Did you know the creator of the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon show studied marine science at Humboldt State University and drew inspiration for the show’s Krusty Krab cafe from working at local eatery Stars Hamburgers? A trip to the area might also involve a stop at One-Log House along Highway 101 south of Garberville; it’s made of a single redwood trunk. Those are just a couple of reasons to visit our northernmost county in California; here are a few more.
• The world’s tallest tree, in Redwood National Park, is 380 feet high, six stories taller than the Statue of Liberty. And the 20 tallest trees in the world are all redwoods in Humboldt County.
• The second-most viewed amateur film ever is the 1967 Patterson- Gimlin footage of the Bluff Creek Bigfoot.
• The term Bigfoot was coined by a Eureka newspaper after a series of mysterious encounters in 1958 with one such legendary man-ape near Willow Creek.
• Humboldt County has more artists per capita than any other California county.
• The oldest operating passenger ferry in the United States is the Madaket in Humboldt Bay.
• The Samoa Cookhouse, the last surviving lumber camp–style eatery in the West, has served hearty meals since 1893.
• Ferndale boasts the world’s tallest living Christmas tree, which, curiously, is not a redwood.
• The town of Fortuna hosts the West’s oldest rodeo each July.
• The most photographed Victorian home in the nation is the Carson Mansion in Eureka.
• Eureka was the inspiration for Duckburg, the hometown of Disney characters Scrooge McDuck and Donald Duck.
• Two-thirds of all oysters consumed in California originate in Humboldt Bay.
• The oldest continuously operating movie theater in the nation is the Minor Theater in Arcata.
• California’s oldest county fair, which takes place each August in Ferndale, began in 1896.
• The longest stretch of undeveloped beachfront in the continental United States is California’s Lost Coast.
• The world’s tallest totem is in the town of McKinleyville and is 160 feet high.
Photo by Patrick Orton (Redwood National Park)
Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.