Felon Mark on End of Right Thumb

May 25, 2020

See, this is what happens.  You start by researching a friend’s recently found saloon token and then discover that early voter registers recorded (visible) physical marks and scars….

I am guessing it was so voters could be identified definitively on polling day–and pre-photo identification, it makes sense…

The two pages below are from Humboldt’s 1892-1898 Voter Registration records, accessed through Ancestry.com.

I have never heard of a “felon mark”.  Notice a lot of men (and note that they were ONLY men), had “mashed” or missing digits.

Update from a commenter on Facebook–I’ll post her name once I get permission:

A felon is a fingertip abscess deep in the palm side of the finger. It usually is caused by bacterial infection, most often from growth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. A painful bump on the end of a finger that is sometimes mistaken for a felon is a herpes virus infection that forms a herpetic whitlow.

Ancestry.32421_227311-00170

Ancestry.com.VoterRegis.32421_227311-00172

I couldn’t find anything about “felon marks” online. If anyone knows or runs across anything about them, please share in the comments below.


Eureka’s Washington Schools- 1, 2 & 3

February 1, 2016

HCOE.Washington 1 HCOE.Washington 2 HCOE.Washington 3

Thanks the the Humboldt County Office of Education for the photos.


Results of an Arcata Tinman’s Hard Work…

January 27, 2016
Arcata 1881 Source: History Of Humboldt County,Elliott

Arcata 1881
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…

Burns.Census.1880

 


1906 Expulsion of the Chinese

January 24, 2016
The County photo is dated 1885, but Pfaelzer dates is 1906...

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 »


One of Many Lucys

October 8, 2015

 

I recently (finally) finished a story about Lucy Romero for the North Coast Journal. It is an important story and I am thankful to Thad Greenson, their editor, for working so long and patiently with me to get it done.

There is one point I failed to include though and so want to share it here. This is from a post I did years ago, but it is just as important to remember now…

In the western movie, Broken Trail  , there is a scene where Robert Duvall struggles to learn the names of five Chinese girls under his care.  They speak no English and growing frustrated, Duvall’s character points to each one in turn and names them, “One, Two, Three, Four… “.  The girls accept the names, because they have no choice.

The same thing happened here.  When the white settlers arrived, they re “named” the native people.  Smo-Wa became Henry Capell (he was from the village of Capell).  Corn-no-wish became Weichpec Oscar.  Zo-wish-wish, a Wiyot woman related to Lucy’s daughter, Annie, was also known as “Rose”.

Lucy, the woman I write about, was only one of many “Lucys”.

 


Lots (and lots) of Crab

October 16, 2013

Women Processing Crab [HSU: Palmquist/Yale Collection]

Unfortunately many of the photos from this collection are undated. The digital cataloger estimated that the photo was taken in Humboldt (likely Eureka) sometime in the 1970s.


Birth Control in Ketchikan, Alaska

July 11, 2013

I was fortunate to be able to visit Alaska recently and it was in the historic red light district of Ketchikan that I discovered this unknown (and probably obsolete) kraft.

Scagway.SilkCondomFlower.1

Apparently condoms used to be made of silk –they came in pretty colors but weren’t very effective so at least one “working girl” made home decorations with them. This flower (and others) adorned her shower curtain.

Skagway.dollyshouse.desc

The house is open for tours and was left pretty much the way it was when Dolly passed away.

Skagway.DollysBdrm