Pictures of many locations on the North Coast of California, including the giant redwoods, the national parks and towns in the Eel River Valley

All About Fortuna, the Friendly City!

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Home > Album: Historic Images of Fortuna and the Area

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Main Street Fortuna1158 viewsIt took a brave photographer to stand in the middle of the street with 1940's equipment.
Art Ray picture
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Fortuna ca. 19071312 views
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FUHS Student Team1084 viewsFall, 1907. Check out the uniforms!
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FUHS Student Team1160 viewsFall, 1907. According to the back of the postcard, the numbers on the ball refer to the score of a (basketball?) game with Ferndale.
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Fernbridge1215 views
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Wireless Station on Table Bluff1011 viewsEstablished by US Navy in 1907 as one in a chain reaching from Mexico to Alaska. Received 962 and sent 618 messages in 1908 (bless those government archives, they don't throw ANYTHING away...). The Navy's wireless chain includes Tatoosh Island, WA (callsign SV), and Cape Blanco (TA), Table Bluff (TD), Point Arguello (TK) and Point Loma (TM) in California using Massie, Telefunken, Shoemaker and DeForest gear.
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Fortuna High School and Professor Inskip1172 viewsThe high school building was located at what is today the location of Fortunal Elementary; on L Street, between 8th and 9th Streets. The grammar school was located a block to the north on Main Street.
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Avenue of the Giants1503 views
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Eel River1194 viewsNote the railroad tracks at the left. The river floods regularly - that's why this stretch of track was the most expensive to maintain. The railroad is now defunct, rebuilding estimates are placed as high as a million dollars a mile.
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Scotia1145 viewsPhoto courtesy of Keir
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Fernbridge1101 views
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Eel River Bridge, Rio Dell1202 views
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Fernbridge1138 views
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Van Duzen River Bridge at Highway 36 and Highway 101 (1914)1272 viewsNote the wagon and team crossing the bridge. The Redwood Highway is now called Highway 101 and crosses in almost this exact spot today, except it's now four lanes and vehicles are travelling at 65 MPH. This was locally known as the Alton Bridge.
This county bridge, built in 1901 by the San Francisco Bridge Company, consisted of two steel Camelback truss spans with wooden trestle approaches, and carried a narrow, 16-foot roadway. By the early 1920s, the steel spans were badly corroded from the salt-laden coastal air, and the wooden deck and approach spans were rotted. It was replaced in 1924.
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Pacific Lumber Company Drying Deck, ca. 19601212 viewsFork lift stacking lumber at the Pacific Lumber Company in Scotia.
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Pacific Lumber Company Log Pond, ca. 19601473 viewsOne of the largest in the area, the Scotia Pond had a storage capacity of 12 million board feet of lumber. Employees used pike poles to guide the logs to the sawmill.
Notes from a pond monkey:
"After lunch you come back and discover that the wind has changed and the logs have all drifted back across the pond. (Note: the wind ALWAYS blows the wrong way at EVERY sawmill. Seems like they PLAN it that way!). So grab the old 'idiot stick' (16 foot long aluminum pike pole) and walk around the edge of the pond until you can get out on some timber. Line up a bunch of these 'pecker poles' and then start prying them over to the bull chain. You pry them over by sticking the pike pole down to the bottom of the pond, and then pry them over in the general direction of the bull chain. You better have them lined up evenly, or you can't steer 'em. Not only that, but the turn could break up, and you would have to line them all up again if you had time. Nothing to it: just watch your step or you will find out the hard way about that old adage, 'easy as falling off a log' and the guy that made THAT one up wasn't just bumping his gums, by gum."
"Just in case any of you readers should ever want to be a pond monkey, here are a few fool proof rules to go by: Never ride a lone log out beyond reach of other logs as you just might run aground on a sinker and have to swim back. Always run zig-zag over the logs, and never, never zig when you ought to zag! Keep loose chunks of bark out of your corks, and watch for loose bark on the logs. Always wear wool underwear because no matter how cold and wet you get, you are always warm and dry! Watch your step when a load of logs is dumped into the pond! That's also the best time to break up a floating jam. If you do fall in, don't try to climb out on the SIDE of a log, as it just keeps turning. Climb out on the END of a log. If you are on nights, don't EVER light a cigarette while on a log as the flash will blind you and you will fall in."
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Ox Team Pulling Redwood Log on Skid Road1274 views
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Ferry Near Dyerville, 19091209 viewsWhat an adventure! This one follows two cables stretched across the river, probably South Fork. Being a ferryman meant someone always had to be there.
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Train Wreck1442 views
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Patrick's Point 1920s1142 views
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