Humboldt County Historical Society

Humboldt Historian

Winter 2015

HH-Cover-Winter-15.jpg

Volume 63, No. 4

10 - FROM SAILOR TO WOODSMAN: A BIOGRAPHY OF MY FATHER, WALTER NELSON - by Anna Antonsen

Seafaring provided Walter Nelson with adventure, while work in a Humboldt logging camp provided the things that life at sea did not: good hearty meals and a good wage.

20 - A HISTORY OF REDWAY - by Karen Campbell Hendricks

Colorful Redway, then and now.

24 - JAMES M. MEADE, HELICOPTER PIONEER AND INDUSTRY INNOVATOR - by Martin J. Pociask

A lively and exciting conversation with native Humboldter and helicopter pioneer Jim Meade of Fortuna.

30 - RONALD V. SMITH REMEMBERS DEER LICK SPRINGS - by Paul Rasmussen Smith

Deer Lick Springs struck a chord with our readers. Recollections and a history from 1882.

32 - MARY EWING GETTY GRAHAM - by Robert Titlow

The author remembers his relative and fifth-grade teacher, the magnanimous Miss Graham.

36 - SOUTH PARK RACE TRACKS, HOTEL, AUTO CAMP, AUTO COURT, AND MOTEL - by Jerry Rohde

The many faces of South Park from 1869 to 1920.

42 - THE TRAVEL LOG: AMERICA'S FIRST RV - by Deborah Baskette

The conservationist and visionary Charles Kellogg rallied support for the redwoods in a unique way.


In the photo below Walter Nelson poses with a cook at logging camp 4, Little River, 1920s. After spending a decade at sea living on pea soup and wormy “dog biscuits,” Walter was sincerely appreciative of the logging camp cooks. While other men were going on strike for better food, Walter was photographing the marvelous camp cooks, who he valued and wanted to remember. Indeed, a unique quality of Walter’s life story is that he was carrying a camera with him by 1904, taking photographs of his seafaring adventures and then of his work in the North Coast woods, where he took up the specialty of saw filing. His story and photographs begin on page 10.

We are most pleased to present an interview with Fortuna resident and helicopter pioneer James Meade. As a test pilot and engineer, Meade made countless contributions to helicopter flight over a lifetime of airborne adventures throughout the world, including a small but key role at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

South Park featured in our quiz recently and now Jerry Rohde presents a history of its racetracks and various lodging facilities. Also in this issue, Karen Campbell Hendricks provides a history of the origins of Redway, shares her childhood memories, and ponders the much changed Redway of today. And readers will not want to miss Robert Titlow’s wonderful reminiscences of a very special fifth-grade teacher, Miss Mary Graham, or Deborah Baskette’s account of America’s first RV, the Travel Log, made right here in Humboldt.

Also enclosed, warm wishes for a splendid holiday season to all our readers from all of us at the Barnum House!
— From the Editor