In fact, they will be hosting book signings every weekend in July and August following the release of the book. Royalties are being donated to the Visitor’s Center, and books sold from the center also support ongoing work to interpret the redwoods for both local residents and visitors to our region.
The book, a pictorial history of the region now encompassed by Humboldt Redwoods State Park, is the first to document the area with pictures. Topics include homesteading along the South Fork of the Eel, Bull Creek, and along the Eel River from Shively to Dyerville.
Rare photos of Weott, Miranda, and Phillipsville show the rise of these communities. Additionally, logging not only for lumber but also for split products and tanbark is also covered. The various means of transportation, including riverboats, is documented. The formation of the Save the Redwoods league, the Civilian Conservation Corps and the growth of the state park in the region are also shown pictorially.
The flooding of the Eel from 1915-1964 is another highlight of the book. Photos include a comparison of the floods of 1955 and 1964 in Weott. The impact of the flooding on the environment and the resulting expansion of the park to include the Bull Creek watershed is also examined. The photographs used in the book come from the Visitor Center archives. Many of the pictures were donated by community members.
Susan O’Hara is a life long resident along the Eel River. She grew up in Weott, attended local schools and graduated from South Fork High in 1980. She has a BA in history and anthropology from UC Santa Cruz and a MA in history from UC Santa Barbara. The daughter of former Humboldt County supervisor Harry Pritchard and local teacher Margaret Pritchard, O’Hara has been gathering information about the region for many years. O’Hara has been researching the local history of Southern Humboldt County since she started working seasonally at Humboldt Redwoods State Park in 1980. She currently serves as president of the Humboldt Redwoods State Park Interpretive Association. Now a second grade school teacher at Rio Dell Elementary, she continues to research local history and write books about the region, hoping to share with others her insights into the local region. This is her second publication with Arcadia Press. Her first book was released in 2011 and is about Fortuna and the Eel River Valley. She co-authored that book with Dr. Alex Service, curator of the Fortuna Depot Museum.
Dave Stockton has also lived along the Eel River. He grew up in Holmes Flat, and like O’Hara, gathered local oral histories his entire life. Stockton graduated from Fortuna High and received his AA from Shasta College.