This record, according to the tag included with it, was made by Mr. B. H. Shuemaker, a local from Eureka who had perfected the process of making pieces of redwood into playable records. One side has a story of the history of the redwoods while the opposite side plays Beautiful Dreamer. The record was created in the early 1940s.
While putting together our newest exhibit, Museum Assistant Sasha and I were looking through the museum's collection of Redwood items for one of the displays and found this incredible piece: a record made out of Redwood.
This piece is on display in our redwood items case, named the "Redwood Mandala" by Sasha, who organized the case in the exhibit. It includes a number of redwood and redwood burl items, most often sold in the plethora of trinket shops that popped up around Humboldt County with early Redwood tourism. Our plan for this case was to represent some of the more notable features of redwood that made it an in-demand product throughout the early to mid 20th century, along with some examples of what redwood was being used for. The beloved features of redwood for wood workers include its coloration, patterning, straight grain, and resistance to bugs and rot. In the 1960s and 1970s, old growth redwood was being logged mainly for building supplies to support the building boom following the end of World War II, but with increased access to cars and leisure time, people came to the redwoods for vacations and bought trinket items like those displayed.
Stop by and see the Redwood Record and more in our newest exhibit The Redwoods Provide(d): Stories from Redwood National and State Parks
The Clarke Historical Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am- 6 pm and Sunday 11 am- 4 pm.
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