Site is part of the
and The USGenWeb
My name is Martha and I am
the Humboldt County Coordinator: I do not live in Humboldt County, but
will do my very best to find local resources and answer questions.
Contact me at this email address: marthagra[at symbol]gmail.com
of Humboldt County
sits approximately 200 miles north of
on Hwy 101. Eureka, the county seat, is 278 miles north of San Francisco
and 466 miles south of Portland,
The county encompasses 2.3 million acres, eighty percent of which is
timber land and recreation areas. The county is mostly mountainous,
except for the level plain that surrounds
Elevations run from sea level to 6,934 feet. Located within the county
boundaries are 10 state parks, 16 county parks and beaches, recreational
areas and reserves, and portions of the National Park and National
Humboldt County was incorporated on May 12, 1853.
It's County seat,
was created on that same date. The county derived its name from
which was entered by a sea otter party in 1806, but was not rediscovered
until 1849. In 1850, Douglas Ottinger and Hans Buhne entered the bay,
naming it Humboldt in honor of the great naturalist and world explorer.
from the Humboldt Wiki:
Humboldt County is
a county in
state of California,
located on the far North
Coast 200 miles north of San
Francisco. In 2008, its population was estimated to be about
129,000. Its primary population centers of Eureka,
seat, and the smaller college town of Arcata,
home to Humboldt
State University, are located adjacent to Humboldt
Bay, California's second largest natural bay.Area
cities and towns are known for hundreds of ornate examples of Victorian
Humboldt is a densely forested, mountainous, and rural county situated
along the Pacific coast
California's rugged Coast
(Mountain) Ranges. With nearly 1,500,000 acres (6,100 km2)
of combined public and private forest in production, Humboldt County
accounts for twenty percent of the total forest
production for all of
county contains over forty percent of all remaining old
Redwood forests, the
vast majority of which is protected or strictly conserved within dozens
of national, state, and local forests and parks, totaling approximately
680,000 acres (over 1,000 square miles).
The Formation of Humboldt County
Humboldt County was formed in 1853 from the coastal section of Trinity
County, the rapid settlement of that part making it necessary. The
county seats have been Uniontown, now Arcata, 1853, and Eureka since
Humboldt Bay on which Eureka is situated was first
discovered in 1806. The American crew from the ship O'Cain of the
Russian American Company headed by Captain Jonothan Winship in search of
sea-otter discovered its obscure entrance. Later the O'Cain sailed into
the bay and dropped anchor opposite to where Eureka now stands. Because
of the many Indian villages on the shores of the bay the party named it
After the discovery of gold in California there
were gold mines operated on streams flowing west in Trinity and Siskiyou
Counties. Hauling supplies overland was both tedious and expensive so
several expeditions were fitted out in San Francisco in the hopes of
discovering a coastwise connection with the mines. One of these
expeditions under the command of Captain Douglass Ottinger of the "Laura
Virginia" rediscovered the entrance to the bay in 1850 and on the
following day, April 9, 1850 two small boats were launched and went over
the bar. Humboldt point seemed the most central location so here
"Humboldt City" was founded, named for the naturalist and explorer Baron
von Humboldt. The same year Eureka was founded on Humboldt Bay about
three miles from the entrance.
Eureka could be reached from the
outside world by overland stage from San Francisco. It took three days
in summer and four in winter; there were also two steamship lines, but
most people preferred the overland route as the entrance to the bay was
dangerous and there was many a disaster suffered by ships "crossing the
bar". Mail came by pony express whenever the roads did not permit the
stage to travel.
In 1852-53 Fort Humboldt was established on
Humboldt Heights, a high bluff about a quarter of a mile back from the
bay. This was established to afford protection from Indians. Captain
Ulysses S Grant served here from October, 1853 to April, 1854.
There was no courthouse until the move to Eureka. The first Courthouse
was of brick, but we do not find any record of the dat it was built nor
any description of it. The first section of an elaborate Courthouse was
built in 1885-86; the second section in 1886; the third in 1887. This
third section had statues on the roof, Minerva on the extreme top of the
tower, four Justices, two Flora, Goddess of Flowers and Gardens, two
Ceres, Goddess of Corn, two Fortunio, Goddess of Chance, two Juno,
Goddess of Marriage and Birth. These statues were made of zinc, coated
with heavy gray paint and sprayed with gray colored sand to give the
appearance of stone. The fourth section built in 1888 added nothing to
the exterior of the building but provided for the finishing of the
interior, plumbing fixtures, stairways, heating plant, radiators, window
frames, tiling floors, painting and all the work necessary to have the
building ready for occupancy. The clock was added in 1893. In 1950 the
tower had to be removed for safety.
Often a county or a county
seat has a personage or a building in it which, while not directly
connected with the Courthouse, does add to the total picture and for
that reason should be included. This is true of a house in Eureka. There
is in that city a famous Victorian house, pictured in about every book
on Victorian houses that was ever published. It was built by William
Carson of the Dolbeer-Carson Lumber Company. In 1885 the lumber business
was going through a period of depression and William Carson was hard put
to find employment for his men for whom he felt responsible. The decided
to build a new home, "a mansion that would represent something of the
dignity, the grandeur and the character of the redwood country, a
mansion, moreover, that would be a credit to the city on Humboldt Bay,
which he and his family had helped to build."
The house is
solidly built, each wall, inside and out is supported by a separate
foundation, the entire outline of the framework can be seen in the
basement. There are three stories and a full basement. Its eighteen
rooms include besides the usual compliment of rooms a large ballroom on
the top floor as well as a billiard room. The exterior of the house is
redwood with fir timbering, the interior of redwood, oak, Philippine
mahogany and Primavera wood from South America. For this last Carson
sent one of his ships to bring back a cargo of 97,000 feet. This wood
was widely used in the interior, each piece elaborately carved. The
house also has many stained glass windows. There are tow massive front
doors, each of which has a stained glass panel with life sized figures
from Shakespearean drama. There are two onyx fire places in the house,
light in color, almost flesh color, partially translucent. According to
legend the onyx came from Mexico. The garden of the house covers two
William Carson lived in the house until his death in
1912, then J M "Milton" Carson and his family lived there, he dying in
1941 and Mrs Carson in 1944. After that the house was carefully
maintained by M and Mrs La Boteaux. Today it is the home of the Ingomar
Club, and organization of Humboldt business and professional men whose
principal purpose is to retain and maintain the house.
The following sent by the County Clerk:
"Early History of Eureka,"
prepared by Eureka Chamber of Commerce and Humboldt Board of Trade.
"The Carson Mansion." Distributed by Eureka Chamber of Commerce and
Humboldt Board of Trade taken from Humboldt Times, March 12 1950.
"The Construction of Humboldt County Courthouse at Eureka, California."
1883-1889. Howard B Melendy. January 1953 for Humboldt County
Counties and Courthouses of California: A Survey
The Historical Activities Committee
The National Society of Colonial
Dames of America
Resident in the State of California
Historical Activities Committee:
Mrs Sherman Rogers, Hall, Jr
George Storm Hauck
Mrs Bullard Nugent
Mrs Donald Rex Tallman
Mrs Slocum Wilson
Mrs Frederick Mewborn Fisk, Chairman
Baron Alexander von
Baron Alexander von Humboldt.
"How to make searching for the online [digitized data] easier on
Using "California" as a search
From the Start Page
Click on Catalog
Then Key Word
California or the search term of choice
For CA, 33,500 plus entries
But, all we care about for now, are the ones that are
On the left side of the screen is a list sorted by
Year, Category, etc. Scroll down to "Online" and you will see that there
are 3578 items available. Click on the Online  link.
Online items for CA are further sorted by year, category and language.
The above search system works for all items in the Family History
Catalog and is a whole lot easier to use.
"Davis' Commercial Encyclopedia of the Pacific Northwest"
California Nevada, Utah, Arizona.
Edited and published by Ellis A. Davis Berkeley Calif
Copyrighted by Ellis A. Davis
1911 Berkeley Calif
generously donated a batch of photos from this great old
book, my research indicates that the book is rare and
not generally available. There are Biographical Sketches included in the Chapters,
Sally is willing to
do lookups. Please contact her for more information
about folks listed in the Index.
Included is information on: California Public School
Systems, Horticulture, Topography and Agriculture, Mining
Industry, Lumber Industry, Conservation and a lot of
pictures of early California.
Bios of the "Men of California", "Merchants", "The bench and
the bar", "Architects", "Engineers", "Contractors", Real
Estate", "Men of Insurance" and "Bankers".
The " Fine Print"
Copyright ~ 1996 > 2013:
by The CAGW Administrative Team: All materials, images,
sounds and data contained herein are not to be copied or
down loaded for purposes of duplication, distribution,
or publishing without the express written permission of
All data and
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GenWeb. If at such time the CAGW is disbanded or otherwise discontinued,
any donated material may be returned to the original contributor[s] upon
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6 April 2013