August 25, 2019 – Fort Humboldt, Eureka, California

I just noticed a sign for Fort Humboldt last year and vowed to visit sometime. I had planned to pick blackberries today but forgot my berry basket. (Actually, it’s a small plastic bin.) So I quickly changed the plan of the day.

Fort Humboldt was established in 1853 to quell the fighting between the whites and the native Americans in this area. It was an impossible task. The fort sat on a nigh bluff overlooking Humboldt Bay. Today it overlooks a shopping mall. This is a state park and also includes some outdoor exhibits of logging industry equipment. We checked out the logging first.

There were two locomotives on display, but I could not get a picture of either one through the dirty glass with the sun’s glare. This is a railroad car designed to carry a log. A really really big one.

This is a log arch. It was used to drag the giant logs through the forest.

This is the Dolbeer steam donkey, invented by local hero, John Dolbeer in 1881. The steam power, with cables and ropes, replaced the donkey as a means of dragging the logs out of the forest. This was the beginning of mechanization of the logging industry.

Steam donkeys got bigger and bigger. This one is the Washington Slack Line Yarder, built about 1926. It practically “plucked” the massive trees from the forest and sped up deforestation and near extermination of the redwoods.

Washington Slack Line Yarder

Here it is at work.

My scale model Andy stood among the huge chunks of redwood.

There are plenty of photographs of lumberjacks, but most of my pictures did not turn out due to dirty glass and glare from the sun. Here are a few to ponder.

When I saw this photo, all I could think about was how it must have smelled in that bunkhouse in this damp environment.

This building, the hospital, is the only one that remains of Fort Humboldt. It served the whole community, not just the soldiers. It is now a museum.

Much of the museum is dedicated to the story of the Native Americans and their struggle with the white invaders.

The army was in the middle. White settlers wanted the natives exterminated, and the natives wanted the whites out of their territory. They were killing each other. The army’s role was to defend the whites and protect the natives. They ended up building a stockade around the fort and keeping the natives inside, which effectively made them prisoners.

A park employee was locking up as we approached the surgeon’s quarters. He was the second-highest-ranking officer behind the Commanding Officer.

I did get a peek into the parlor.

4 thoughts on “August 25, 2019 – Fort Humboldt, Eureka, California

  1. Peter's pondering August 27, 2019 / 9:09 am

    Another fascinating visit. Thank you. I shall stay well clear of the bunkhouse!


  2. Jane Wilmer August 27, 2019 / 10:20 am

    really interesting ut disheartening re the native americans..

    Sent from my iPad



    • Dinata Misovec August 27, 2019 / 11:57 am

      Yes, it was sad. I think this area was no different than elsewhere in the US though. One thing that surprises me is how, in earlier times, Americans believed it was their “manifest destiny” to own the country from ocean to ocean. And, moreover, they seemed to expect the natives to acquiesce. I guess, like the Africans, they were dehumanized.


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