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Learn About Today From Yesterday

Are you curious about the old ship shown in the photograph a friend gave to you? Seeking information on your great-grandmother, who may have been a postmistress in Humboldt County? Wondering how a place got its name, or if it was once a stop on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad? Perhaps you are researching a Humboldt County business from the turn of the century, trying to locate a former logging camp, or preparing an in-depth research paper.

Chances are the Humboldt County Historical Society will be able to provide you with the information you need.

We offer a wide variety of resources that can help you discover detailed information about the North Coast, from the histories of Native peoples, to the maritime activities on Humboldt Bay, to such things as the names of the actors who used to play at the Margarita Theatre. The North Coast of California has been blessed with an abundance of skilled writers and photographers. From early days, right down to the present, Humboldt County history has been well recorded.


The archives of the Humboldt County Historical Society contain:

  • More than 65,000 photographs
  • More than 600 maps and architectural drawings
  • More than 1,000 books, booklets and yearbooks
  • Family letters and scrapbooks, the records of businesses and organizations, and a general information file that includes essays, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, event programs, and more.
  • Genealogical resources ranging from family biographies and obituaries to early census indices and vital records to city directories, wills, voter registration records and comprehensive collections gathered by past and present local historians.

Find out more about our Archives.

Before the advent of rail service in 1914, travel to San Francisco was by sea. Here, passengers on a steam schooner share the deck with a lumber shipment.


Indian children play in a dugout canoe.