May 29, 2020
I have to admit that while convenient for some, Eureka’s old town parking lots are starting to make me sad. I have looked at enough photos and maps to know that each of those lots used to be packed with interesting businesses and buildings. For example, this was Eureka’s waterfront between C and E Streets in 1889….
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, 1889
It looks like Baird’s Opera Hall may still be there. Maybe…
But nothing else survived….
May 28, 2020
I ran across this old post the other day, which I’ve always found interesting and pretty tragic in its ramifications ….
Researching Lucy has given me an opportunity to learn many, many things about our history, including the court’s attitude toward illegitimate children in the early 1900s.
The following came from the Superior Court of California (County of Humboldt) probate record for Charles Mulberg (Lucy’s son) , who died “on or about March 23, 1928″.
…Inheritance in all other cases is eliminated on account of public policy founded upon a moral reason. If every illegitimate child could claim inheritance from his brothers and sisters, public scandal would be placed upon the head of many otherwise decent and respectable citizens. The legislature therefore evidently considered it a better policy to lessen public scandal and deny inheritance to an illegitimate, than to throw open the doors of public scandal and gossip, subject many persons to questionable ridicule and permit an illegitimate to expose the illicit relations of his or her ancestors, merely for the purpose of sharing the estate of his parent’s kindred. It therefore left the right of inheritance of an illegitimate to these cases where the parents themselves had exposed such illicit relations by admitting parentage. …
Sucks for the poor children whose fathers didn’t want to claim them.
2020 Note: I did find this interesting article on the history of child support in 18th and 19th century London (from the University of Cambridge) while looking for an image for this post…
May 26, 2020
I ran across this web entry on Fort Baker – and the map below, by accident, of course. But for those who like old maps and/or early Humboldt history, it is pretty cool.
Interesting that the town of Centreville, now really just a beach outside of Ferndale, was a place before Fortuna (originally Springville) was…
Centerville was also the location of a well known shipwreck and (maybe if it is still standing) the location of an historical landmark.
Please click the map to enlarge.
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.
I couldn’t find anything about “felon marks” online. If anyone knows or runs across anything about them, please share in the comments below.
May 15, 2020
I saved this one for Friday- so you can explore it over the weekend….
Google has digitized this fun.
Eureka Business Directory 1893-4: A Complete Register of the Citizens of the City of Eureka, Humboldt County, California
You can look up your great-grandparents or see that you could get “Humboldt Pure Lard” in 100 lb. Kegs.
Please note that you can customize your display, or how you view the book online, by clicking display options on the upper right hand corner of your screen.
May 14, 2020
I was distracted the other day by my discovery of an Armory Hall in Old Town Eureka on 2nd Street between C and D, but now back to the basics…
I’ve always loved that Fairwind sign on the side of the building, but apparently it isn’t that old….
It looks like the Armory was gone by 1920- but there were a LOT of saloons so still plenty of places for drinkin’. Whew…
I have posted about this area before (and noted that the two hour parking limit goes way back)- but without benefit of the map or satellite below…
Sanborn Map, 1920
It doesn’t look like many of the original buildings are left, but there are a few…
May 6, 2020
Eureka as painted by a soldier in 1854- Please click on the painting to enlarge.
Understanding Our Region Through Historic Landscape Narratives
When the first Euro-American ships arrived off Humboldt Bay in the spring of 1850, those onboard witnessed a spectacle that we can only dream about.
“I must now tell you that the land is so beautiful and the soil so rich that I was almost fascinated with the scene, and if I could have you and Ginney, Rachel and our family, with some of our valued friends, I could almost give up Erie. In addition to the good qualities of the land, the waters produce clams in abundance as well as fish; and geese, ducks, snipe, plover, etc. are about as numerous as wild pigeons at Erie in the spring. The wood is not less productive than the water and droves of elk and deer, with a goodly number of bears are always to be found….” (Lewis, 1966)
Captain Douglas Ottinger, on board the Laura Virginia, in Humboldt Bay, April 1850, to his “Good Wife,”
Note: Susie Van Kirk was an amazing and generous historian and a wonderful human being. She passed away in 2016 and I miss her still….