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)

Incentive to quit the filthy weed, Arcata 1863

January 29, 2010

I went though some old newspaper archives recently and am obviously having fun with what I found.

Apparently “progressive” Arcata has a long history with filthy weeds…

Humboldt Times, 28 March 1863

Arcata Anti-Tobacconist–Our sister city, across the Bay, has taken another progressive step, in the organization of a league whoe one idea is to discourage the use of the filthy weed.

Some ten inveterate victims of this habit always fallacious and at present extremely extravagant have pledged themselves to abstain from the use of tobacco in any form during the year 1863, under penalty of a fine of ten dollars, which in case of forfeiture is to be applied to the school fund of the town.

We consider this a good arrangement; for if they really succeed…   it certainly will be to his advantage, while if his resolve melts away like the smoke of his discarded meerchaum*, the ten dollars remains as a tangible benefit to the school fund, which will gain what he loses.

*meerchaum: a claylike mineral used to make tobacco pipes

Fortuna Train Depot, early days

December 11, 2009

Fortuna Train Depot

This is a great example of repurposing an old structure.
This old train depot is now the Depot Museum in Fortuna.   It contains all kinds of fun historic displays, as well as some historic documents for those researching genealogy or other specific topics.
The building was moved from it’s original location at the foot of 8th Street to Rohner Park (take first Fortuna exit and keep driving about 3 ish miles.  The park entrance is on the left). 
A google search found me this photo, which has even more great period details. 

Fortuna train depot, c. 1914