Halloween in early Arcata? (repost)

May 19, 2020

I am seeing new local traffic on this blog (maybe because I am actually posting again…?) so I thought when I don’t have a new post ready I would share some of my old favorites. Like this one…. 


It was only when I magnified this photo that I noticed the creepy masks in the window.


2020 note:

Dang, now I have to admit I had missed a lot of other great details before (distracted by the masks, as I was….).

I love the boardwalks and trees just up the hill on H Street and it looks like the Union newspaper office was headquartered up a bit on the right side of the street. I also like that Arcatans had a local dentist and time to lounge around on public benches (click to enlarge).


And today…




Before Power Lines Cluttered the Blue Lake Sky (re-post)

May 13, 2020

I don’t know why but when I try to explain the fun of exploring the details of old photos, this is always the photo I think about. Because of the pig.

I thought I would re-post, just for fun… 


Once upon a time in Blue Lake, there were no power lines.

Looking south down H Street, Blue Lake

Looking south down H Street, Blue Lake (HSU Special Collection) 



But there were lights…

Gas Lamp

Gas Lamp

And pigs, apparently.

Pig On H Street, Blue Lake

When Arcata had tin-smiths and harnessmakers…

February 9, 2017
Arcata 1881 Source: History Of Humboldt County,Elliott

Arcata 1881
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.




Buon Gusto Restaurant, Eureka

October 11, 2015



This photo is from HSU’s collection-click on the photo then click on the photo on HSU’s page again to see a larger version…





Year ago the Eagle House was used as a sort 0f mini-mall, with boutique stores off the upper balcony.  On a ghost tour I was told the building to the left was originally on the corner and they moved it to construct the bigger building.

Arlynda Bridge, c.1907 & Ferndale Creameries

April 8, 2013

Bridge over Salt River, c1907. Arlynda (Corners)

Huh. There is a low bridge and a high bridge. Not sure why.

According to Dennis Turner’s Place Names in Humboldt (I have the old edition) Arlynda was the name proposed by John Gardner Kenyon in 1882 for what (I think) used to be an independent community 1 1/2 mile north of Ferndale. Turner says Arlynda is an Indian word meaning merchandise or property. Apparently the first creamery in Humboldt County was founded there in 1890.

Not sure if it was this one…


Probably not one below either-as it looks like it backs into a hillside and it is flat around Arlynda.


Tyrell’s Creamery, Ferndale [Peter Palmquist]

Oysters in Humboldt in 1932

February 24, 2013

Humboldt Bay Oyster Seed Dike, 1932 (Bonnut/County Collection)

Apparently the folks at the North Coast Journal knew back in 1995 that “Oysters have been commercially grown and harvested in Humboldt Bay for more than 100 years” but I had no idea.

And the industry continues to grow.

In August of 2011, the Times Standard reported that the Headwaters Fund put $200,000 into the industry. The funds are allowing the  Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District to go through the lengthy and expensive  permitting process for mariculture plots and then lease the “pre-permitted” property to oyster farmers—drastically reducing the costs to those small business owners.

According to Dawn Elsbree, Executive Director of the Headwaters Fund, the Humboldt Bay Harbor District is now about half way through the grant and working on the pre-permitting process.  They have been mapping the bay and working with regulatory agencies to resolve environmental concerns. They are also preparing a US Army Corps permit application and a CEQA initial study,  as well as finalizing the model they’ll eventually use to evaluate potential project effects on phytoplankton. Apparently state and federal agencies are watching the project and shell fish growers are interested as well – and  there seems to be potential for the project to be a model for other communities.

I have the original grant proposal but can’t figure out how to attach to my blog–email me if you want me to send you a copy- historyaddicts@gmail.com.

And visit my friend Sebastian’s website, Aqua Rodeo Farms to get better acquainted with one of our local oyster farmers.

Eureka, c. 1923

August 20, 2010

7th & G Streets, Eureka. C 1923

There are a lot of cool things going on in this photo…

I wish I had more time this morning-I’d try to identify the buildings.  I wouldn’t be surprised if many are still standing, even if they are hidden behind new facades

If you look carefully at the commercial buildings downtown, especially between C & F streets, along 5th Street, you’ll notice the gables of old houses behind more “modern” and squared storefronts.  Sound Advice, a stereo store, I think, is one example.

Present day (ish)