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Humboldt County History

History of Humboldt County California
Historic Record Co., Los Angeles, 1915

 

 

CONTENTS

 

CHAPTER I - THE ORIGIN OF THE NAME CALIFORNIA   17       

Its alleged formation from two Spanish or Latin words—First appearance of the name—Result of E. E. Hale's investigations.

 

CHAPTER II.- THE NORTH WAS SLOW TO BE DISCOVERED   19

Knowledge of Humboldt county vague prior to war of Rebellion—Indians and wild beasts only tenants—First white inhabitants—Causes of slow development—The Laura Virginia Association—First expedition of the Laura Virginia—H. H. Buhne discovers mouth of Klamath river—Interesting experiences with Indians in crossing Mad river—Entrance to Humboldt Bay discovered.

 

CHAPTER III.- THE DISCOVERY OF HUMBOLDT BAY   24

Authentic information regarding early explorations—Cabrillo and Ferrelo--­Sir Francis Drake—Robert Dudley—Humboldt Bay not known to the Spaniards—Vancouver's explorations—Discovery of Bay by water due to activities of Russians—Capt. Jonathan Winship, an American, true discoverer—The Laura Virginia continues her cruise—Capt. H. Buhne—D. L. Thornbury summarizes his conclusions.

 

CHAPTER IV. - LAND DISCOVERY OF HUMBOLDT BAY   28

Fascination attaching to exploits of Pioneers—The thrilling adventures of L. K. Wood and party—David A. Buck's contribution—Indians show friendly interest in the explorers' activities—Hardship and lack of food daily experiences—Wood's summary of the discovery—Life and death struggle with Grizzly bears—Some early explorations.

 

CHAPTER V. - UNIQUE EARLY HISTORY   46

Early history of Humboldt county shows no trace of Spanish influence—The county still in its infancy as compared with what has been accomplished in the south—County not settled until after Mexican war—The scene of General Grant's early military services—Influence of Panama Canal, Humboldt Bay jetties and Northwestern Pacific Railroad—Resources of county unlimited—Rapid settlement after land discovery of Humboldt Bay—Mining more attractive than agriculture—Union, Bucksport and Eureka.

 

CHAPTER VI. - GOLD MINES LURE MEN TO THE NORTH   50

Early settlers inured to hardships—The lure of gold a powerful magnet—Influence of the discovery of gold on Humboldt county—Major P. B. Reading -Search for the mouth of Trinity river—Cruising expedition of the Cameo.

 

CHAPTER VII. - GRANT 'S CAREER IN HUMBOLDT COUNTY   52

Fort Humboldt the quarters of U. S. Grant in 1853 and 1854—Two accounts of his life while at the Fort—Colonel Buchanan and Captain Grant not the best of friends—In those days only a mule trail connected Fort Humboldt with Eureka—An episode that gave rise to unfavorable comment—Mrs. Shields' account of Grant's voyage to Fort Humboldt—In spite of disagreeable experiences at the Fort, Grant had nothing but kind words for his associates.

 

CHAPTER VIII. - EARLY TROUBLES WITH THE INDIANS   62

Humboldt county formerly a part of Trinity county—The Klamath river an attraction for gold hunters—Ill feeling between old-timers and Indians—Interesting recollections of Mrs. R. F. Herrick—Her predictions regarding Indian war come true—The Klamath war of 1855—Other battles and raids—Indian reservations.

 

CHAPTER. IX. - LIFE AND TIMES IN THE EARLY FIFTIES   75

"The days of old, the days of gold, the days of forty-nine"—John Carr's account of those days—Mail delivery—Crude habitations of settlers—Peril from rattlesnakes more disturbing than from bear or wild lion.

 

CHAPTER X. - ORGANIZATION OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY   77

When state was divided into counties, in 1850, the northern region was not taken into account—Trinity county divided in 1852, again in 1853—Humboldt county the western division—Humboldt and Siskiyou acquire territory of old Klamath county—Contest for county seat—Court of Sessions and County Court.

 

CHAPTER XI. - RUSSIAN'S IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA   81

The ship Ocean visits Humboldt Bay early in nineteenth century—Russian ship anchors in bay of San Francisco in 1806—Rezanof and his exploits—His romance woven into poem by Bret Harte—Captain Sutter takes over Russian holdings—Mexican Congress passes stringent laws against foreigners—Tom Gregory's account of Fort Ross situation—Close of Russian power in California.

 

CHAPTER XII. - TOPOGRAPHY, CLIMATE AND SCENERY   85

Natural barriers of mountain and forest made the county undesirable for settlement—Spanish priests preferred the milder climate of the south—G. A. Kellogg's description of physical appearance of the county—Weather observations of A. H. Bell—Many improvements under way to build better roads—The scenery of the county extremely picturesque—Much of the county still a virgin wilderness—Bull creek forest—Rivers, creeks and streams a boon to fishermen—Birds of the county.

 

CHAPTER XIII. - EARLY TOWNS AND VILLAGES OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY   94

No great increase in population during 1851 and 1852—Arcata the only exception to the rule—Bucksport—Eureka—Trinidad—Hydesville—Rohnerville—Eureka becomes county seat in 1856—City waterworks built—Completion of state highway to work a transformation in county.

 

CHAPTER XIV. - EARLY SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITY    99

No historical data of educational matters in early days obtainable—First school organized in 1852—Schools at Bucksport, Eureka and Arcata—A number of eminent professional men in state were educated in Humboldt county—School system has been extended throughout county—High schools —Bitter fight between Arcata and Eureka for site of normal school—Arcata won.

 

CHAPTER XV. - EARLY CHURCHES IN HUMBOLDT COUNTY   101

Ten years before Civil war churches existed in the county—First meeting appointed for worship at Bucksport in 1850—First Methodist Church building in Eureka dedicated in 1859—Rohnerville Methodist Church organized in 1852—Congregationalists organized churches in Eureka and Ferndale—Presbyterian, United Brethren, Roman Catholic and Christian Science churches.

 

CHAPTER XVI. - GOLD MINING IN HUMBOLDT COUNTY   106

Early mining excitement bears an important part in making history—Placer mining followed with success in early days—The famous Orleans bar—Starvation times on Salmon river—Thousands of acres of gold-bearing land awaiting the miner with modern facilities for utilizing fine gold—Gold Bluff—Humboldt county claims some of the richest possibilities for platinum in the United States.

 

CHAPTER XVII. - HISTORY OF THE LUMBER INDUSTRY   109

Redwood forests and the lumber industry have an important place in the county's history—Science tells of great age of trees—Durability of redwood—History of manufacture of lumber dates from 1850—Steady improvement in methods and facilities—Record of shipments and values—Non-combustible qualities of redwood—Other trees of value in county—Wages of woodsmen.

 

CHAPTER XVIII. - ACTIVITY IN MANY TOWNS   121

Early day industries as compared with the present—Activities stimulated by reason of projected highway and completion of railroad—Plans for improvement of towns and building of new ones—Lake Switzerland, Humboldt county has many hotels and resorts—Rev. William Rader's observations—Arcata and its outlook—Fort Seward—Commercial activities of Eureka—Ferndale — Fortuna — Loleta—Rohnerville—Trinidad—Hydesville—Alton­:Metropolitan — Rio Dell—Scotia—Shively—Pepperwood—Dyerville—Blocksburg—Alderpoint—Korbel—Blue Lake—Samoa—Carlotta.

 

CHAPTER XIX. - PROMOTION ACTIVITIES   140

Education of public sentiment an important factor in community development—Interest in county aroused through magazines and other publications—Development organizations discussed—Campaign undertaken in behalf of community development—The work in charge of R. R. Wilson—Farm adviser installed in office in July, 1913—Good roads—Humboldt Promotion and Development Committee—Chamber of Commerce of Humboldt county—Value of organized effort.

 

CHAPTER XX. - PAST AND PROSPECTIVE HUMBOLDT AGRICULTURE   148

No attempt at agriculture in early days—Radical change in conditions—Clover at one time king of agricultural products—Coming of Professor Christiansen and the organization of farm bureau arouse new interest—Humboldt Land and Development Company—Notable advance made in dairy industry—Humboldt's apple belt—Summary of conditions and possibilities by A. E. Etter.

 

CHAPTER XXI. - HUMBOLDT'S BENCH AND BAR   156

History of Bench and Bar in California always regarded as romantic and unique—Impress made by settlers from Canada and New England—Official Court Reporter W. K. Strong gives entertaining account of early conflicts in court—Pioneer days in Humboldt county.

 

CHAPTER XXII. - THE EUREKA FREE LIBRARY   166
By H. A. KENDAL - First public reading room originated among members of Methodist Episcopal Church—Movement had steady growth from first—First board of library trustees appointed—Eureka Library Association turns over its property to appointed trustees of Eureka Free Library—Movement started to secure Carnegie Library.

 

CHAPTER XXIII. - HOW THE FIFTH DIVISION, U. S. NAVAL MILITIA, CAME INTO EXISTENCE   170
By A. B. ADAMS - Meeting called for organization of a military company—Officers elected—Anniversary of organization observed with appropriate ceremonies—Present officers of the division.


A Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California - Chicago, Lewis Publ. Co., 1891