Humboldt County has always been a place that is relatively difficult to get to. For a very long time, it was only accessible by overland trails on foot, by horse, or boat, until rail lines and eventually automobile roads were constructed. With summertime just around the corner, we're featuring some artifacts in the collection that document the history of roads in Humboldt County.
This week's post was inspired by a photo postcard found in the collection featured here. The postcard, depicting an old car driving on a dirt road on a cliff around a hairpin curve, is one of a series of postcards titled "On the Redwood Highway". The postcards featured images that tourists may see as they drove along the precursor to today's Highway 101. Along with photos of dusty roads, they also document the logging industry of the area, with its larger than life tools and loggers dwarfed by the gigantic trees. Tourists could also send home postcards of rustic roadside stops like the Richardson Grove lodge and Trees of Mystery, all nestled along the highway from San Francisco to the Oregon border. Earlier photos were black and white or sepia, while slightly later ones were colorized, like the postcard featuring the South Fork of the Eel River below.