Humboldt County Historical Society

Humboldt Historian

Fall 2014

HH-Fall-2014.jpg

Volume 62, No. 3

10 - FIRE IN THE MOUNTAIN: THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE NORTHWESTERN PACIFIC RAILROAD, PART I - by Sean Mitchell

The NWPRR, once the economic lifeline to Humboldt County, opened one hundred years ago
this October.

22 - “LITTLE FAWN”: DOROTHY ALLEN GABY & THE INDIAN MARATHON OF 1927 - by Margaret Wooden, with Adrian Gilkisen

Dorothy Allen of Orleans finds herself pronounced “Indian Princess of the Redwood Highway”and embarks on an unexpected adventure.

26 - LOLETA - by Jerry Rohde

A history of Loleta, adapted from Jerry Rohde’s new book, Both Sides of the Bluff: History of Humboldt County Places: 1.

32 - THE (ONGOING) TRAGEDY OF TANOAKS - HISTORY’S MYSTERIES - by Barry Evans

The tanoak, once harvested to near-extinction on the West Coast, faces a new peril today.

35 - SWITCHES IN THE SCHOOLHOUSE - YOU DIDN’T HEAR IT FROM ME - by Louella Parsnips
Old-time disciplinary method backfires.

38 - MY FATHER THE SENATOR - by Irwin Thomas Quinn, Jr.

The author’s father, born at Table Bluff, represented Humboldt County as State Senator, District 3, from 1936 to 1948.


In 1914, what would be the most expensive railroad in America to maintain, reaching through one of the most rugged and unstable river canyons in the country, began service between San Francisco and Eureka, providing the first major link by land connecting Humboldt County to the wider world. Sean Mitchell presents a history of the magnificent, if doomed, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, beginning on page 10. This fall marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the NWP.

Another land link reached Humboldt in 1926, when U.S. Route 101 finally made its way through the redwoods. The quest to attract automobile traffic to the coastal route
would initiate a unique interlude in the life of Dorothy Allen Gaby, named “Princess of the Indian Marathon.”

Margaret Wooden tells her story on page 22. Join us in celebrating Jerry Rohde’s new book,
Both Sides of the Bluff: A History of Humboldt County Places (see pages 2 and 26), and Marvin Shepherd’s groundbreaking new book, “A Scottish Syndicate in the Redwoods”, coming out this fall (see page 9).

How did life change in 1936 when a when a family member was elected to office? Find out with Irwin Thomas Quinn, Jr., who presents, “My Father the Senator,” on page 38. Also in this issue, our trusty columnist Barry Evans presents a history of the tanbark trade in “History’s Mysteries,” while Louella Parsnips returns to form with “Switches in the Schoolroom.”

Enjoy your Fall issue of the Humboldt Historian!
— From the Editor