Humboldt County Historical Society

Humboldt Historian

Spring 2010: Volume 58, No. 1

The Murder of Lucy Romero
Lynette Mullen
Death returns to claim a survivor of the Indian Island massacre.

Finding Silva: Survivor of the 1860 Massacres
Suzanne Sevier McBride
The search for a missing ancestor uncovers the lost history of a massacre survivor.

Bret Harte: Voice of Humanity
Suzanne Forsyth
It was “but simple humanity” to feel for the victims and abhor the killers, yet only one person dared to express this sentiment before the public.

The Presence of Past: Our Collective Conscience
Jerry Rohde
“Holding kindness in our hearts, reconnecting the broken threads.”

Thomas R. Hannah, Courthouse Engineer
Suzanne Forsythe

The Devoy-Gillogly Collection
Deborah Meador
New to the HCHS Collections: memories of railroad fever, redwoods, and moonlit travels.

The Blakes Go to Hollywood
Charlie Blake
Fiftieth wedding anniversary surprises for
Charlie and Nellie.

Mr. Page & The Old Lady of Main Street
James Pegolotti
The author’s four years at Ferndale High with Mr. Page were the last years of the “Old Lady.”

Wiyot women walk along the shoreline during a traditional Wiyot coming of age ceremony procession, circa 2006. Pictured, left to right, are Leona Wilkinson, Joycelyn Teague, Michelle Hernandez (this is her coming of age ceremony procession), Maria Aguilar, Linda Gonzalez, and Cheryl Seidner. The photo is by Lloyd Boyle. This occasion is especially meaningful, for in performing this ceremony these women have brought forth an ancestral tradition that has not been enacted for approximately 120 years, and is part of a culture that was very nearly lost. Out of an estimated fifteen local tribes, just five survived the early years of white occupancy. After coming to the edge of extinction during those years, today there are over six hundred Wiyot tribal members hopefully and actively engaged in reconstituting the cultural and spiritual basis of a people. Important to this work is the rehabilitation of Indian Island, for which the Wiyot Sacred Sites Fund raises support ( As the island is reclaimed from the effects of a century’s worth of industry, the day that this prized ancestral site will again be a home to Wiyot culture comes nearer.
— On The Cover