Times Standard (Eureka)
California governor visits Eureka in 1923
Eurekans were looking forward to the arrival of California Gov. Friend Richardson 100 years ago this week.
The governor was set to visit Humboldt County for a few days in late February 1923 along with State Highway Commissioner R. M. Morton and several other officials. The group was slated to survey the proposed state highway through Humboldt and Del Norte counties, according to the Feb. 24, 1923 Humboldt Standard newspaper.
The Eureka Chamber of Commerce — led by President T. W.
Hine — was planning a special “Governor’s Good Roads Dinner” at the Eureka Inn during Richardson’s stay. Tickets were selling for $2 for the event, which was to include dinner and musical entertainment.
Also on Feb. 24, 1923, staff at the Eureka Buick dealership were celebrating word from the main Buick Motor Co. plant in Flint, Michigan, that the millionth Buick automobile had just been built. Locally, Buicks were selling for between $1,000 and $2,500, the newspaper said.
The Feb. 26, 1923 Humboldt Standard reported that the Miacomet — the largest of the Coggeshall Launch Co. gasoline passenger fleet — was badly damaged in a fire the day before and was expected to be out of commission for quite a while.
“The blaze, believed to have been caused by backfire from the engine, burst out while the launch was towing a Mercer Fraser Co. dredger up the bay … off the NWP (Northwestern Pacific) Railroad wharf,” the newspaper said.
That same day, the paper announced that local magician Glyndon “Sign” Smith would be the main entertainment for a gathering that week of the Fort Humboldt Post of the American Legion.
Smith of Eureka — who once worked with Houdini — started doing magic tricks when he was just a boy and continued performing throughout much of his life.
On Feb. 27, 1923, the Humboldt Standard ran an article about the Arcata High School “unlimited basketball aggregation” recently winning the Humboldt County Interscholastic League championship by “defeating the Eureka hoopers in a fast game.”
As champions, the Arcata players — including Charlie Pritchatt, C. McMillan, Cecil Ripley and others — were preparing to head to the Northern California Tournament, the newspaper said.
“It is expected that Coach George Rieben’s (team) will make a fine showing,” the newspaper said.
Efrem Zimbalist — whose son Efrem Zimbalist Jr. was a wellknown actor who starred in “77 Sunset Strip” (1958-1964) and whose granddaughter, actress Stephanie Zimbalist, starred in the 1980’s TV series “Remington Steele” — performed at the State Theatre in Eureka on Feb. 28, 1923. The acclaimed violinist’s concert was sponsored by the Sequoia Club, the newspaper said.
“Zimbalist … won his audi
ence with his first appearance. He played with that ease and apparent lack of effort that is always appreciated in an artist,” the Standard said.
The March 1, 1923 Humboldt Standard reported that the county needed two teachers to fill positions at Bald Mountain School and at Honeydew School. The Honeydew teaching job paid $150 a month, as did the Bald Mountain School position.
“An elderly teacher is asked for (at Bald Mountain), or one who cares for country life, as the district is somewhat isolated,” the Humboldt Standard noted.