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Archive for March, 2011

Here are some more of Irene Wallace’s watercolor paintings. About a month ago, i posted a half-dozen; see that post for more information.

A familiar and beloved sight for lovers of the Mattole-- coming down to the Ocean House at Cape Mendocino on the way home.

And now we have gotten to Devil's Gate...

The beautiful colors of the estuary reflecting sunset.

Up on the Table, world-famous Bluegum Eucalyptus trees. Now the Petrolia Table Cemetery has been added just next to the row of Eucalyptus.

The slant of sunlight around tree trunks really does something for me.

Back to Cape Mendocino for a look at Sugarloaf Rock, as the white folks named it. The furthest west point in California.

Many thanks again to Irene Wallace for her kind permission in allowing us to post these images. And for bringing us on a beautiful virtual tour of the places we love!

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I have had these map copies around for a while. I believe i originally copied them from the Dept. of Natural Resources office on L Street in Eureka– they have a nice collection of maps and photos there, sorted into drawers by community. Denny’s is a great map because it’s so detailed, and as far as i can find, quite reliable.

The usual instructions: Find any general map-use guidelines you might need from this previous post. Also, as in all these map series i will put up, the areas overlap as they travel upstream, then back to the King Range coastline. Click and enlarge for detail, or use your control/+ function to go in until the pixels become annoying.

More maps to come, in the coming weeks or months… stay tuned!

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Phil Franklin of Petrolia gave us this wonderful map. It is very similar in form to the 1911 Denny’s map, so i had assumed that the clippings of it that i’d seen came from an earlier Denny’s; but no, Phil’s intact map showed the publishing information, definitely J.N. Lentell, 1898.

The usual instructions: Find any general map-use guidelines you might need from this previous post. Also, as in all these map series i will put up, the areas overlap as they travel upstream, then back to the King Range coastline. Click and enlarge for detail, or use your control/+ function to go in until the pixels become annoying.

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The Stanley N. Forbes map, published in 1886. I would like to thanks Richard “Rob” Roberts, known through the Ferndale Museum and Ann Roberts (his wife), not to mention his exhaustive work republishing the Seth Kinman material, for sharing this with us. The 1880s were a mystery period to me, mapwise. This fills in a lot of gaps!

Find any general map-use guidelines you might need from this previous post. Also, as in all these map series i will put up, the areas overlap as they travel upstream, then back to the King Range coastline. Click and enlarge for detail, or use your control/+ function to go in until the pixels become annoying.

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A.J. Doolittle made this Humboldt County map in 1865, just as our oil boom was reaching full stride. There is all sorts of interesting information printed on the map, as well as the invaluable road, town, and property ownership representations.

This particular map doesn’t outline the blocks very well, so i enhanced them in green. Nor does it show the Section numbers, so you will have to count in the prescribed pattern (see previous post or go here) up from 36 to find your Section.

It’s not easy to keep the file size down so that the maps load quickly, while keeping them big enough to allow zooming in to see the detail. Let me know if you have any suggestions. I broke down this map, and the following, into areas starting near the mouth of the river and north, and proceeding to the southeast, or upstream, with a last map of the coast section off the King Range.

(Remember that you can double-click on the image to enlarge it; if you want it even bigger, use your own computer’s zoom system, usually control and the + sign)

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Although cartography is a real science and an immense amount of information about mapmaking exists, much of it online for the Googling, i want to make it easy for you to locate properties on the historical maps of the Mattole Valley i am going to put up, in a few easy steps. Nothing new here for history, real estate, or map enthusiasts.

If you have either the legal description of a certain parcel, or if you can locate it on a recent USGS topo map, you will be able to find the same spot on these maps once you understand a couple of basic things.

First, know that 36 single-square-mile Sections (each 640 acres) are lined up within squares or blocks designated Township (relating to north-south location) and Range (east-west location). The 36 Sections are counted up from the upper right of the Township-Range squares and loop back and forth to the lower right in an unusual configuration, like this:

(You are looking at the bare graph of a 36-square-mile area.) Now, each of these squares is located as Township (T) and Range (R) as in, i live in Section 25 of T2S,R2W– read that Township 2 South, Range 2 West. In the case of our Mattole squares, we happen to be south of the Humboldt Baseline which runs east-west through Mt. Pierce– the Monument– up near Rio Dell. Our west or east is in reference to the Humboldt Meridian which runs vertically on the map through Mt. Pierce and Honeydew. Thus, most Lower Valley locations are Range_(whatever)_West, and Wilder Ridge or Bull Creek are Range_East; and all are Township_South.

Then, the 640-acre square-mile Sections are further broken down into (4) 160-acre quarter-sections: the NE, SE, SW, and NW. Next, quarters of quarters, which are 40-acre or 1/16th sections– though parts of Sections can be described in halves, also. Here is an example of A.W. Way County Park, easy to recognize inside the east hoop of the “W” in the river about 5 miles upstream from Petrolia. The bulk of its location might be described as:
The south 1/2 of the NW qtr. of Sec. 30, T2S, R1W (sometimes you see “HB & HM” after this, to locate the Township and Range relative to Humboldt Baseline and Humboldt Meridian– but i generally don’t bother, once we know where we are in the lower Mattole Valley).

From the 1898 Lentell map. Notice that since Sec. 30 is on the west end of the T2S, R1W block, there is a harder line delineating its west edge, because another block-- T2S, R2W (Sec. 25 thereof) is next west.

(Actually, A.W. Way Park probably extends into the north 1/2 of the NW qtr. of Sec. 30– it’s hard to say with much accuracy on the older maps.)

On most maps, you will find the number (1-36) of the square-mile Section smack in the middle of the square. It’s an easy-to-use system once you have the basics.

Have fun!

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In my March 3, 2011, post called “More old buildings… ” i mentioned the story of the Mackey house that ended up on the site of the present Mattole Valley Community Center in Petrolia. (The photo is at the bottom of that article, too.) Martha Beer Roscoe had written an article in the Humboldt Historian, v. XVII, no. 4, about that house’s unique history. Please excuse the copy’s quality. You can read it if you click on it to enlarge. To clarify one point, across the street from it was what was called the Cavy Miner home. It was originally built by Cavy’s husband, Jacob Miner, but occupied by her and her brother-in-law, Cyrus Miner, for decades after. (It was Mrs. Alden Boots’s place in the late 1960s; she was Bill Selby’s mother.)

Thanks to the Humboldt County Historical Society, and to the late great
Martha B. (Mrs. Stanley) Roscoe.

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