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!

Over 2,000 images of this wonderful Northern California place we call home.

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Train of Logs on Luffenholtz Trestle around 18904816 viewsEngine #11 - Oregon & Eureka Rail Road. Luffenholtz Creek is near Trinidad. This trestle, along with the town of Luffenholtz, burned to the ground in 1908 in a major Humboldt County forest fire. Many families lost their houses and all their possessions, barely escaping with their lives. Ericson Photograph Collection, Humboldt State University Library
Timber Train Trestle1388 viewsNortheast of Arcata
Tired Track1337 views
Excelsior Redwood Company1875 viewsLumber train and camp operating out of Freshwater. This picture dates to the early 1890s.
Ericson Photograph Collection, Humboldt State University Library
Aerial View of Fortuna, 19492277 views
NWP Train at South Bay (Fields Landing), 19111263 viewsJohn Vance and Wallace Fields got into a snit and that's why there were two town names for a while.
1907 View of Fortuna1791 viewsView above 9th and 10th Streets. The two very large buildings in the center of the photograph are the Grammar and High Schools. At the right is the Springville Mill, located on what was then called Spring Street. The lumber mill was later renamed the Fortuna Milling Company.
Fortuna ca. 19071326 views
Van Duzen River Bridge at Highway 36 and Highway 101 (1914)1286 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.
Train Wreck1456 views
Logging Locomotives1132 views
Southern Pacific's "Daylight"1174 viewsThe "Daylight," Southern Pacific's new streamline train, which makes a daily dawn-to-dusk flight between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
NWP Fernbridge Depot1054 views
logging conference Falk 01.jpg
Logging Conference1276 views
logging conference Falk 02.jpg
Logging Conference1216 views
logging conference Falk 03.jpg
Logging Conference1241 views
Van Duzen River Bridge at Highway 36 and Highway 101 (1991)1157 viewsThe railroad bridge (Eureka Southern in 1991, the time this was taken) dates back to 1913. The center bridge was built in 1924 to replace the 1901 bridge.
And what a story! On November 20, 1924, flood conditions, combined with the battering of large drift material, washed the footwork from beneath the south and middle arches, as well as from beneath the south half of the north arch, causing the crown of the recently-poured north and south arches to deflect. This same flood also destroyed the elevating tower (used to pour the concrete), necessitating construction of a new one, and, in its early stages, also washed out the detour bridge.
With the detour bridge washed out, traffic was diverted along the south bank of the Van Duzen River to the Eel River, across the Eel on the Weymouth Bridge to Grizzly Bluff, and then back across the Eel again, on the East Ferry Bridge to Fortuna. This detour was in effect for two days, when the East Ferry Bridge washed out. Traffic was then detoured from Grizzly Bluff to Ferndale, then back across the Eel River to Fernbridge and on to Fortuna. This lasted just one day until the Weymouth Bridge washed out. Clearly, nature seemed to be getting out of hand.
The 1924 span was originally constructed for two lanes of opposing traffic, and was converted to two northbound lanes in 1952, following construction of the new southbound bridge. In 1974, the bridge was restricted to a single northbound lane because of the high accident rate resulting from the narrow lanes on this bridge. This was then the only single-lane section within a 104-mile stretch of Highway 101. When it was later rebuilt it was upgraded to current design standards including a bike lane.
Because of the span's characteristics and other factors, the bridge was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
Newburgh Mill Town1116 viewsThe Eel Valley Lumber Company (page contains link to hi-res picture) was located in a valley north of Fortuna. This same road today leads to the Headwaters Preserve.
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