Eureka: Architecture and Art

I was surprised by the range of interesting buildings in Eureka. There are large Victorian showplaces, classic California bungalows, even a few old Art Deco buildings. What I didn’t know when we arrived is that Eureka is home to an Old Town that preserves much of the late 19th century central part of the city, and the entire district is on the National Register of Historic Places. Here are a few of the lovely houses I saw, and some interesting quirky things.

The pinnacle of Victorian splendor in Eureka is the Carson Mansion, built by a lumber baron back when redwood was being shipped out of the forests at an incredible rate. This house has never been allowed to deteriorate, and is now a private club. You can apply on-line.

Across the street from the Carson Mansion is the Pink Lady. This is a lovely big Victorian, but it did have a period of abandonment, and is now refurbished. This is a private home and was recently on the market, if you’re interested in living in a showplace in beautiful Eureka. It has a view of the water, too.

We passed this row of three restored houses. In addition to all having individual character and nice restoration, these are not huge mansions, they are a livable size, and yet have lovely ornamentation.

Victorian houses catch my eye, but they are not the only interesting places in Eureka. There are lots of bungalows, a single story with a front porch, sometimes with Craftsman touches. This one was particularly fine. There are lots of others. Not all of these are huge, many are a comfortable size.

I was surprised to see some older family-sized water towers. In addition to storing water, the raised tank increases water pressure.

Artists abound in the Humboldt region. These metal jellyfish hang under someone’s carport in Trinidad, CA.

Trinidad is a tiny community perched on headlands that project into the Pacific. The views are beautiful, and there are days when whales spout and dive just off shore.

In front of a cafe in Bayside, this large metal lady dances in the breeze.

Bayside is another tiny community tucked in between Eureka and Arcata. We avoided the highway for the short trip between the two towns when we went to the weekly, year-round farmer’s market in Arcata. We passed Bayside on the Old Arcata Road and always admired its cafe.

On Quaker St. in Eureka, there is a man who makes sculpture out of broken machinery, tools, and old car parts. He came out to chat with us and told us that his grandchildren have made the newer pieces.

There are lots of places that have chainsaw art, too, legacy of the redwood boom times, when you could have just about anything made of redwood.

This is only a fraction of the interesting houses and artworks we passed during our month in the north. There is a bubbling creativity that comes out in many places you wouldn’t suspect. Fences, gates, birdhouses, yard sculpture; there are lots of hidden pleasures to find.


Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

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