Historical Markers in
Humboldt County, California

1935 Redwood Lumber Strike A New Home! Along the Banks of Salt River Arcata and Mad River Rail Road Company Arkley Center for the Performing Arts August Palmtag Building Bank of Eureka (1911) Bank of Loleta Bar Tug Ranger Big Diamond Blackburn Law Office Buhne Building Buhne General Store Built to Last C.W. Long Building California's First Drilled Oil Wells Camp Curtis Cape Mendocino Lighthouse Cape Mendocino Lighthouse Cape Mendocino Lighthouse Lenses Carson Block (1892) Clarke Memorial Museum Colonel Raynal C. Bolling D. C. McDonald Building Danish Hall Drag Saw E. Janssen Building Eagle House Early Agricultural Use of the Bottomlands Eureka Eureka Business College Eureka City Hall Eureka Free Public Library Eureka Inn Eureka Theatre (1939) Famous One-Log House Fernbridge Ferndale Ferndale Cemetery Ferndale Masonic Hall Ferndale Meat Market Ferndale Museum Ferndale Palace Saloon Fields Landing Hotel First Methodist Society on Humboldt Bay First National Bank/Professional Building (1918) Fort Humboldt Giant Tree Harold G Larsen Historic Hunting on the, Refuge and Humboldt Bay History of the McBride Ranch Holy Trinity Church Hose Company Number 4 Hotel Ivanhoe Humboldt Bay Jetty Dolos Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum Humboldt Harbor Historical District Humboldt Redwoods State Park Humboldt Redwoods State Park In Memory of Our Shipmates Indian Arrow Tree Indian/Gunther Island Site 67 (Tolowot) Italianate Architecture J. Lowenthal Building Jacoby Building Jacoby's Storehouse John A. Cottrell House Joseph C. Oeschger Field Joseph Russ Building (1900) Laura Perrott Mahan & James P. Mahan "Ltcuntadun" Madison Grant Forest and Elk Refuge Mario Machi Metropole Hotel Minor Theatre Mother Nature Cannot Be Tamed N.S.G.W. Hall Needs/Williams Building Oberon Old Firemen's Pavilion Old Giant Redwood Tree Our Centennial Paving the Way "Poppa Joe's" Pythian Castle Redwood Time-ring Richardson Grove Historic Lodge Ritz Building Saint Innocent of Alaska Sam Helwer Samoa Cookhouse Circa 1893 Saving Lighthouse History Scotia Museum Sequoia Hose Company No. 6 Sequoia Park Zoo Simpson-Vance House Spain Claims Northern California St. Bernard Catholic Church Swept Away The Carson House The CCC at Prairie Creek The Cottage The Cousins Building "The Danish Hall" The Eel River Starts on Your Street The First California Central Creamery The Forest for the Trees The former Fairwind The Gazebo The Gregg-Wood Party and the Union Company The Josiah Gregg Expedition The Pacific Lumber Company The Phillips House The Redwood Highway The Samuel W. McFarland Block The Shaw House The Shrine Tree The Tall Tree The Tangled Roots of Founders Grove The Thomas F. Ricks House The Vance Hotel "The Victorian Inn" The Wooden Sculpture Garden of Romano Gabriel Town of Trinidad Tsurai U.S. Post Office 1882-1885 / 1890-1894 Vance Hotel Weaver Building Wi'ne'ma Theatre William Z. Hegy
California was once a part of Mexico before it became a U.S. state. Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821 and California became a Mexican territory. However, in 1846, the U.S. declared war on Mexico and after a brief conflict, California was ceded to the U.S. as a part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.
Humboldt County, located on the rugged northern coast of California, is known for its rich history and natural beauty. The area was originally inhabited by several indigenous tribes, including the Wiyot, Yurok, and Hupa. These tribes thrived on the abundant natural resources of the region, living in harmony with the land for thousands of years.

In the mid-19th century, European settlers arrived in Humboldt County, drawn by the promise of gold during the California Gold Rush. Towns such as Eureka and Arcata were established to support the growing population. Logging also became a major industry, with vast stands of old-growth redwoods attracting many timber companies to the area.

The late 19th and early 20th centuries brought significant changes to Humboldt County. The devastating 1906 earthquake in San Francisco led to a boom in the construction of new buildings in towns such as Ferndale and Scotia, as the area provided a steady supply of high-quality redwood lumber.

However, the impact of logging also had negative consequences for the environment. Concerns about the depletion of old-growth forests led to the rise of environmental activism in the region, with organizations like the Sierra Club and Save the Redwoods League fighting to protect the remaining ancient trees.

Today, Humboldt County is known for its stunning natural landscapes, including the iconic Avenue of the Giants, which offers visitors the chance to experience the majesty of the redwoods. The county also has a thriving arts and cultural scene, with events such as the Kinetic Grand Championship and the North Country Fair attracting locals and tourists alike. Humboldt County's history serves as a reminder of the ongoing tension between human development and environmental preservation, making it a unique and fascinating place.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Humboldt County, California.

  • 1850: Humboldt County established as one of the original 27 counties in California.
  • 1851: Gold Rush in the county begins, leading to rapid population growth.
  • 1853: Eureka, the county seat, is incorporated as a city.
  • 1856: Arcata is incorporated as a city.
  • 1860: Logging industry becomes prominent in the county.
  • 1893: Humboldt State University is founded in Arcata.
  • 1906: Earthquake and subsequent fires in San Francisco lead to increased demand for lumber from Humboldt County.
  • 1920s: Prohibition leads to an increase in illegal alcohol production in the county.
  • 1930s: Great Depression brings economic hardships to the area.
  • 1941-1945: World War II boosts the local economy through the demand for timber and other resources.
  • 1964: The strongest recorded earthquake in U.S. history, the "Good Friday" earthquake, strikes the region.
  • 1968: Redwood National Park is established, preserving ancient redwood forests in the county.
  • 1990s: Humboldt County becomes a hub for marijuana cultivation.
  • Early 2000s: Efforts to diversify the local economy focus on tourism, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture.