Throwback Thursday | Eureka High boys plot ‘escapade’ at Arcata High in 1922 – Times-Standard

A squad of Eureka High students embarked on an “escapade” in October 1922 when they went to Arcata intent on defacing the rival campus, the principal of Eureka High explained in an article in the Humboldt Times.

“Fourteen boys from Eureka went to Arcata. Some of these were high school boys, some were not,” Principal George C. Jensen explained. “These boys went there with the intention of putting a dummy on the flag pole and of painting the school’s initials on some of the steps and on the temporary buildings. However, the flag pole rope was cut, two of the doors of the main building cut with a knife, some of the copper screens painted and other parts of the campus more or less painted.”

He went on to say the boys admitted to some of the damages, but not all.

“The boys admit having gone to Arcata and admit having painted some of the steps and the temporary buildings,” he said. “They are unanimous in declaring that they did not cut the flag pole rope or carve the doors. I have no reason to believe that these boys are lying about the matter.”

The boys were sent back to Arcata to talk to the defaced high school’s principal, who fined them $40 to cover the damages.

“So far as the Eureka High School is concerned, the newly established merit and demerit system was brought into play,” Jensen said. “Each boy was penalized 20 merit points. The gravity of this penalty can be realized when it is known that the loss of merit credits will, if continued, deny graduation.”

Truck dives off Scotia bridge

A truck driver narrowly avoided injury after the truck plowed through the rails on the Scotia bridge and landed in a mess 30 feet below.

“The driver jumped to safety as the truck plunged over the bank, but the machine was badly smashed,” the Humboldt Times reported.

The truck was loaded with merchandise and groceries, much of what was strewn around the crash for a “considerable distance.” The driver reportedly spent hours collecting the merchandise for reshipment.

Carson building remodeling

Plans to remodel the Carson building at Third and F streets were shared by the Humboldt Times on Oct. 7, 1922.

Once the Hinks department store moved out, building owner J.M. Carson said, the remodel would begin.

“The Carson structure will be occupied by the H.H. Buhne Co. which plans to install three departments of its business on the ground floor, the possession to be taken about the first of the year, it was said.” the newspaper reported. “According to D.M. Adams, president of the company, the main floor will be used for the sporting and hardware stores, while the annex will be devoted to groceries.”

Film seeks extras

The assistant director of a film being made in Humboldt County came to the area to recruit 300 extras for the film.

“The story deals with the ‘coming back’ of a grandson of a pioneer logging man who saved the town from destruction by an act of heroism,” the Humboldt Times reported. “In the days before, his grandfather had been a champion log roller of the district, and king of the river, but the grandson had succumbed to the lure of wealth and ease. However, in the story, blood tells, and the hero is shown in his true light.”

The extras would be used to make up the population of the small town. They were asked to come to Scotia to watch the log jam scene as spectators. Other scenes would be shot in locations around Eureka.

The Humboldt Times shared a photo of a fire cat with a knack for sliding down a fire pole. (Times-Standard file photo)
The Humboldt Times shared a photo of a fire cat with a knack for sliding down a fire pole. (Times-Standard file photo)


In the beginning of October 1922, two films were showing at local theaters.

Charles Ray starred in “The Deuce of Spades” at the Rialto. The film was billed as “a card story in six deft shuffles that tells of the beanery Kid, who four-flushed a two-gun gambler out of a year’s salary.”

At the Orpheus, “Chasing the Moon,” starring Tom Mix, was having a two-day run. It was described as a wild ride.

Carson Woods at risk of being cut down

The Holmes-Eureka Co purchased a tract of land in Carson Woods in the Fortuna area but did not plan to start harvesting the timber for four to five years, the Humboldt Times reported, which said it was too soon to “worry about the early devastation of the spot by reason of logging operations.”

Water fight

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors approved funding to fight a utility company’s plan to divert water from the Eel River Valley.

The board approved spending $7,500 to fight the Snow Mountain Power and Water Co. bid to steal the water. The funding would be used to hire local attorneys and would cover work and travel expenses to attend the State Board of Public Works when the matter came before it.

Ruth Schneider can be reached at 707-441-0520.

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