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Northwestern California Forest Communities

Cal Poly Humboldt Library is one of 19 California libraries selected in 2005-2006 to put samples of our historical documents on an exciting new website sponsored by the California State Library: Calisphere. Our rich and dynamic forest community heritage in Northwestern California is represented by:

Belcher Atlas of Humboldt County 1921-1922. This atlas sets the context for our forest communities and provides a way for us to understand trends and themes over the last 150 years. Maps are a snapshot in time of all of the resources that people consider important about a place. We digitized the entire atlas that is key to identifying and interpreting local cultural landscapes. View slideshow: Identifying Local Cultural Landscapes.

Little River Redwood Company and the Town of Crannell. The Warren Photograph Collection provides a spectacular visual history of the company town of Crannell from its original construction in 1909 by the Little River Redwood Company through its merger with the Hammond Redwood Lumber Company in 1931, to its declining days. We digitized 75 photographs from this collection.

Samoa – A Lumber Company Town. Samoa is one of only two intact lumber company towns in northwestern California and the level of documentation found within this collection is exceptional. It includes information on the mill sites, the company towns and field camps, logging operations, property holdings and the extensive network of railroads. Although this huge collection is unprocessed, we selected 125 architectural drawings and maps to digitize, primarily of the original buildings in the town of Samoa and the lumber camps. Along with related photos in our Ericson and Swanlund-Baker collections, these should enable scholars to better understand and interpret everyday life in the communities that we know as mill towns, company towns and logging camps. View slideshow: Mill Towns Company Towns and Logging Camps.

Tanbark Industry in Southern Humboldt County. We chose a series of photographs from our Swanlund-Baker Photograph Collection to represent a unique forest community around the Briceland and Mattole part of the county. While the processing of tanbark centered around the oak woodlands, a selection of photographs from our other collections enables us to show how the impact of this industry extended to other parts of Humboldt County. View slideshow: The Tan Bark Industry in Southern Humboldt County.

Article about the exhibit