Uniontown (Arcata), Summer of ’53 (1853)

July 4, 2011

Folks that have known me awhile can attest that I seldom stick with any interest in particular (outside of my family obligations) for any length of time.  Yet… yet, two years later I am still posting to this blog. 

I’d like to think I’m not often motivated by external influences, but the local interest and extremely generous contributions of visitors makes this, well, just a heck of a lot of fun.  This time around “thanks !” goes, once again, to Skippy…

What a beautiful ‘Grand Old Dame’ of a school building gracing Arcata in 1897. Arcata had become a booming and thriving town by this time; electricity already having made its appearance a few years prior along with the other modern marvels at the turn of the century. It wasn’t always this way for the previous generations– the pioneering parents and grandparents– of the Arcata youth pictured here.

44 years earlier Arcata– then called Union– was just becoming a settled place; a crossroad of lush agriculture, supplies, and transportation for the Trinity mines to the east. Judge John Carr gave his first impressions upon visiting Arcata, reminiscings likely to have been remembered by the immediate ancestors of these school children:

“A Trip To Humboldt”
“During the summer of ’53, hearing of the beauties and richness of Humboldt county, I made up my mind to visit that section. Buying a mule, I started from Weaverville, to take a more extended view of the resources of this county. On my arriving at Big Flat, on the lower Trinity, there were rumors of the Indians having broken out and being on the war path. I found waiting for company Judge Peters and two others, and we were joined there by General Denver, all bound for Uniontown, now Arcata…

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Jolly Giant Mill in Arcata, c.1878

July 30, 2010

Jolly Giant Mill, located northwest of HSU. Photo c.1878

I’m thinking that “Historic Photo Fridays” might be a good idea…

What baseball is really all about

March 19, 2010

And this one…

The notes I have say “Arcata”.  I’m not sure of the year.

Humboldt’s too smart to raze buildings

December 2, 2009


I receive This Old House magazine and one of the “Thirty lessons learned in 30 years of TOH TV” is that restoring an old house is a good investment.

The article points out that not long  ago (1970s) razing old buildings to make way for “progress” was common.   Many local buildings, such as the original Arcata City Hall, were lost this way (the photo below is a repeat, I know, but what a great old building).

Original Arcata City Hall

Fortunately, many things have changed (and few Humboldt residents had the funds to flatten old buildings and construct new ones from scratch).  Today we have many wonderful historic structures in the area.  

Just yesterday I worked for a client who has his office in the Stewart School Building in Arcata (across from the high school).  The building was built in 1925, closed some time ago as a school, was repurposed as office and studio space, and just became the new home of College of the Redwood’s Arcata extension program.

Hopefully this trend of repurposing historic structures will continue.  Not because we’re too poor to destroy old structures to create new buildings, but because we’re too smart to.