Massacre survivor Lucy Young, who was interviewed by C. Hart Merriam, with Yellowjacket of the Cheteg-ge-keah, at Zenia, California. – Photo Courtesy of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

Journalist-historian Jerry Rohde will present “The Story Catchers of Southern Humboldt” at the Humboldt County Historical Society program meeting Saturday, April 2, at 1 p.m. in the first-floor conference room of the Humboldt County Library, 1313 Third St. in Eureka. Admission is free.

Rohde will gives a PowerPoint presentation about the American Indians of Southern Humboldt County — and the people who told and recorded their stories. Starting in the early 1900s, a group of researchers, including Pliny Goddard and C. Hart Merriam, located and interviewed a handful of elders who told them the stories of the tribes of the Van Duzen, Eel and Mattole rivers.

“The Indians from these areas were nearly all killed during the holocaust of the 1850s and 1860s,” Rohde said, “but a handful survived to describe a nearly forgotten world, where the Lolahnkoks, Nongatls, Mattoles and other tribal groups lived in a land that, for a time, was nearly a paradise. Thanks to Lucy Young, George Burt, Van Duzen Pete and others, we are connected to people and places from an almost unimaginable past — a past that you can visit through the words and pictures that carry across the rivers, forests and prairies of a century and a half ago.”

For more information, contact the Humboldt County Historical Society at 445-4342, or visit

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