Humboldt County Historical Society

Humboldt Historian

Winter 2016

Vivian Larson Ziegler was a dedicated archivist of her family history, and was alert to the histories of others, too. She embraced all the many interconnections which her ninety-six years of life and phenomenal memory continuously revealed to her. When she came across information touching on friends and acquaintances old and new, she found a way to share it with them. Recently, she was so pleased to be able to share her memories of a woman’s mother with her, for the woman had lost her mother as a child. The first time I met Vivian, it emerged that she knew the history of my house, and she even presented me with a lovely old photograph of Minnie and John Lundberg, who built it in 1923. Vivian spent much of her last six months on hospice care working on the life story of her mother, Anna Elizabeth Larson, who died when Vivian was eleven years old. Part III of this story, the part we were both so anxious to get to, because it contains the story of her aunties and the Titanic, opens this issue, on page 10.
Imagine if someone stopped by your house in the morning, picked up your grocery list, and returned with your groceries in the afternoon. Ben Fleckenstein, at your service! Ben delivered to Bayside for Seely & Titlow.We will accompany a country doctor as he makes house calls in the night across raging rivers, then during his quiet time tosses away bills he knows his patients can’t afford to pay. It’s all in a day’s work for Dr. Comfort.Also in the issue is a history of the small settlement of Stafford, which grew up around Brown’s Mill and lived to survive, with losses, some side effects of its main business during the ‘64 flood and the ‘96 landslide.
Then we’ll visit a truly longtime survivor, Founders Tree, the world’s tallest and oldest living Christmas tree, which inspired hope during the years of WWII.

With this, we at the Historical Society wish all of you ongoing renewals of hope and joy this holiday season.
— From the Editor

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Volume 64, No. 4

Anna Elizabeth Larson, PART III
Vivian Ziegler
Ever since Anna arrived in Arcata from Sweden in 1900 at age fifteen, she has been longing for her family and hoping at least one of her siblings will join her in Arcata. Finally, in 1912, her two sisters are coming, lured by the great RMS Titanic, on which they have booked their passage.

Ben's Day
Barbara Canepa Saul
For over fifty years, Ben Fleckenstein delivered groceries to Bayside. He loved his job and his customers, who returned the sentiment.

Jerry Rohde
A history of Stafford, from its obscure lumber mill days to its brief illumination at the millenium.

Loggers' Day Off: You Didn't Hear it From Me
Louella Parsnips
A photo journal of woodsmen as they entertain themselves at camp.

The Doctor's Name was Comfort
Jerrold Comfort
Remembering a genuine old time country doctor.

The Oldest Living Christmas Tree
James R. Garrison and Susan J. P. O'Hara
The world's tallest and oldest living Christmas tree inspired hope during the World War II years.