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Scenes From The Redwood Empire


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#1 roadhound

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 10:17 PM

Last month I took a journey with the family into California's Redwood Empire. While I am just beginning to prep the photos for posting there was one in particular that I wanted to share sooner rather than later. Before the journey started somebody shared with me a picture from this same location taken a couple of years earlier. I tried to recreate the image as closely as I could from memory.

I'll post my view of the shot and let him decide if he wants to post the link to his. The roadside attraction is located at 39°54'57.25"N 123°45'59.23"W and was closed on the Sunday afternoon when we stopped there.

More images to follow in the near future.





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#2 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 10:43 PM

QUOTE (roadhound @ Aug 8 2008, 08:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Last month I took a journey with the family into California's Redwood Empire. While I am just beginning to prep the photos for posting there was one in particular that I wanted to share sooner rather than later. Before the journey started somebody shared with me a picture from this same location taken a couple of years earlier. I tried to recreate the image as closely as I could from memory.

I'll post my view of the shot and let him decide if he wants to post the link to his. The roadside attraction is located at 39°54'57.25"N 123°45'59.23"W and was closed on the Sunday afternoon when we stopped there.

More images to follow in the near future.





Roadhound


Roadhound,

Here is the 1948 picture in the same place. Your’s truly is in the jeans. The cuffs were standard fare for 8 year olds in 1948, just in case you had a growth spurt!

Looking forward to the rest of the shots!!

Keep the Show on the Road!

Dave



#3 DennyG

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 08:56 PM

Hey! That place looks kinda familiar. I think maybe I've been there, too.



#4 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 12:07 AM

QUOTE (DennyG @ Aug 9 2008, 06:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hey! That place looks kinda familiar. I think maybe I've been there, too.



Sure, but are your cuffs the right length? rolleyes.gif

Keep the Show on the Road!

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#5 roadhound

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 01:24 AM






Is it or isn't it?

The owner of the diner just down the street told me that the structure pictured in my photo above was once the Orick Inn. The size looks to be close but there are some obvious differences in the structure and window configuration. I could not get a good angle of the backside without going on private property but there was a peaked roof jutting out. The owner of the diner also said that somebody was rebuilding it. I did walk along the side of the building and there is a lot of work needed.

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#6 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 10:48 AM

QUOTE (roadhound @ Aug 9 2008, 10:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Is it or isn't it?

The owner of the diner just down the street told me that the structure pictured in my photo above was once the Orick Inn. The size looks to be close but there are some obvious differences in the structure and window configuration. I could not get a good angle of the backside without going on private property but there was a peaked roof jutting out. The owner of the diner also said that somebody was rebuilding it. I did walk along the side of the building and there is a lot of work needed.

Roadhound


Roadhound,

Your photo is definitely of the Orick Inn. Here is a post card image of it I borrowed from Ebay…in case you want to buy it



On the other hand, I would be hard pressed to say that the photo in my 1915-16 Automobile Blue Book is the same building as either your photo or the post card. Chimneys, windows, and roofline don’t seem to match. Even if you speculate it is the other side of the building, you have to account for chimneys. It is not impossible, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

So bottom line….you at least have a good “now” picture matching the “then” of the post card…..not what we were looking for, but just as good!

Thanks for taking the time and effort!

And we await your photos and complete report.

Keep the Show on the Road!

Dave

#7 roadhound

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 11:50 AM

QUOTE (Keep the Show on the Road! @ Aug 10 2008, 10:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Roadhound,

Your photo is definitely of the Orick Inn. Here is a post card image of it I borrowed from Ebay…in case you want to buy it



On the other hand, I would be hard pressed to say that the photo in my 1915-16 Automobile Blue Book is the same building as either your photo or the post card. Chimneys, windows, and roofline don’t seem to match. Even if you speculate it is the other side of the building, you have to account for chimneys. It is not impossible, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

So bottom line….you at least have a good “now” picture matching the “then” of the post card…..not what we were looking, for but just as good!

Thanks for taking the time and effort!

And we await your photos and complete report.

Keep the Show on the Road!

Dave


We have a match! Thanks for clearing that up. I am still curious about why the 1915 add looks so much different. Perhaps they did some extensive remodeling between then and when the postcard drawing was made.

I wish I had known to look for the auto court. I saw some structures that may have come close a little further north on 101 at the other end of town but there were no signs indicating what they were that I could see.
One thing that I did notice throughout the Orick-Crescent City area was a number of auto courts that were still standing. Some were in better shape than others but there seemed to be more than I usually see on a road trip.

The "complete report" is probably going to be shared in bits and pieces. Think of it as an extended after vacation slide show. I'll post pictures as I process them with a little description of what they are. Hopefully they will be in some sort of order and right side up.

The Chandelier Tree is located in a redwood grove near Legget. As you can see it was a tight squeeze and Mrs. Roadhound did a good job of guiding Rocinante straight through the base of the 315 foot tall coastal redwood. The antenae was scraping the inside of the tree and the mirrors are folded back to make it through.


#8 bbutko

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 06:42 AM

All great stuff, thanks to all of you for sharing.

My guess on the inn is that it burned and was rebuilt - there seems to be nothing that carries over.

#9 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 10:33 AM

QUOTE (bbutko @ Aug 11 2008, 03:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
All great stuff, thanks to all of you for sharing.

My guess on the inn is that it burned and was rebuilt - there seems to be nothing that carries over.


Brian,

My guess would be the same.

As you well know, but not all may realize, the opportunities for fire (wood stoves, open fireplaces, flues, lanterns, fireplaces, smoking, etc), the lack of interior sprinkler and similar protection systems, construction (wood), furnishings (highly flammable), and the ill equipped volunteer fire departments (if there was one at all) practically guaranteed that the hotel would eventually burn down. And it was fortunate when it didn’t take the town with it.

I read where the good folks of Orick are hoping that the present old hotel will be rejuvenated into a bed and breakfast. Looking at Roadhound’s photo I would guess that it will cost more to “rejuvenate” than to rebuild. Too bad.

BTW, did I see you on public TV holding forth on the history of candy…or something like that a few weeks ago? I think it was done in the late 1990’s.

Keep the Show on the Road!

Dave

#10 roadhound

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 04:42 PM

QUOTE (Keep the Show on the Road! @ Aug 11 2008, 11:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Brian,

My guess would be the same.

As you well know, but not all may realize, the opportunities for fire (wood stoves, open fireplaces, flues, lanterns, fireplaces, smoking, etc), the lack of interior sprinkler and similar protection systems, construction (wood), furnishings (highly flammable), and the ill equipped volunteer fire departments (if there was one at all) practically guaranteed that the hotel would eventually burn down. And it was fortunate when it didn’t take the town with it.

I read where the good folks of Orick are hoping that the present old hotel will be rejuvenated into a bed and breakfast. Looking at Roadhound’s photo I would guess that it will cost more to “rejuvenate” than to rebuild. Too bad.


Keep the Show on the Road!

Dave


You know what we need? Somebody to write a really good "Greetings From the Redwood Highway" book and have these questions already answered. If such a book exists I haven't found it yet.

Rick

#11 roadhound

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:37 AM

What would a road trip through the Redwood Empire be without a few pictures of old roads lined with magnificent trees?

This stretch of road lies just south of Benbow. This section was likely bypassed in the 60's when a new bridge was built at Smith Point and the highway realigned.

Approximate location 40° 3'23.45"N 123°47'13.68"W



The Benbow Inn. This looks like a great place for a romantic getaway if I ever saw one. The interior is nicely done and the entire facility has been well maintained. A small river runs behind and under an arched bridge. On the other side of the road, to the left in the picture, is the Eel River. The roadway in the foreground is the old US 101 roadbed.

40° 4'2.92"N 123°47'25.03"W



Avenue of the Giants near Phillipsville.

Approximate location 40°15'13.16"N 123°49'19.36"W



More to come...

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#12 roadhound

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 12:09 AM

We took a detour off of the Avenue of the Giants and took the Dyerville loop through Fruitland and then followed the Eel River back to the highway. From Fruitland and along the unpaved section of road in the picture below, was part of the auto route that pre-dated US 101. It would have been part of the original Redwood Empire Road.

The road to Devil's Elbow



When the kids have extra energy to burn give them a 10 second head start then chase them across a bridge. This bridge crosses the Eel River and I believe it was used either as part of a quarry or logging operation. We used it to get across the river and find a place to picnic. The bridge isn't high above the river level so it must be able to withstand lots of water flowing over it considering that the Eel has flooded numerous times with water levels in the 70 foot range.



Before we got back to the US 101 we passed through this redwood grove. We stopped and just listened to the wind rocking the 320' tall trees back and forth.



After the driving through more redwood groves we stopped in the company town of Scotia before continuing on to our lodgings in Fortuna. Scotia is worth a visit if for no other reason than to see what a company owned town looks like.

#13 mobilene

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 06:52 AM

I've never seen the likes of that bridge. It looks like it has seen happier days.

I never thought much about it, but it makes sense that redwoods would rock like skyscrapers!

jim

#14 Chris Rowland

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 07:30 AM

QUOTE (roadhound @ Aug 15 2008, 01:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When the kids have extra energy to burn give them a 10 second head start then chase them across a bridge.

I had never thought of that before... great idea!

Chris

#15 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 11:39 AM

Roadhound,

Great Shots! And story!

I bet that bridge has no possibility of withstanding floods on the Eel. I recall in the early 60's posts along the Eel that were at least 10 feet over my head, marking "high water." The bridge must just be rebuilt, if it is needed. When three or four big logs pile up against it and the water is traveling at a good speed, that bridge is history.

I do have to say a word about Scotia, because I spent a few hours there in the 1960's, and in the early 2000's, and a few times in between. Scotia today is a lovely community, and well worth a visit. And it retains much....perhaps most of its original architecture. But it looks today like no company town ever looked. I was there. And I have seen several company towns in addition to Scotia, when they were company towns. They did not have clean white paint, flower pots hanging from street posts, and gift shops.

I'm not knocking company towns, and certainly not Scotia. They often offered clean, safe, "cheap" housing for workers. Of course it was the exceptional company that wasn't tempted to "abuse" the situation when everything you want or need on a daily basis is available only from a company owned and controlled operation. "I owe my soul to the company store" was not an idle phrase.

Here is a quote about Scotia from the 1939 California - American Guide Series (WPA).

"The company owns every foot of land and every building in the town, renting the small houses on the side streets to those among its 1,600 employees with families. Furniture, household goods, and groceries are sold at the company store for company script. It is said that many emplotees do not handle legal tender for months at a time"

Just a little historical footnote.

I eagerly await more of the story!!

Keep the Show on the Road!

Dave






#16 roadhound

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 12:26 PM

QUOTE (Keep the Show on the Road! @ Aug 15 2008, 11:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Roadhound,

Great Shots! And story!

I bet that bridge has no possibility of withstanding floods on the Eel. I recall in the early 60's posts along the Eel that were at least 10 feet over my head, marking "high water." The bridge must just be rebuilt, if it is needed. When three or four big logs pile up against it and the water is traveling at a good speed, that bridge is history.

I do have to say a word about Scotia, because I spent a few hours there in the 1960's, and in the early 2000's, and a few times in between. Scotia today is a lovely community, and well worth a visit. And it retains much....perhaps most of its original architecture. But it looks today like no company town ever looked. I was there. And I have seen several company towns in addition to Scotia, when they were company towns. They did not have clean white paint, flower pots hanging from street posts, and gift shops.

I'm not knocking company towns, and certainly not Scotia. They often offered clean, safe, "cheap" housing for workers. Of course it was the exceptional company that wasn't tempted to "abuse" the situation when everything you want or need on a daily basis is available only from a company owned and controlled operation. "I owe my soul to the company store" was not an idle phrase.

Here is a quote about Scotia from the 1939 California - American Guide Series (WPA).

"The company owns every foot of land and every building in the town, renting the small houses on the side streets to those among its 1,600 employees with families. Furniture, household goods, and groceries are sold at the company store for company script. It is said that many emplotees do not handle legal tender for months at a time"

Just a little historical footnote.


Dave


The Eel and the Klamath are both notorious for tremendous flooding and have done quite a bit to shape that region of California. I suppose you are right about the bridge but I figured by the time the floodwaters got high enough to start carrying logs down the river it would be well above the top of that bridge. Looks like it would be easy enough to rebuild though.


I've read that about Pacific Lumber as well. Even though Scotia is no longer a company town it is still clean and well taken care of, especially in contrast to Rio Dell, the town on the north side of the bridge. If you're in the area the Scotia Inn is worth a stop.

Roadhound


#17 roadhound

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 02:01 AM

The third day of our journey was the big adventure day of the trip. We started the morning in Fortuna and got an early start heading out through Ferndale towards the coast.

If KTSoTR will allow me I would like to redisplay the map that he posted when I was gathering information to plan this trip. The route we followed is identified as 335 on the map and I would say with a fair level of confidence that the only thing that has changed since that map was printed in 1915 was a short section that was realigned near Petrolia, maybe a slight bit of road widening, and it does now have asphalt.

We followed 335 to Petrolia and then took the road, Lighthouse Road, that goes to the beach.




Mattole Road rises, dips, winds, sways, and shimmies its way over the coast mountains that lie southeast of Ferndale and finally emerges at the Pacific Ocean at Cape Mendocino.

Mattole Road at Cape Mendocino


Petrolia is primarily an agricultural community with ranches in the surrounding area. Although, it is also the site of California's first oil well which was drilled in the 1850's. We stopped at the General Store in Petrolia for sandwich fixins before continuing onto Lighthouse Road and Mattole Beach.

Mattole Beach


After lunch at Mattole Beach we got back in the truck and took a single lane dirt road over the hill towards the location of the Punta Gorda Lighthouse. The 4x4 wasn't needed but comforting to have anyway. The last section of road wound down a steep hill to the trailhead of the hike to the lighthouse. We parked on a bluff overlooking the ocean where my wife and daughter stayed and read a book while enjoying the million dollar view of the ocean while my son and I went for a hike.

Rocky at Punta Gorda


Looking Down the Bluff at Punta Gorda


I estimate that the winds blowing on the top of the bluff were gusting in the 50's range. My son and I hiked down the trail to the beach which was easy and I didn't allow myself to think about the 500 feet that I would eventually hike back up. The lighthouse, or what remains of the lighthouse, is a mile further south.

Rusted Buoy on the Beach with the Punta Gorda Lighthouse in the Background


The Punta Gorda Lighthouse was built in 1912 and shut down in 1951 when it was deemed no longer necessary. There are foundations for the three lightkeepers quarters which were burned down to prevent squatters in the 60's.

Punta Gorda Lighthouse Overlooking the Pacific Ocean


We hiked back along the beach, up the bluff, and drove back out towards civilization the way we had come. I realized on the drive back through Petrolia and along Mattole Road that I was getting a wave from the drivers of the cars that we were passing. It was just a slight raise of the hand with the palm still resting on the steering wheel. I found it very friendly and to make sure I fit in I started reciprocating the gesture. It was much different than the gestures I get driving the freeway at home.

We did stop for a few minutes to walk through the Victorian town of Ferndale on the way back. Unfortunately it was late in the day and most of the shops were closing up. We were also tired and hungry and ready to get to a motel room in Eureka.

Roadhound

#18 mobilene

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 07:39 AM

Rick, I like the shots of Mattole Road and of the beach with the tank and lighthouse the best. I am astonished that Mattole Road is much the same as "335" from 1915 -- I thought that every old road in CA had either been straightened and flattened, abandoned, or bisected by an Interstate! jim

#19 roadhound

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 11:33 AM

QUOTE (mobilene @ Aug 16 2008, 08:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Rick, I like the shots of Mattole Road and of the beach with the tank and lighthouse the best. I am astonished that Mattole Road is much the same as "335" from 1915 -- I thought that every old road in CA had either been straightened and flattened, abandoned, or bisected by an Interstate! jim


Thanks Mobiline.

It is a land untouched by CalTrans.

I may have neglected to mention that the whole region is called the Lost Coast, and there is a reason for that. Its a rugged landscape that gets between 120-200 inches of rain a year. Fortunately much of the area is now protected by the Kings Range National Conservation Area and Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

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#20 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 12:16 PM

Rick,

Beautiful shots! And nice description.

I don’t recall ever having been on that road! That is saying something for a transplanted Californian who drove every road he could find for 25+ years. Loved the description and photos!!

Is the little settlement in the photo at a distance Petrolia? Or is that a ranch? And there was a store! Did you get a photo?

The old 4 finger wave with the thumb on the wheel is standard on back country two lane roads, and distinguishes locals from tourists. It is more often given by men than women, and always when driving a pickup. It may be accompanied by a brief nod, but that is usually reserved for when you encounter someone coming toward you who has pulled off the road to allow you to get by.

Your posts are terrific. Let’s have a few more stories. What transpired with the sandwich fixings purchase? Did they have a place where they kept credit slips for locals who pay at the end of the month? Were there a couple of tables where folks sat down to eat, usually covered with last week’s newspapers? Was there an old dog hanging around outside?

Keep the Show on the Road!

Dave

P.S. You are always welcome to use any maps I send or post...and I appreciate the fact that they are useful and the source noted. It makes me feel the collection is at least a bit handy. smile.gif




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