Humboldt County Historical Society

Humboldt Historian

Fall 2015

HH-Cover-Fall-15.jpg

Volume 63, No. 3

10 - JOE OESCHGER, A HUMBOLDT MAJOR LEAGUER - by James Pegolotti

A life of Joe Oeschger of Ferndale and a front-row seat at the longest baseball game in major league history.

18 - DEER LICK SPRINGS: A POPULAR SPA - by Vivian Ziegler

Woodsmen and longshoremen”and at least one young woman”came for healing soaks in the potent waters at Deer Lick.

24 - HASH FAMILY ALL STARS

Dave Hash brought in a photo for our collections and shared stories about his father, Ed Hash, and the all-in-one-family baseball team, the Hash Family All Stars.

28 - HAROLD OTTO HILFIKER: HUMBOLDT'S PREMIER PIPE MAKER - by William Kent and Bill Hilfiker, Sr.

Harold Hilfiker expanded and modernized the Pipe Company, founded by his father in 1902, and now owned and operated by a fourth generation of Hilfikers.

35 - THE CASE OF THE "HUGE METEORITE" - History's Mysteries - by Barry Evans

Something noteworthy plunged into the bay eighty-five years ago, but what exactly was it?

34 - RAYMOND STENBACK: FROM TRENCH WARFARE TO TEACHING - by Paul Rasmussen Smith

Raymond Stenback survived the World War I trenches to become a much-loved teacher at Fortuna High School.


This Historian celebrates America’s favorite pastime with James Pegolotti’s life of the famous Ferndale major league player, Joe Oeschger. Readers will find a few more baseballs bouncing around in this issue, too, just as many of us are gearing up for the World Series. Will the Angels actually play this year? Such is the fond, if cautious, hope of my dad and me.

What did the hard-working men of Humboldt’s lumber and stevedoring industries do to soothe their aching bodies in the first half of the 20th century? They took their families to the region’s most happening spa, Deer Lick Springs, where hot soaks, relaxation, teetotaling, and entertainments were the order of the day. Vivian Ziegler was there, and she tells the story on page 18.

Also in this issue, Paul Rasmussen Smith’s life of Raymond Stenback incorporates Stenback’s memoirs, which transport us to a country boyhood, the trenches of WWI, and the WWII years in Fortuna.

Additionally, pipe dreams come true as we celebrate the many nuances of the concrete pipe business with Bill Hilfiker, whose father modernized the Hilfiker plant, and we ponder a possible astronomical mystery with Barry Evans. All of which we hope adds up to a historical home run for the Fall issue of the Humboldt Historian!
— From the Editor