Saturday, September 8, 2007

Road Trip

Each year, Dan and I plan several "getaway" weekends. Everyone in our family looks forward to them. Justin gets to spend time with his friends, Kenny gets to spend the weekend with his grandmother, and Dan and I get a chance to spend time alone together.
Since Dan I and I both enjoy history and antiques, we chose to visit Humboldt County, California. Humboldt County is a county located on the northwest coast of California on the Pacific Ocean. It is about a eight hour drive from the Fresno area, so we had to leave early. The drive took us through San Francisco, up the Coastal Highway and through the coastal redwood forests.
These trees are truly amazing. There are so tall and thick in places that they block out the light of the sky. The dominant trees in coastal redwood forests range from several hundred years to over two thousand years. These forests are truly ancient. Their appearance has changed very little over time. Only a couple of trees per acre, per century need to appear to sustain the population.

Dan and I stopped at one of the Scenic Vista point to get a closer look. That's the back of our car near the base of one of the trees which gives you a sense of their immense size.

Situated along the spectacular Northern California coastline 280 miles north of San Francisco is the City of Eureka. The city is bordered on one side by beautiful and functional Humboldt Bay, and on the other by mountains lush with giant redwood.

Eureka has a population of around 28,000 people. Established in 1850, it is listed in the National Register of Historic Landmarks as Historical Landmark No. 477, It offers all the charm of a European village. Beautifully-restored buildings dating to the 1800s make up the downtown shopping area comprised of several blocks. Within an easy walk is the incredible Victorian Carson Mansion, one of the most photographed structures in the world.

The Carson Mansion was constructed in 1884-1885. It is a three story, eighteen room structure with a tower and basement. The house was designed by the Newsom Brothers of San Francisco, well-known architects throughout California. Perfectly situated to the south of his lumber mill, the Carson Mansion has become a local landmark.

The mansion is a fairy tale like structure, with gables, turrets, cupolas, complex windows, porches and pillars. It is adorned with Stick-Eastlake characteristics. The wide porches with large ornamental pillars make for a grand entrance. A complex combination of gables, turrets, cupolas, and pillars constitutes the exterior of the Mansion. The second story balcony has wrought iron framework with the Masonic Order insignia combined with his initials, W.C.

To the west of the Mansion sits another grand Queen Anne. This home was built in 1889 by William and Sarah as a wedding present to their son John Milton Carson. This house was also designed by the Newsom Brothers. The Queen Anne fa├žade is dominated by a large domed turret, so characteristic of the style. Layering, spindle work, and surface undulation also help to define this home as Queen Anne.

The pink and white color of the home has endeared itself to locals as the “Pink Lady.” The clustering of these two landmark Victorians at the foot of Second and M Streets, certainly helps to define the boundaries of Eureka’s Old Town which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Twenty miles to the south of Eureka is the town of Ferndale. Ferndale was the model for the small town under siege in the movie "Outbreak" starring Dustin Hoffman, Renee Russo and Cuba Gooding. Ferndale is known for well-preserved Victorian buildings. In fact, the complete town is California Historical Landmark No. 883 in part due to the Victorian structures. This is view of Main Street. The blue building on the left was built in 1901 as a commercial Victorian called the S.H. Paine Building.
This building was built in the Eastlake-Stick style in 1896 for P.F. Hart. It has been at various times a stagecoach stop, a saloon, a gambling hall, a house of prostitution and an art gallery.
Another famous Ferndale landmark was built in 1898 as the New York Cash Store in the Eastlake-Stick style. This building was designed by T.J. Frost, Architect.
At the corner of Main Street and Ocean is The Victorian Inn. It was originally built as the Ira Russ Bank Building in a style described as Eastlake-Stick. It was also designed by T.J. Frost in 1891. This building can clearly be seen in the movie "Outbreak" as it is the backdrop for the "hospital" in the script.

There is so much to see that it is hard to get any knitting done. However, I do have another square of the afghan nearly completed and should be able to finish it by tomorrow.


sophanne said...

Thanks for the tour. Such very interesting buildings. Oh how I want to know those trees some more.

Danielle said...

Absolutely beautiful! It looks like you guys had a great time. I know what you mean about everyone enjoying this...My parents used to take time away from the kids (all 5 of us!) and , as an adult I enjoy going on weekends like these, too!

zquilts said...

My best friend lives in that area !
Hurricaine Kates has a wonderful Appletini ! You took some wonderful photos !

Yarnhog said...

Fantastic pictures! I almost feel like I got to tag along on the trip. What a great get-away.

Sharon said...

Great pics! I didn't know there was so much to see in that part of Calif. Must make it down there one of these days.

Mokihana said...

We were through that same area years and years ago. I enjoyed revisiting the area. You took great photos and I really loved seeing the places again. Thanks!

Jamie said...

I made a couple of trips from Tx to Portland with my great aunt & uncle and my grandmother. I was 12 at the time we stayed in Eureka. The visit to Eureka started a great love of Victorian architecture.

Those trips are a precious memory to me & your pictures a lovely reminder.

Sounds like a wonderful time!