Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Humboldt County, California
"You Found It!"
Chamber of Commerce.
"Eureka lies in the heart of the Redwood Empire, renowned for the magnificent coastal redwoods, "Sequoia sempervirens". These are the tallest trees in the world and have played a vital role in fashioning Eureka's rich heritage.
Its coastal location on Humboldt Bay and an abundance of lumber provided a ripe environment for the birth of this 19th century seaport town. More than 140 years ago, miners, loggers and fishermen made their mark in this unsettled wilderness. Filled with hopes and dreams for a new prosperity, Eureka was founded in the spring of 1850.
Gold had been discovered in the nearby Trinity region and miners needed a more convenient alternate to the tedious overland route from Sacramento. Schooners and other vessels soon arrived in Humboldt Bay, supplying the miners working inland up the Trinity and Klamath Rivers.
Many of the gold prospectors were also lumbermen, and the vast potential for industry on the bay was soon realized. After only four years, there were seven mills rpocessing lumber in Eureka. Within five years, 140 lumber schooners operated in Humboldt Bay, supplying lumber to other booming cities along the coast.
As it became more difficult to find uncut stands of redwoods near the bay's waterways, the rapid growth of the lumber industry gave way to the development of railroad systems in the area.
In 1914, the first major land route was established between San Francisco and Eureka with the opening of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad. With passenger service from San Francisco to the bustling Redwood Empire, Eureka prospered and grew. Stately Victorians rising along the waterfront reflected the great prosperity experienced during this era. Many of these charming Victorian homes remain today in their original elegance and splendor. The magnificent Carson Mansion on 2nd and M Streets, is perhaps the most spectacular, built in 1885 by lumber magnate William Carson as a project designed to keep millworkers busy during a slow period in the industry.
Humboldt Bay was also host to a variety ofother industries. Salmon fisheries sprang up along the Eel River as early as 1851, and within seven years, 2,000 barrels of cured fish and 50,000 pounds of smoked salmon were processed and shipped out of Humboldt Bay.
Today, the bay is still the center for commerce in Eureka and home to more than 300 fishing vessels which land more rockfish, Dungeness crab, salmon, shrimp and oysters than any other region in California.
Only photographs remain of Eureka's early whaling industry. Large processing stations once existed just to the north in Trinidad and on Humboldt Bay at Fields Landing. Today, these great creatures are viewed as a priceless species. Whale watching enthusiasts visit from around the world to observe the migrations atop exhilarating vantage points along the rugged Pacific coastline.
Eureka is one of California's historic landmarks and offers a unique and enchanting experience for the present day tourist. One can still capture the feeling of that era...strolling along Eureka's quaint Old Town waterfront past beautifully restored Victorian homes and storefronts...breathing in the fresh sea air...watching boats returning with fresh catches of fish and crab. In the very center of the city, one can relive the awe and amazement of Eureka's first visitors by walking through 54 acres of redwood forest in Sequoia Park. Eureka...a historic seaport city...in the heart of the Redwood Empire.
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Redwood National Park (about 40 miles north of Eureka on Hwy 101); Carson Mansion; Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum; Blue Ox Millworks; Clarke Museum; Old Town Carriage Company; Lost Coast Brewery; Sequoia Park & Zoo; Fort Humboldt
Eureka Chamber of Commerce
Eureka, CA 95501
Phone: (707) 442-3738
Toll-free: (800) 356-6381
FAX: (707) 442-0079
Eureka Libraries Eureka Library
1313 3rd St
Eureka, CA 95501-0546