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Regional Interests

Homepage: Book Explores Life in the Mills and Woods of Humboldt

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 Authors Susan J.P. O’Hara and Alex Service have just published their book, Mills of Humboldt County, capturing a time and place in Humboldt County that is slowly dissolving. 

The book is full of  images and stories from  lumber mills of the late 1800's and early 1900s, when Humboldt County was at the forefront of the massive redwood logging industry. 

The impressive size of the trees necessitated drastic technological advances. Many innovations were invented by Humboldt mill owners like John Dolbeer, whose steam donkey engine mechanized and revolutionized logging all along the West Coast. In 1896, there were 13 mills devoted to sawing redwood lumber and 26 mills making redwood shingles operating in Humboldt County. 

O'Hara and Service selected images from the collections of the Fortuna Depot Museum, the Humboldt State University Library, the Humboldt County Historical Society, and the Clarke Historical Museum, as well as private collectors, to depict the mills of Humboldt from 1850 to 1910. O’Hara is a historian and local educator and on the board of the the Fortuna Historical Commission , and Service is the curator of the Fortuna Depot Museum.