Humboldt County Historical Society

Humboldt Historian

Winter 2013

HH-Winter-2013.jpg

Volume 61, No. 4

10 - WHERE IS SHERWOOD? - by Robert Palmrose

A history of the Overland Stage Auto Company- the machines, the drivers, the routes, and the big new thing that put it out of business.

20 - THE LOLETA TUNNEL - HISTORY’S MYSTERIES - by Barry Evans

Lumber barons tackle a geographical challenge.

22 - EUREKA HIGH FOOTBALL TEAM, FALL 1946 - by Jeremiah Scott, Jr.

A team well-remembered by our readers.

24 - THE STAPP FAMILY JOURNEY TO HUMBOLDT COUNTY - by Rowetta Faye Stapp Miller

Adventures with the remarkable traveling Stapp family.

30 - A MYSTERY SOLVED - by Tom Georgeson

Family photographs from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.

34 - THE JAPANESE AMBASSADOR’S VISIT - by William McClure, with Ruth McClure

The Japanese Ambassador is threatened in 1930 Humboldt.

38 - BLOOMIN’ BICYCLES - YOU DIDN’T HEAR IT FROM ME - by Louella Parsnips

The Gay Nineties and the great bicycle craze.


You really had to be brave operating an early automobile on Humboldt’s early roads, and most people left it to the professionals during the auto’s first years. Those professionals for the trip “down below” were Fred W. Smythe and his drivers of the Overland Auto Stage Company. The story of this grand and ambitious early twentieth century enterprise begins on page 10, presented by none other than Robert Palmrose.

The solution for an earlier transportation challenge is revealed by Barry Evans in “The Loleta Tunnel,” page 20, and Louella Parsnips shares the brief but exhilarating reign of the Gay Nineties’ favorite mode of transport: the bicycle, page 38.

This issue also presents two stories which provide a measure of America’s progress in overcoming racism. The struggle continues, but the incidents recorded in Jerry Scott’s discussion of the 1951 San Francisco Dons football team, page 23, and in William McClure’s memories of 1930, page 34, allow us to reflect on, and be inspired by, the progress that has been made through countless individual and collective acts of courage, sacrifice, and good will toward all humanity.

Finally, we know readers will enjoy the two family stories included here, the journey of the Stapp family on page 24, and the tale of an interlude from the Georgeson family, page 30, two stories which share a major incident. Indeed, there are several cross-references among the stories in this Wintertime Historian, and the editor hopes you enjoy discovering them as much as she did. Happy holidays to all from all of us at the Historical Society!
— From the Editor