Humboldt County Historical Society

Humboldt Historian

Spring 2007: Volume 55, No. 1

A Tale of Two Gypsies
Naida Olsen Gipson
The lives and restorations of two little gypsies who worked hard in the woods.

Growing Up Scotia
Nancy Bendorf McLaughlin
Remembering an idyllic childhood in the 1930s brings this close-knit company town and its colorful characters to life.

John Melendy, Humboldt County Pioneer
Brett Melendy
When John Melendy stepped ashore in 1876, it was the beginning of five generations of Melendys, so far, on the North Coast.

Howe Creek: A Tributary to History
Jerry Rohde
Homesteading and heartbreak give way to logging and ranching in this unique watershed, from 1874 to 1965.

Coming of Age in Humboldt: Highlights from an Oral History Interview with Jesse Sanders, Part I
Jan Werren
Jesse Sanders’ early years in Eureka and Capetown culminate in his emergence as a young man.

Huffing clouds of steam, the 1884 Falk Gypsy #1 locomotive stirs anew in May of 1986 at Fort Humboldt. Surrounded by photographers and well-wishers, the Gypsy is fired up and moves down the tracks for the first time after her restoration. The gypsy double-spooled winch, from which the Gypsy takes her name, is mounted on the front. The engineer, with his elbow out the window, is Roger Frick, who restored the machine work of the Gypsy. Beside him, with just his plaid shirt visible, the fireman (unidentified) stokes the firebox. At the top, the three-chime steam whistle is sounding, and the brass bell mounted on the front is probably ringing, too. The Gypsy’s beautiful cab was meticulously rebuilt by Louie Thomas. Just a week after this photograph was taken, the Gyp-sy went to the Vancouver Steam Exposition, where Thomas was awarded a certificate for his work. “There were some big engines there,” recalls Thomas. “We were just little, but we could blow anybody out of this world with that steam whistle.” The photograph was taken by Hart W. Corbett of the Bay Area. In recognition of his interest in steam locomotives, he was invited to photograph the Gypsy’s first day running after her restoration.
— On The Cover