Archive for June, 2011

The Summer, 2011, edition of the Humboldt County Historical Society’s magazine showed up in my mailbox recently, and i was very impressed. The cover resembles a classic seascape oil painting, but from a more interesting angle than most… and it’s a photograph!

Crossing the bar, March 16, 2011. Photo by Steve Cousins; cover courtesy of
Humboldt Historian editor Suzanne Forsyth

This is the Lady Washington, a two-masted brig, carrying Marvin Shepherd, author of The Sea Captain’s Odyssey: A Biography of Captain H. H. Buhne. The trip up from San Francisco to Humboldt Bay recreated the April, 1850, adventure of Captain Buhne. For more of the story, and extra photographs, see the Historian.

Inside the magazine, an article titled simply “The Mattole” beckons. It is written by Gerald Beck, and is a beautiful, heartfelt reminiscence of a lifetime of stays in this Valley, particularly in a cabin up Conklin Creek Road, whose charms are lovingly described in Gerald’s story. Here is a teaser page from the article: (Click on the page to open it in a separate window. Then use control and the plus sign to enlarge it.)

The third page of Gerald Beck's memoir in the current Humboldt Historian. Click to enlarge the text.

Lowell Walker, 1941, courtesy of Mary Bacchetti. He and his family are mentioned in the Beck piece. Photo by Heinie Senn for the Mattole Union School yearbook

Lowell is well-remembered here; he was the last veterinarian in the Valley, and i wish we had another! He was also a very nice old guy, as i recall him. He lived up at the sharp curve of Chambers Road in the place formerly known as the Claude and Ruth Hunter place, which now belongs to Dick Cogswell.

If you are a member of the Humboldt County Historical Society, you will have already received your copy of this magazine. Otherwise, call 707-445-4342 to arrange ordering a copy and/or joining their society; visit their excellent office/research center/bookstore at H and 8th Streets in Eureka (hours are T-F, noon to 4, and Th, 3-7 p.m.); or see me at the Mattole Valley Historical Society office to review my copy (call me at 707-629-3647 to arrange a time). Enjoy!


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This is Heinie Senn. Probably a self-portrait. He was the official photographer of the Mattole Union School around 1940 (and also the busdriver). His brothers were Carl, Rudy, and Bill Senn, and his daughter is Mary Bacchetti, who contributed this photo.

Here is Johnny Chambers in 1926. His brother was Russell, his sisters Lois Gillespie and Dorothy, and his parents Irving and Emily Chambers.

Carol Adams a.k.a. Gypsy, who later became Mrs. John Evenden, with her father Louis Adams in the late 1930s. Gypsy was one of the MVHS's most interested and active members.

George "Buck" Miner and his sheep on his land with part of Cooskie Mtn. in the background. Photo was taken by Bruce Durbin in preparation for the 1996 publication of Buck's book, Origin of the Mattole.

Doris Johnston, later Clark then Loudermilk, feeding the chickens; 1930s i would guess.

The Chester Gardner home at Union Mattole (New Jerusalem), on the property where Don and Lorene Etter recently lived. Now owned by George Short. 1935 shot of structure built in 1920, in a style popular in towns but unusual out in the sticks. Later occupied by Mrs. Frank (Dora) Etter, and at some point horribly renovated to look like an automotive shop.

Molly West with a young Patty Langer, from 1955 or '56. I would like to know more about Molly (or Mildred Mackey Roberts West...) and write an article about her someday. Photo courtesy Patty Langer.

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