘I have found it.’
Location: NW corner, 3rd and E Sts, old town, Eureka
NO. 543 CALIFORNIA’S FIRST DRILLED OIL WELLS – California’s first drilled oil wells that produced crude to be refined and sold commercially were located on the North Fork of the Mattole River approximately three miles east of here. The old Union Mattole Oil Company made its first shipment of oil from here, to a San Francisco refinery, in June 1865. Many old well heads remain today.
Location: NE corner Mattole Rd and Front St, Petrolia
NO. 783 JACOBY BUILDING – The basement and first story of this building were constructed in 1857 for Agustus Jacoby, and housed various mercantile firms during its early years as a principal supply point for the Klamath-Trinity mining camp trade. It served occasionally as a refuge in time of the Indian troubles from 1858 through 1864. It was acquired by A. Brizard in 1880.
Location: Eighth and H (plaque at NE corner, structure at SE corner), Arcata
NO. 838 OLD INDIAN VILLAGE OF TSURAI – Directly below was located the Yurok village of Tsurai. A prehistoric permanent Indian community, it was first located and described by Captains Bodega and Heceta, June 9-19, 1775. The houses were of hand-split redwood planks, designed for defense and protection. The village was occupied until 1916.
Location: SW corner of Ocean and Edwards Sts, Trinidad
NO. 842 ARCATA AND MAD RIVER RAIL ROAD COMPANY – Incorporated December 15, 1854, as the Union Plank Walk, Rail Track, and Wharf Company, the Arcata and Mad River Rail Road is the oldest line on the north coast. Originally using a horse-drawn car, the railroad served as a link between Humboldt Bay and the Trinity River mines. Later, locomotives were added as the line grew to serve the redwood industry.
Location: 330 Railroad Ave, NW corner Hatchery Rd and Railroad Ave, Blue Lake
NO. 882 HUMBOLDT HARBOR HISTORICAL DISTRICT – Captain Jonathan Winship made the first recorded entry into Humboldt Bay by sea in June 1806, and Josiah Gregg’s party visited the bay in 1849. By 1850 the Laura Virginia Association had founded Humboldt City, Union (Arcata), Bucksport, and Eureka – in subsequent years, the bay became a major North Coast lumber port and shipbuilding center.
Location: Harold Larsen Vista Pt, Humboldt Hill Rd off Hwy 101 (P.M. 73.7), Eureka
NO. 883 FERNDALE – This pioneer agricultural community, settled in 1852, helped feed the booming population of mid-century San Francisco. Long known as ‘cream city,’ Ferndale made innovative and lasting contributions to the dairy industry. Local creameries, and the town’s role as a transportation and shipping center in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, fostered prosperity that produced Ferndale’s outstanding Victorian-Gothic residential and false-front commercial architecture.
Location: Ferndale City Hall Park, intersection of Main and Herbert Sts, Ferndale