Largest Circular Water Tank Ever Built Aboveground, 1893

May 18, 2021
Source: In the Redwood’s Realm, 1893

Ricks Water Company’s Redwood Water Tank, Eureka, CA

Largest circular water tank ever built above ground. Inside diameter, 54 ft, depth 30 ft. Built on concrete piers, covering the entire bottom surface of the tank. Capacity 514,000 gallons. 36,000 feet clear redwood lumber and 17 tons iron hoops used in construction. In the Redwood’s Realm, 1893

Apparently this was not Mr. Ricks first tank

Clearly demand was growing– and Mr. Ricks responded….

But we couldn’t have curious boys polluting the water….

In the Redwood’s Realm, 1893 has a lot of great photos and is worth the look-through when you have some time…

OLLI- History of the Spanish Flu & Covid

May 5, 2021
No photo description available.

The History of the 1918 Spanish Flu (and COVID-19) in Humboldt County


With Lynette Mullen, Historian

Learn about the 1918 Spanish flu in Humboldt County, how it developed, the strategies undertaken to stop the epidemic, and the community impact. Then see how similar strategies, including masking, social distancing, non-essential business closures and more, are being employed against COVID-19 today.

Thurs., May 6 • 6-8 p.m.


$20 • Class #: 24283


Jack & Charmian London in Eureka

January 30, 2021
Jack and Charmian London, Huntington Library

The fight between celebrated writer Jack London and Stanwood Murphy, son of Pacific Lumber Company owner Simon Murphy, at Eureka’s Oberon Grill in 1910 (or 1911) is the stuff that local legends are made of. According to a letter written by eye witness Hap Waters, the fight started over politics and ended with both men in the hospital recovering from their wounds.

Stories of the fight fail to mention that London’s wife Charmian had traveled with him to Humboldt and that Eureka was only one of many stops the adventurous couple made along the west coast during that time.

The Huntington Library has an amazing collection of London’s photos, including many from Humboldt County. More coming soon….

Requa Saloon and more…

November 13, 2020
Source: HSU Special Collection

I was actually looking for saloon pics when I accidentally ran across another great photo of Requa, which is located just north of Humboldt in Del Norte County, near the mouth of the Klamath River. I’m not sure what prompted the crowd, but this offers a great collection of old cars, clothes, buildings and more…

This may be located directly above the boat photo from yesterday (to the left of the Klamath Inn) but it is hard to tell for sure…

“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….

Minor’s Granite Quarry

September 13, 2020

I walked through the Myrtle Grove Cemetery the other day, where volunteers have worked hard to restore this little piece of Humboldt history and noticed the (huge) Vance mausoleum- which reminded me of Isaac Minor’s mausoleum in Arcata, (which I have post about before).

Which reminded me of Minor’s granite quarry, which I’ve also posted about before, but am guessing many folks have never heard of.

Which prompted me to do a google search about the quarry- which turned up more fun photos….


And a lot of information about Isaac Minor’s Quarry HERE . I

have copied it below for those who don’t want to click on another link…

Arcata (near), Humboldt County, California – Isaac Minor Granite Quarry (Granite) (Excerpt from Report XIV of the State Mineralogist – Mines and Mineral Resources of Portions of California, Chapters of State Mineralogist’s Report – Biennial Period 1913-1914, Part III. “The Counties of Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino,” by Walter W. Bradley, Field Assistant (field work in August, 1913), California State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1916, pp. 371-425.)

Isaac Minor Quarry. This quarry consists of granite suitable for building purposes and is situated on Warren Creek which is a tributary of Mad River in T. 6 N., R. 1 E. Although the rock is suitable for building purposes, yet granite used in the county for such purposes as monuments is imported from other parts of California. There is so little construction going on in the county that requires a good building stone that the quarries, or rather the prospective quarries, have not been developed. The only rock being used at present is that used for road metal and for the federal work on the harbor jetty.”

  • Arcata (near), Humbodt County, California – the Isaac Minor Granite Quarry (Granite) (from The Timberman, Vol. 16, No. 10, August 1915, M. Freeman Publications, Portland, Oregon, pp. 62.  (This magazine is available on Google Books.)“The landing apron which has been used at the south jetty has been transferred across the entrance to Humboldt Bay to the north spit.  The next transfer will be that of the gallows frame and counterweights, and as soon as these have been set up on the mainland of the north spit the apron will be placed permanently in position.  It has been announced that the north jetty is to be built of Humboldt granite, procured from the Warren Creek quarries belonging to I. Minor, who formerly operated the Minor Mill & Lumber Co.’s plant at Glendale.  The Pacific Engineering Co., rock contractors for the Humboldt jetty work, procured the rock for the south jetty from Jacoby Creek, but it has been decided to make the north spit of the granite, which will be delivered by rail to Bucksport, directly opposite the jetty.  From there it will be taken on rock barges.  Kenneth McAlpine has resigned as superintendent of the Pacific Engineering Co., and will be succeeded by H. K. McJunklin, who held the position before it was taken over by McAlpine.”
  • Arcata (near), Humboldt County, California – Isaac Minor’s “Granite Mountain Rock Quarry Railroad” (aka the Warren Creek Railroad)  The following snippet is from The Western Railroader, for The Western Railfan, Vols. 21-22, Northern California Railroad Club, California, Nevada Railroad Historical Society, Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, Railroad Boosters, San Francisco, F.A. Guido, 1957, on Google Books.“…Isaac Minor started construction in 1912 on his Granite Mountain Rock Quarry Railroad, later known as the Warren Creek Railroad.”
  • Arcata (near), Humboldt County, California – Granite from the Isaac Minor Granite Quarry used to construct the I. Minor Mausoleum  (from Thomas Minor, descendants, 1608-1981, by John A. Miner, 1981.  (A snippet of this book is available on Google Books.)According to Thomas Minor, Descendants, 1608-1981, in the John A. Miner (sic) section:  “She died in Aracata, Homboldt Co., California.  Isaac died 11 December 1916.  Both are buried in the Miner Mausoleum, Greenwood Cemetery in Arcata.  It was constructed of granite from Isaac’s own quarry and under his supervision….”You can view a photograph of the I. Minor Mausoleum in Greenwood Cemetery, Arcata, California, by Julia.Green.67on
  • Arcata (near), Humboldt County, California – the Isaac Minor Granite Quarry (Granite)  (from Logging the Redwoods, by Lynwood Carranco and John T. Labbe, 4th ed., reprint, Caxton Press, 1975, ISBN0870043730, 9780870043734, pp. 94.  (This portion of the book is available on Google Books.)Logging the Redwoods includes a short description of Isaac Minor’s life and photographs of him and of the Minor Mill & Lumber Co. at Glendale, near the Mad River, late 1880s.  (The photographs are from the Humboldt State University.)“In 1875 he (Isaac Minor) sold his interest in these (lumber) mills to his sons and moved north to Mad River, where he continued his lumbering activities.  He also had interests…a granite quarry…He became one of the wealthiest men in California….He died at Arcata on December 11, 1915….”
  • Arcata (near), Humboldt County, California – Isaac Minor Quarry (Granite)  (The following snippet is from The American West, Vols. 12-13, Western History Association, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, American West Publishing Company, 1975, pp. 37. (The below snippet is available on Google Books.)“The Isaac Minor quarry was a monument to the dedication of a single man. Minor, nearing the end of his life and wealthy beyond his needs, imported Italian quarrymen to Humboldt County to split and section the huge granite boulder shown….”
  • Arcata (near), Humboldt County, California – Isaac Minor Quarry (Granite)  (The following excerpt is from Fine California Views:  the Photographs of A. W. Ericson, by Peter E. Palmquist, Interface California Corporation, Eureka, 1975, pp. 94.(photo caption)  “The Isaac Minor quarry was a monument to the dedication of a single man, Minor, nearing the end of his life and wealth beyond his needs, imported Italian quarrymen to Humboldt County to split and section the huge granite boulder shown above for use in the construction of his mausoleum.  To provide transport for the stone from the quarry to the cemetery to Arcata, a special railroad spur was added to the Arcata and Mad River Railroad, and the huge blocks of stone were shipped to the construction site.  Upon completion of the edifice, Minor survived the burial of many of his kin, only to die on a trip outside the area.  He is believed to be the only member of his family not buried in the tomb.”
  • Arcata Area, Humboldt County, California – Isaac Minor & brothers – “The Four Minor brothers All contributed to area development” and other related articles (pdf), in The Humboldt Historian, Vol. 37, No. 2, May-June 1989)  (Other articles in this publication that relate to Isaac Minor and his family include:  “Minors to pay tribute to Isaac:  Sixth biennial reunion to focus on leading role in community affairs” and  “Old theatre keeps Minor name alive.”)
  • Arcata (near), Humboldt County, California – Isaac Minor’s “Granite Mountain Rock Quarry Railroad”  (from California Railroads: An Encyclopedia of Cable Car, Common Carrier, Horsecar, Industrial Interurban, Logging, Monorail, Motor Road, Shortlines, Streetcar, Switching, and Terminal Railroads in California (1851-1992), by Alvin A. Fickewirth, Golden West Books, 1992, ISBN 0870951068, 9780870951060, pp. 82.  (This snippet is available on Google Books.)“…Isaac Minor built a mill on Warren Creek…Operated under the name Granite Mountain Rock Quarry Railroad.  Ceased operations in 1917….”

Cottages on the Eel…

July 27, 2020



I grew up in Rio Dell, which is surrounded by the Eel River, rolling hills and striking bluffs and I still think it is one of the prettiest places around.  As a kid I often used to ride my bike to a friend’s house on Eeloa Avenue but don’t remember the Union gas station.

But I am pretty sure I found the lodge ! 




November 8, 2012

Hello everyone,

Please accept my sincere apologies for not responding to those of you who have recently submitted comments or emails related to this blog.

I have been focusing my free time and energy researching the legal indenture, or enslavement, of Native Americans during California’s settlement period. Those who have followed this blog know that I believe this topic is important and warrants wider recognition, discussion and study than it has ever received.

I plan to continue my research/writing on the topic and am not really sure when I’ll be active on this blog again. Visitors are welcome to comment on posts and/or email me at but please keep your expectations for a response very, very low.

My regards to you all,


Obsessing Over Ferndale’s Dead

March 8, 2012

Ferndale, c. 1885 (County of Humboldt Collection)

I am not obsessing over Ferndale’s dead (really, I swear) but whoever (whomever?) took these photos had a very cool idea.

The first I have is from 1876 ,

the second from around 1880 ,

And now this one. And I may have more…

Though obsessing over the dead wouldn’t be new for Ferndale. I was a kid when they filmed Salem’s Lot there and recently a friend moved into one of the houses used in the movie.  Hope no floating boy scratches at his window…. 

Ok, and yes, it was a terrible movie, but I had a crush on the boy (not the undead one–the clever brave one that helped hunt and kill the vampires).  I also watched them film a couple of scenes, which was a first for me.

Extreme Weather Shelter for Homeless OPEN TONIGHT

January 15, 2012

We were ready to have a test run of Eureka’s Extreme Weather Shelter for the homeless when Mother Nature jumped the gun.   A hard freeze warning for TONIGHT prompted the opening the Extreme Weather Shelter at the St. Vincent’s Dining Facility  at 35 West 3rd Street, in Old Town, Eureka.

I am posting this in case someone out there sees someone who needs shelter for the night.

Please send them to the Eureka Rescue Mission, 110 2nd Street in Eureka


Coordinator Steve Bell is at the Dining Hall to welcome folks and between St. Vincent’s and the Rescue Mission, Eureka can provide shelter to everyone who wants to be indoors tonight.  We even have donated dog kennels so folks with animals can be sure their pets are safe.

I will post more about this project in a bit, but wanted to get the word out about the shelter now.

Please help us to help those who need it most…