Sunday, January 10, 2010

Old Garberville Explained

I ran across this old photo of Garberville. (below)I recognized it instantly and didn't think much of it, until it occurred to me that most of those buildings have been replaced. About the only thing that is the same is Bear Buttes in the background. The big long building near the center of the photo, on the right side of the road is Speed DeVee's garage. The rear of the building was Erwin Foltz's shop. The building was torn down to make way for what is now Ray's Food Place parking lot.

Just over the roof of Speeds garage, you can see the old Redwood Inn. The Redwood Inn was torn down to build Phase-1 of what is now Ray's.

On the far right of the photo you will see a white cone shape. The cone is actually a stone fireplace on the front of the presbyterian parsonage. Thefire place and the building that it is attached to are still there. They are on Maple Lane, just east of Radio Shack. The building just to the right of the parsonage is the old Wool Growers Association warehouse. That is where my shop is today. There was two buildings built this side of the warehouse, and it would not be visible in this photo today. Those two buildings are Radio Shack and the Gift Shack, our stores on Maple Lane.

Just to the left of the Wool Growers Association warehouse, and bordering Redwood Drive, is is a large concrete building that is the North Valley Bank. It is still there. Across the Redwood Drive and a little further away (long dark roof) is one of the oldest buildings in town. It was built as the Garberville Mercantile Company and it is now where Alsports is located.

The turn-off to Sprowel Creek Road can be seen between the two trees covering Redwood Drive near the center of town. If you look at the far side of town on the left of the photo, all of those houses were removed for the freeway to be built.

Starting on the far left of the photo, you will see a roof with a coupola on the top. That is a Chevron gas station. Wally and Ruth Nichols owned it. The two story building to the right of the gas station was Dinnell's Redwood Burl Factory and gift shop. Wally and Ruth sold the service station and bought the Burl Factory. Both were torn down to expand the Garberville Motel and build the Waterwheel Restaurant. The motel was owned by Ron Olson's folks. Ron Olsen now owns Southern Humboldt Building supply. Both Ruth Nichols and Elsie Olson (Ron's mom) still live here.

In the foreground is the White Motel. Motels were the modern rage back then. As you can see, all of the cabins are neat and tidy. All had kitchens and bathrooms with an attached garage for the smug people that could afford to own a car and travel. The row of cabins that extend to the right of the photo were on both sides of Melville Road. When I was a kid the motel was owned by Don Buxton. I went to school with his daughter Shirley. The Motel had a swimming pool then, and we had a few parties there. It was a nice place. It was torn down before it's time to make room for a Standard service station that last for a few years then was torn down. The lot is still empty. The cabins in the foreground remained for quite some time. KMUD was in them for a while. Anybody remember that?
At the top of the Motel, on redwood Drive is a “Flying A” service station. Just next to that on the far side the Garberville Groceteria was built, and it doesn't look like it was there yet. This photo was taken some time in the forties???

Whew! Questions?
The Photo's below are of Speed DeVee and Erwin foltz. I did a story previously and someone asked if I had any photo's. As I often do, I found some that I shamelessly swiped. I got these from the Garberville Fire Department.


Ben said...

Ernie... Are the little motel units in the foreground the ones KMUD was in before they were torn down?

Ernie Branscomb said...

Yes Ben. Thanks,

I was adding that to the post when you made your comment. I should have included that without even thinking, because that is one of the few buildings that link the past with today.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Somebody at KMUD should copy and paste this photo, so they can show their glorious beginnings!

Bunny said...

I used to do Happy Trails, a cowboy music show, in one of those tiny buildings. I did it from 1989-92. Boy that was fun. And remember that Kent had a small gift shop in one of them. Great little tiny store.


ERNIE, i'd forgotten what FOLTZ looked like,but i sure remember SPEED!! thanks for the photos.

Anonymous said...

Cal-trans sure mutilated the forested along the river look around here didn't they!

Ekovox said...

Ernie, you're making it all up again. Everyone knows Garberville didn't exist before 1970. Spin your tales, my friend, spin your tales...

If there ever was a time before the Mateel Community Center, than it's a figment of your imagination.

Please, for history's sake, just sit quietly and nurse your Budweiser beer. You're just stirring people up.

Anonymous said...

Ekovox, you and I are on a different page. 1970 is when Garberville ended. LOL



ERNIE,if my bearings are correct??? just down the hill,from where the first photo was taken??

there was a CAVE we used to go into! it went back in the hillside about 50-75 feet,may have been man made?? a spring came out of the cave and a water line was put in there ,"I GUESS" to furnish water to a house farther down the hill!

EVER been to it?? i went over there several times with the Fulwilder kid!!!his mom was Peggy Clifton!!


Ernie Branscomb said...

Actually Eko is right. Most people in Garberville have no idea what was here before about 1970 when "The Book of Newcomer" was just first being written.

It started in about 1968, when the first Newcomers started showing up. They started gathering property and re-naming everything. The apex of the newcomer movement happened in 1978 when the great newcomer poet, Jim Deerhawk, wrote "The Mateel Name Offering" where he proclaimed that the name of his new land would henceforth be known as the Mateel Nation.

I would like to do a post about the Mateel Nation, but because many of the new people have assimilated us and we have become great friends, I would feel that it would be only fair to get a Mateelite to collaborate on a post about the Mateel. I don't think that it is very likely that I would be able to do that. The once great Mateel nation, that once stood together under a banner of unity are now two much smaller nations, with some still unresolved issues after a shake-up over Reggae on the River.

Most of them refuse to acknowledge that the community was an innocent third party to that shake-up. There seems to be some progress between the two Mateel parties toward rejoining hands, but the greater community is still left uninvolved.

Alas, like the “Losing My Religion” song says: “oh no, I've said too much”.

Anonymous said...

good idea ernie, id love to hear what you had to say about the mateel nation. I too think the "mateel" community is divided and may of lost its way. It seems like the good people are more and more forgetting about the mateel, and its become just an entertainment center. Same with kmud, both it and the mateel are not even 100% repusenting this so called "mateel nation" I dont think this nation exists and i belive the areas mentality is changing once again with the onset of new newcomers, development, shelter cove and changing trends nation wide. Anyhow. In this change i see a new southern humboldt identify emerging. i call it the hippy redneck. its a new independent way of thinking. You could call it Progressive Libertarianism.

Anonymous said...

Just south of the White Motel - and out of the picture - was the Rancho Motel, the last building on that end of town. At one point, Ed Scown owned them both. One afternoon in the late 60's, as my dad and I were leaving Garberville heading south, Dad and Mr. Scown waved to each other as we passed the Rancho. The following day, we learned that he had been in a car crash after leaving the Brass Rail in his little red sports car and had not survived. Dad and Mr. Scown used to talk Giants baseball all the time.

Anonymous said...

Ross, Ernie and I have been to that cave sveral times when we were really young. I didn't know of anybody that had ever went inside at the time. The cave made enough of a curve to one side that you couldn't see to the back of it with a flashlight. It was a scary place. Once when I was about 8 years old I had to go there after dark to get my dad's flashlight I had left there. I had forgot all about that, now my childhood nightmares
will probably come back.
We had stories of all the nasty critters that was sure to live in there. Eventually Ernie and I, with Ernie's superior courage, went all the way to the back of the cave.
I showed that cave to Robert Fulwider.



HA!HA! yeah i've been to the back also! Fulwider showed it to me,of course. i also had nite mares about it for quite a few years!!!

Robin Shelley said...

Happy belated birthday, Oregon.

Anonymous said...

Great column Ernie! I recently picked up a photo of Speed and a passenger in a stripped down race parked in front of the Dyerville Post Office. Judging by another car in the photo I would say it was in the early 30s. I'll post more when I get signed up here..

Leon in Eureka

Anonymous said...

This is a link to Bob Dornan's Flikr account featuring 145 postcard views of Garberville and area. They were from a collector and seller of Garberville RPPCs who lives in Michigan I believe. I bought several SoHum cards from him as did others. You may want to put the Pre70 deniers on suicide watch.. Can I use html to hotlink sites? Leon in Eureka

Anonymous said...

Took a memory lane road trip last month with my husband. I was telling him about life in Garberville.

Just found this blog and had to laugh.

My family lived on the property from Speed on Sprawl Creek back from 1978-1982.

I am one of the twin daughters of Bob and Kathy Newman.

Mom worked at the hamburger stand and dad did plumbing and was on the volunteer fire department.

So much has changed there. No more Frostys, no Lewis market.

I knew that there was a slide on the property after we moved north that took out the shop and the power house chicken coop.
So many childhood memories.

Rusty Chang said...

I've got an entire old menu from Knapp"s Good Food from Garberville that my old neighbor got during World War II (From after April 4, 1943) just before he left for the Pacific. Knapp's Special Steak dinner was $1.25 as well as the Filet Mignon I was wondering what happened to the place and if there was some sort of museum there that would be interested in having this momento.