21.99 In Stock
Nestled along the Eel River in Northern California’s Humboldt County, Fortuna has changed and grown according to economic and historical forces. Harvesting, milling, and shipping of redwood lumber provided the economic mainstay for nearly 100 years. The fertile Eel River Valley became known for its apples, potatoes, and a large dairy industry. Relative isolation ended in 1914 with the completion of the railroad from San Francisco, and in the 1920s expanded automobile traffic brought growing numbers of tourists to the redwood forests. “Friendly Fortuna” is a city of celebrations, known for its annual rodeo, first held in 1921. Organizations such as the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department, founded in 1904, form the heart of the community. The Pacific Lumber Company town of Scotia, the now-vanished mill town of Newburg, and other neighboring communities such as Fernbridgeborn in 1911 to house the men building what would become the world’s longest concrete bridgehave also woven their stories into the tapestry of Eel River Valley history.
About the Author
Using images from the collections of community members, the Fortuna Depot Museum, and the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department, Alex Service and Susan O’Hara provide a glimpse into the stories of the Eel River Valley’s people. Service is the museum’s curator; O’Hara is a historian and educator.