Humboldt County Historical Society

Humboldt Historian

Winter 2010

Cover Winter 10.jpg

Volume 58, No. 4

10 - A DISTANT HORIZON CALLED HOME - by Suzanne Forsyth

After escaping Nazi Germany, Dr. Kurt Munch- heimer chose the most distant horizon America could offer as a safe haven for his family—Rio Dell, California.

20 - THE SEA CAPTAIN’S ODYSSEY - A Book Review

Marvin Shepherd’s new biography of Humboldt’s premier sea captain, H. H. Buhne.

22 - HUMBOLDT HEARTLAND - by Andy Westfall

An excerpt from Andy Westfall’s new book about Humboldt’s family ranchers, Humboldt Heartland.

28 - THE DREAM OF HISTORY - THE PRESENCE OF THE PAST - by Jerry Rohde

The author talks about the importance of place, and reviews Dennis and Gloria Turner’s new and revised edition of Place Names of Humboldt County.

30 - A WINTER’S WALK - by Bob Wunner

While hiking the Lost Coast in a storm on the winter solstice, the author reflects on the different ways “lost” applies to events in its history.

35 - PETER PHILIPSEN AND THE HUMBOLDT CREAMERY - by Myrtle Philipsen

The story of the man who organized the Humboldt Creamery Association.


This issue of the Humboldt Historian opens with the story of Dr. Kurt Munchheimer. While he was known to many on the North Coast, especially in the medical, civic, and conservation spheres, few knew of the circumstances that brought Dr. Munchheimer and his family halfway around the world to Humboldt County. Their remarkable story, which unfolds on three continents and includes two world wars, begins on page 10.

From adventures far and wide we return to the heart of Humboldt with one of four new books featured in this issue: Andy Westfall’s Humboldt Heartland. The voices of Humboldt’s family ranchers and Westfall’s photographs create a rich narrative in this beautiful book. An excerpt appears on page 22.

As a boy of twelve in 1942, Marvin Shepherd worked as a gardener for Georgie Buhne at the old Buhne mansion, where he heard tales of the legendary sea captain. A desire to know more never left him. Now, with The Sea Captain’s Odyssey, Marvin Shepherd presents the first-ever biography of Captain H. H. Buhne, reviewed on page 20.

With new pictures, new places, and new information, Dennis and Gloria Turner’s long-awaited second edition of Place Names of Humboldt County promises to be an even greater treasure than the original. Jerry Rohde’s review is on page 28.

On the subject of places, you’ll find one of Humboldt’s most notorious ones on page 30: Bob Wunner takes us for a winter’s walk on the Lost Coast.

Richard Philipsen’s new book began as a family history, but became something more—a picture of life in the Eel River Valley. An excerpt from A Gathering of the Past concludes this wintertime issue of the Humboldt Historian.
— From the Editor