California Genealogy and History Archives
Humboldt County History
History of Humboldt County
Historic Record Co., Los Angeles, 1915
Its alleged formation from two Spanish or Latin words—First appearance of the name—Result of E. E. Hale's investigations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
CHAPTER XXIII. - HOW THE FIFTH
DIVISION, U. S. NAVAL MILITIA, CAME INTO EXISTENCE 170
A Memorial and Biographical History of Northern California - Chicago, Lewis Publ. Co., 1891