Humboldt County Historical Society

Humboldt Historian

Spring 2011

Cover Spring 11.jpg

Volume 59, No. 1

10 - A DISTANT HORIZON CALLED HOME, PART II - by Suzanne Forsyth

In our last issue, the Munchheimer family story took us from Nazi Germany to Africa to Jamaica. This issue it brings us to the United States and, ultimately, to Rio Dell.

20 - ALBEE STADIUM - EUREKA HIGH SCHOOL - by Jeremiah Scott, Jr.

Humboldt’s first modern stadium and the man who built it.

22 - BASEBALL MEMORIES - by Lola Lawson

The author’s father, Bill Hull, hoped for something even more than camaraderie and fresh air.

24 - SIX STELLAR BOOK SELLERS - THE PRESENCE OF THE PAST - by Jerry Rohde

This tribute to a vanishing breed, the old-fashioned bookseller, includes a treasure hunt and a cliffhanger.

26 - EARLY HUMBOLDT COMPANIES - by William (Bill) Hilfiker

A tour of early enterprises, from foundries to blacksmiths to ferryboats and more.

34 - EUREKA SHOPPING -1930s - by Nancy McLaughlin

Once the dreaded Loleta Horseshoe is conquered, mother and daughters embark on a new era of shopping trips to Eureka.

38 - THE CRANNELL GANG - by Naida Olsen Gipson

The gang’s good-natured shenanigans generally had something to do with cars.


A perfect throng filled the Historical Society this past December 2, for a book signing with authors Dennis and Gloria Turner and Marvin Shepherd. Outside, darkness fell early to the accompaniment of a light, cold rain. Inside, guests warmed the cheerful rooms of the Barnum House, which was trimmed to a fare-thee-well with holiday greenery. Delicious food and drink beckoned from the biography room. All three fireplace mantles were bedecked with glittering ornaments, doubled in the mirrors, and while none of the fireplaces were lit—they have been relieved of that responsibility—other kinds of warm ignitions were sparkling all around. In the space of a few moments, one could hear a conversation about the physiography of Humboldt Bay, another about waterfowl populations, another about a Civil War era mutiny at Fort Seward. History, like little dormant embers, is just waiting to be rekindled by the least of whirlwinds of interest and gaiety that accompany activities at the Historical Society.

In this issue of the Humboldt Historian we continue the remarkable story of the Munchheimer family. We’ll go to Albee Stadium with Jerry Scott, and with Bill Hilfiker we will recapture the world of foundries, blacksmiths, and ferryboats, and then join Nancy McLaughlin for a 1930s shopping spree. Jerry Rohde is our guide into the cavernous realm of a rare breed, the oldfashioned bookseller, and Naida Olsen Gipson takes us deep inside the brotherhood of the (not so) terrifying Crannell Gang.

Inspired by the miracles of the coming Spring, may we all experience a renewal of hope—“the thing with feathers / that perches in the soul”—as we go forward in 2011.
— From the Editor