Humboldt County Historical Society

Humboldt Historian

Spring 2013: Volume 61, No. 1

The Humboldt Bay Harbor District: The First 31 Years, 1973-2004
Jeremiah R. Scott, Jr.
A first-hand history of the Harbor District’s formation and accomplishments.

History's Mysteries: Why "Humboldt," Anyway?
Barry Evans
Why did the captain and pilot of the Laura Virginia name Humboldt Bay after an eighty-one-year-old Prussian naturalist who had never been here?

Decking from the Disaster: A Memorial to the USS Milwaukee
Jerry Rohde
How a series of command decisions sealed the fate of the navy cruiser, still visible on Samoa Beach at minus tide.

You Didn't Hear it from Me: Captain Marble's Matrimonial Mania
Louella Parsnips
Tales of a serial marrier.

Pistol River Band of Merry Men
Gilbert Cline
Mistaken identities corrected and much more.

The Fascinating Life of Dora Rasmussen Smith
Paul Rasmussen Smith
Dora Rasmussen had many adventures before she married and raised a son - the author’s father.

Seth Kinman, Doc Simpson, and the Ur-Elk-Horn Chair
Ann Roberts
America’s first, and perhaps only, Presidential Chair Maker.

Alexander von Humboldt makes his first personal appearance in this magazine for some time as the subject of “Why ‘Humboldt,’ Anyway?” Indeed, who was this man for whom the county was named? Find out on page 18, where you can also welcome our new columnist, Barry Evans, as he unveils the first in his series of “History’s Mysteries.” This portrait of the thirty-seven-year-old Alexander von Humboldt was painted by Friedrich Georg Weitsch in 1806, after Humboldt’s return to Europe from South America. In the background, Weitsch shows Venezuela’s Orinoco River, which Humboldt had explored. The original oil painting is in Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin. (This image of the painting is in the public domain.) Humboldt was just twenty-nine when he landed in South America, but he had already made a name for himself through his writings in geology and botany. His star may be on the ascent again through the efforts of the Alexander von Humboldt in English Project, which is now publishing the first English translations of some of his major works.
— On The Cover