From the Editor
In the photo below Walter Nelson poses with a cook at logging camp 4, Little River, 1920s. After spending a decade at sea living on pea soup and wormy "dog biscuits," Walter was sincerely appreciative of the logging camp cooks. While other men were going on strike for better food, Walter was photographing the marvelous camp cooks, who he valued and wanted to remember. Indeed, a unique quality of Walter's life story is that he was carrying a camera with him by 1904, taking photographs of his seafaring adventures and then of his work in the North Coast woods, where he took up the specialty of saw filing. His story and photographs begin on page 10.
We are most pleased to present an interview with Fortuna resident and helicopter pioneer James Meade. As a test pilot and engineer, Meade made countless contributions to helicopter flight over a lifetime of airborne adventures throughout the world, including a small but key role at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
South Park featured in our quiz recently and now Jerry Rohde presents a history of its racetracks and various lodging facilities. Also in this issue, Karen Campbell Hendricks provides a history of the origins of Redway, shares her childhood memories, and ponders the much changed Redway of today. And readers will not want to miss Robert Titlow's wonderful reminiscences of a very special fifth-grade teacher, Miss Mary Graham, or Deborah Baskette's account of America's first RV, the Travel Log, made right here in Humboldt.
Also enclosed, warm wishes for a splendid holiday season to all our readers from all of us at the Barnum House!
Winter 2015 - Volume 63, Number 4
10 - FROM SAILOR TO WOODSMAN: A BIOGRAPHY OF MY FATHER, WALTER NELSON - By Anna Antonsen
Seafaring provided Walter Nelson with adventure, while work in a Humboldt logging camp provided the things that life at sea did not: good hearty meals and a good wage.
20 - A HISTORY OF REDWAY - - By Karen Campbell Hendricks
Colorful Redway, then and now.
24 - JAMES M. MEADE, HELICOPTER PIONEER AND INDUSTRY INNOVATOR - By Martin J. Pociask
A lively and exciting conversation with native Humboldter and helicopter pioneer Jim Meade of Fortuna.
30 - RONALD V. SMITH REMEMBERS DEER LICK SPRINGS - By Paul Rasmussen Smith
Deer Lick Springs struck a chord with our readers. Recollections and a history from 1882.
32 - MARY EWING GETTY GRAHAM - - By Robert Titlow
The author remembers his relative and fifth-grade teacher, the magnanimous Miss Graham.
36 - SOUTH PARK RACE TRACKS, HOTEL, AUTO CAMP, AUTO COURT, AND MOTEL - By Jerry Rohde
The many faces of South Park from 1869 to 1920.
42 - THE TRAVEL LOG: AMERICA'S FIRST RV - By Deborah Baskette
The conservationist and visionary Charles Kellogg rallied support for the redwoods in a unique way.
Walter Nelson with logging camp cook, camp 4, Little River, 1920s
From the Editor
This Historian celebrates America's favorite pastime with James Pegolotti's life of the famous Ferndale major league player, Joe Oeschger. Readers will find a few more baseballs bouncing around in this issue, too, just as many of us are gearing up for the World Series. Will the Angels actually play this year? Such is the fond, if cautious, hope of my dad and me.
What did the hard-working men of Humboldt's lumber and stevedoring industries do to soothe their aching bodies in the first half of the 20th century? They took their families to the region's most happening spa, Deer Lick Springs, where hot soaks, relaxation, teetotaling, and entertainments were the order of the day. Vivian Ziegler was there, and she tells the story on page 18.
Also in this issue, Paul Rasmussen Smith's life of Raymond Stenback incorporates Stenback's memoirs, which transport us to a country boyhood, the trenches of WWI, and the WWII years in Fortuna.
Additionally, pipe dreams come true as we celebrate the many nuances of the concrete pipe business with Bill Hilfiker, whose father modernized the Hilfiker plant, and we ponder a possible astronomical mystery with Barry Evans. All of which we hope adds up to a historical home run for the Fall issue of the Humboldt Historian!
Fall 2015 - Volume 63, Number 3
10 - JOE OESCHGER, A HUMBOLDT MAJOR LEAGUER - By James Pegolotti
A life of Joe Oeschger of Ferndale and a front-row seat at the longest baseball game in major league history.
18 - DEER LICK SPRINGS: A POPULAR SPA - - By Vivian Ziegler
Woodsmen and longshoremen—and at least one young woman—came for healing soaks in the potent waters at Deer Lick.
24 - HASH FAMILY ALL STARS
Dave Hash brought in a photo for our collections and shared stories about his father, Ed Hash, and the all-in-one-family baseball team, the Hash Family All Stars.
28 - HAROLD OTTO HILFIKER: HUMBOLDT'S PREMIER PIPE MAKER - By William Kent “Bill” Hilfiker, Sr.Harold Hilfiker expanded and modernized the Pipe Company, founded by his father in 1902, and now owned and operated by a fourth generation of Hilfikers.>
35 - THE CASE OF THE "HUGE METEORITE" - History's Mysteries - By Barry Evans
Something noteworthy plunged into the bay eighty-five years ago, but what exactly was it?
34 - RAYMOND STENBACK: FROM TRENCH WARFARE TO TEACHING - By Paul Rasmussen Smith
Raymond Stenback survived the World War I trenches to become a much-loved teacher at Fortuna High School.
Longtime and well-known resident of Shelter Cove Marilyn Fay Swithenbank Machi. Her obituary, written by Marianne Machi is in this issue on page 44
The cover photo, courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, shows Ferndale native Joe Oeschger on the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies, circa 1915. Oeschger achieved nationwide fame on the evening of May 1, 1920, when he pitched the longest game in major league history: twenty-six innings. The opposing pitcher was Leon Cadore. The game was finally called because of darkness, with a final score of 1-1. James Pegolotti presents a life of Joe Oeschger, and the details of the longest baseball game, with play-by-plays by its two pitchers, Oeschger and Cadore, on page 10.
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