Eureka, California facts for kids

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Eureka, California
Charter city
City of Eureka
Aerial view: Eureka on Humboldt Bay
Aerial view: Eureka on Humboldt Bay
Official seal of Eureka, California
Seal
Motto: Eureka! (I have found it!)
Eureka shown within Humboldt Countyin the State of California
Eureka shown within Humboldt County
in the State of California
Country United States
State California
County Humboldt
Founded May 13, 1850
Incorporated (town) April 18, 1856
Re-incorporated (city) February 19, 1874
Area
 • City 14.454 sq mi (37.435 km2)
 • Land 9.384 sq mi (24.305 km2)
 • Water 5.070 sq mi (13.130 km2)  35.07%
 • Urban 18.498 sq mi (47.908 km2)
Elevation 39 ft (12 m)
Population (April 1, 2010)
 • City 27,191
 • Estimate (2013) 26,913
 • Density 1,881.21/sq mi (726.352/km2)
 • Urban 45,034
Demonym(s) Eurekan
Time zone Pacific (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP codes 95501–95503, 95534
Area code 707
FIPS code 06-23042
GNIS feature IDs 277605, 2410463
Highways
Website www.ci.eureka.ca.gov
California Historical Landmark
Reference #: 477

Eureka (Hupa: do'-wi-lotl-ding' Karuk: uuth) is the principal city and county seat of Humboldt County in the Redwood Empire region of California. The city is located on U.S. Route 101 on the shores of Humboldt Bay, 270 miles (430 km) north of San Francisco and 100 miles (160 km) south of the Oregon border. At the 2010 census, the population of the city was 27,191, and the population of Greater Eureka was 45,034.

Eureka is the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland, and the westernmost city of more than 25,000 residents in the 48 contiguous states. It is the regional center for government, health care, trade, and the arts on the North Coast north of the San Francisco Bay Area. Greater Eureka, one of California's major commercial fishing ports, is the location of the largest deep-water port between San Francisco and Coos Bay, a stretch of about 500 miles (800 km). The headquarters of both the Six Rivers National Forest and the North Coast Redwoods District of the California State Parks System are in Eureka. As entrepôt for hundreds of lumber mills that once existed in the area, the city played a leading role in the historic West Coast lumber trade. The entire city is a state historic landmark, which has hundreds of significant Victorian homes, including the nationally recognized Carson Mansion, and the city has retained its original 19th-century commercial core as a nationally recognized Old Town Historic District. Eureka is home to California's oldest zoo, the Sequoia Park Zoo.

History

Eureka's Pacific coastal location on Humboldt Bay, adjacent to abundant redwood forests, provided the reason for settlement of this 19th-century seaport town. Before the arrival of Euro-American settlers, including farmers, miners, fishermen, and loggers, the area was occupied by indigenous peoples.

Native Americans

The Wiyot people lived in Jaroujiji (Wiyot: "where you sit and rest"), now known as Eureka, for thousands of years prior to European arrival. They are the farthest-southwest people whose language has Algonquian roots. Their traditional coastal homeland ranged from the lower Mad River through Humboldt Bay and south along the lower basin of the Eel River. The Wiyot are particularly known for their basketry and fishery management. An extensive collection of intricate basketry of the area's indigenous groups exists in the Clarke Historical Museum in Old Town Eureka.

As of 2013, Eureka High School has the largest Yurok language program in California.

Founding on Humboldt Bay

Humboldt Bay Fisherman Memorial Statue
A Humboldt Bay (Woodley Island) view of Indian Island (both within the city limits) and the memorial to fisherman

For nearly 300 years after 1579, European exploration of the coast of what would become northern California repeatedly missed definitively locating Humboldt Bay due to a combination of geographic features and weather conditions which concealed the narrow bay entrance from view. Despite a well-documented 1806 sighting by Russian explorers, the bay was not definitively known by Europeans until an 1849 overland exploration provided a reliable accounting of the exact location of what is the second largest bay in California. The timing of this discovery would lead to the May 13, 1850 founding of the settlement of Eureka on its shore by the Union and Mendocino Exploring (development) companies.

Gold Rush era

After the primary California Gold Rush in the Sierras, Humboldt Bay was settled with the intent of providing a convenient alternative to the long overland route from Sacramento to supply miners on the Trinity, Klamath and Salmon Rivers where gold had been discovered. Though the ideal location on Humboldt Bay adjacent to naturally deeper shipping channels ultimately guaranteed Eureka's development as the primary city on the bay, Arcata's proximity to developing supply lines to inland gold mines ensured supremacy over Eureka through 1856.

"Eureka" received its name from a Greek word meaning "I have found it!" This exuberant statement of successful (or hopeful) gold rush miners is also the official Motto of the State of California. Eureka is the only U.S. location to use the same seal as the state for its seal. In the United States, Eureka, California is the largest of about a dozen towns and cities dating from the mid-nineteenth century that share the name Eureka.

The 1860 Wiyot Massacre

The first Europeans venturing into Humboldt Bay encountered the indigenous Wiyot. Records of early forays into the bay in 1806 reported that the violence of the local indigenous people made it nearly impossible for landing parties to survey the area.

King timber

Mill yard across the bay from Eureka
Mill yard across the bay from Eureka

Eureka's first post office opened in 1853 just as the town began to carve its grid pattern into the edge of a forest it would ultimately consume to feed the building of San Francisco and beyond. Many of the first immigrants who arrived as prospectors were also lumbermen, and the vast potential for industry on the bay was soon realized, especially as many hopeful gold miners realized the difficulty and infrequency of striking it rich in the mines. By 1854, after only four years since the founding, seven of nine mills processing timber into marketable lumber on Humboldt Bay were within Eureka.

Commercial center

Carson Mansion Eureka California
The Carson Mansion (1886) in Eureka's Old Town

A bustling commercial district and ornate Victorians rose in proximity to the waterfront, reflecting the great prosperity experienced during this era. Hundreds of these Victorian homes remain today, of which many are totally restored and a few have always remained in their original elegance and splendor. The representation of these homes in Eureka grouped with those in nearby Arcata and the Victorian village of Ferndale are of considerable importance to the overall development of Victorian architecture built in the nation. The magnificent Carson Mansion on 2nd and M Streets, is perhaps the most spectacular Victorian in the nation. The home was built between 1884–1886 by renowned 19th Century architects Newsom and Newsom for lumber baron William M. Carson. This project was designed to keep mill workers and expert craftsman busy during a slow period in the industry. Old Town Eureka, the original downtown center of this busy city in the 19th Century, has been restored and has become a lively arts center. The Old Town area has been declared an Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places. The district is made up of over 150 buildings, which in total represents much of Eureka's original 19th-century core commercial center. This nexus of culture behind the redwood curtain still contains much of its Victorian architecture, which, if not maintained for original use as commercial buildings or homes, have been transformed into scores of unique lodgings, restaurants, and small shops featuring a burgeoning cottage industry of hand-made creations from glass ware to wood burning stoves and a large variety of art created locally.

Fishing, shipping, and boating

Eureka California Illustrated Map1902
Illustrated Map of Eureka (1902)

Eureka's founding and livelihood was and remains linked to Humboldt Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and related industries, especially fishing. Salmon fisheries sprang up along the Eel River as early as 1851, and within seven years 2,000 barrels of cured fish and 50,000 pounds (23,000 kg) of smoked salmon were processed and shipped out of Humboldt Bay annually from processing plants on Eureka's wharf.

Chinese expulsion

Rising emigration from China in the late 1800s sparked conflict between white settlers and immigrants, which ultimately led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Economic downturns resulting in competition for jobs led some white people to commit violent actions against Chinese immigrants, especially on the Pacific coast. In February 1885, the racial tension in Eureka broke when Eureka City Councilman David Kendall was caught in the crossfire of two rival Chinese gangs and killed. This led to the convening of 600 Eureka men and resulted in the forcible permanent expulsion of all 480 Chinese residents of Eureka's Chinatown. The expelled Chinese unsuccessfully attempted to sue for damages. In the U.S. Circuit Court case Wing Hing v. Eureka, the court noted that the Chinese owned no land and held that their other property was worthless. A citizen's committee then drafted an unofficial law decreeing:

  1. That all Chinamen be expelled from the city and that none be allowed to return.
  2. That a committee be appointed to act for one year, whose duty shall be to warn all Chinamen who may attempt to come to this place to live, and to use all reasonable means to prevent their remaining. If the warning is disregarded, to call mass meetings of citizens to whom the case will be referred for proper action.
  3. That a notice be issued to all property owners through the daily papers, requesting them not to lease or rent property to Chinese.

Among those who guarded the city jail during the height of the Sinophobic tension was (then) future Governor of California James Gillett, himself a recent resident of the city. The anti-Chinese ordinance was not repealed until 1959.

Queen City of the Ultimate West

Eureka Inn 7
The Tudor Revival style Eureka Inn (1922)

Completion of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad in 1914 provided the local lumber industry with an alternative to ships for transport of its millions of board feet of lumber to reach markets in San Francisco and beyond. It also provided the first safe land route between San Francisco and Eureka for people to venture to the Redwood Empire without risking their lives on ships. As a direct result, Eureka's population of 7,300 swelled to 15,000 within ten years. By 1922 the Redwood Highway was completed, providing for the first reliable, direct overland route for automobiles from San Francisco. By 1931 the Eureka Street Railway operated fifteen streetcars over twelve miles of track. Eureka's transportation connection to the "outside" world had changed dramatically after more than half a century of stage rides or treacherous steamship passage through the Humboldt Bar and on the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco. The building of the Eureka Inn coincided with the opening of the new road to San Francisco. As a result of immense civic pride during this early 20th Century era of expansion, Eureka officially nicknamed itself "Queen City of the Ultimate West." The tourism industry, lodging to support it, and related marketing had been born. The United States Navy operated a Naval Auxiliary Air Facility for blimps at Eureka during World War II.

Post-World War II

In Eureka, both the timber industry and commercial fishing declined after the Second World War.

The timber economy of Eureka is part of the Pacific Northwest timber economy which rises and falls with boom and bust economic times.

The Columbus Day Storm of 1962 downed trees and flooded the domestic timber market. A log export trade began to remove this surplus material. After 1962, log trade with Japan and other Pacific Rim nations increased. Despite many rumors to the contrary, little of this wood returned to U.S. markets. In 1989, the U.S. changed log export laws permitting lower cost timber from public lands to be exported as raw logs overseas to help balance the federal budget.

After 1990, the global log market declined and exports fell at the same time as Pacific Northwest log prices increased; leading buyers to seek less expensive logs from Canada and the southern United States. However, debate continues between four stakeholders: timber owners, domestic processors, consumers and communities on the impact of log export on the local economy.

During the span 1991 to 2001, timber harvest peaked in 1997. The local timber market was also affected by the Pacific Lumber Company hostile takeover and ultimate bankruptcy.

Local fisheries expanded through the 1970s and early 1980s. During the 1970s Eureka fishermen, landed more than half of fish and shellfish produced and consumed in California. In 2010 between 100 and 120 commercial fishing vessels listed Eureka as homeport. The highest landings of all species were 36.9 million pounds in 1981 while the lowest were in 2001 with 9.4 million pounds. Species composition changes during this time with groundfish going down and whiting and crab catches increasing.

After 1990 regulatory, economic and other events led to a contraction of the local commercial fleet. In 1991, the Woodley Island marina opened, providing docking facilities for much of Eureka's commercial and recreational fleet. Many species are considered to be overfished. Recreational fishing has increased over time. Fifty percent of recreational fishermen using local boats are tourists from outside the area.

Commercial Pacific oyster aquaculture in Humboldt Bay produced an average of 7,600,000 pounds (3,400,000 kg) of oysters from 1956 to 1965 an average of 844,444 pounds (383,033 kg) per year. In 2004, only 600,000 pounds (270,000 kg) were harvested. Oysters and oyster seed continue to be exported from Humboldt Bay. The value of the oysters and spawn is more than $6 million a year. Consolidation of buyers and landing facilities resulted in local vulnerability to unexpected events, leading the City to obtain grant funding for and complete the Fishermen's Terminal on the waterfront which will provide fish handling, marketing, and public spaces.

Ferndale Eureka RegionHistoricSeismicity
Historical seismicity.

Significant earthquakes

See also: List of earthquakes in California

The area regularly experiences large earthquakes as it's situated on the southern end the Cascadia subduction zone and near the San Andreas Fault, which interface around the Mendocino Triple Junction. On January 9, 2010, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake occurred about 33 miles (53 km) off shore from Eureka. After two seconds, it became a violent "jumper", making objects fly; the mostly vertical shocks from the ground led to broken windows in shops, overturned shelving in homes and stores, and damage to architectural detail on a number of historic buildings. Local hospitals treated mostly minor related injuries and electrical power was out over a large area. Numerous natural gas leaks occurred, but no fires resulted. This was the largest recent earthquake since the April 25–26, 1992 sequence. It was followed on February 4, 2010, by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake which struck at 12:20 pm (local time) about 35 miles (56 km) northwest of the community of Petrolia and nearly 50 miles (80 km) west of Eureka. The shaking was felt within a 150-mile (240 km) radius, as far north as southern Oregon and as far south as Sonoma County. The largest recorded in the area was the 7.2 Mw event on November 8, 1980. The larger earthquakes can pose a tsunami threat to coastal areas.

Geography

Eureka is located at 40°47′24″N 124°9′46″W / 40.79°N 124.16278°W / 40.79; -124.16278 (40.790022, −124.162752).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.5 square miles (38 km2), of which 9.4 square miles (24 km2) of it is land and 5.1 square miles (13 km2) or 35.07% of it is water.

Eureka is situated within California's Redwood Empire region which includes Pacific Ocean coast, Humboldt Bay, and several rivers in addition to Redwood National and State Parks and Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The location of Eureka on U.S. 101 is 283 miles (455 km) north of San Francisco and 315 mi (507 km)) north and west of Sacramento. Eureka is the closest city to the most central point of the United States' Pacific Coastline.

Eureka's port facilities – the Port of Humboldt Bay – is the largest protected deep-water port between San Francisco Bay and Puget Sound.

The city marina is on one of three islands at a narrow point on the 13 miles (21 km) long bay and increases in elevation slightly as it spreads north, south, and especially to the east. This city of mostly one and two story wooden structures (fewer than ten buildings over five stories) Most post-1970 houses were built in formerly clearcut forested areas.

The transition between the official city limits and smaller unincorporated areas described in the demographic section is mostly not discernible. The most recently developed eastern areas include secluded developments on a golf course among or in close proximity to extensive second growth forest. in elevation.

Climate

Eureka has a cool-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb). Due to the influence of the Pacific Ocean, its temperatures resemble those of an oceanic climate. Winters are mild and rainy, and summers cool and dry. The average August high temperature of 64.3 °F (17.9 °C) is very cool for an area at such a southerly latitude. The seasonal temperature variation is very small; the difference between the August average of 58.5 °F (14.7 °C) and the December average of 47.8 °F (8.8 °C) is only 10.7 °F (5.9 °C), about equal to the temperature difference between day and night. The all-time highest and lowest temperatures recorded in Eureka are 87 °F (31 °C) on October 26, 1993, and 20 °F (−7 °C) on January 14, 1888, respectively. Temperatures occasionally drop to freezing or below. NOAA's weather station averages indicate only 0.18 inches (4.6 mm) of rainfall in July, which is well within the Mediterranean range, only with cooler air than a typical Mediterranean climate.

The area experiences coastal fog throughout the year, especially during summer when inland temperatures are significantly warmer. This phenomenon and cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean keep the city relatively cool while areas a few miles inland may have much higher temperatures, with frequent differences in summer and early fall of 30-40 degrees.

Annual precipitation averages 38.1 inches (968 mm). Measurable precipitation falls on an average of 119 days each year. The wettest year was 1983 with 67.21 inches (1,707 mm) and the driest year was 1976 with 21.71 inches (551 mm). The greatest monthly precipitation was 23.21 inches (590 mm) in December 2002. The greatest 24-hour precipitation was 6.79 inches (172 mm) on December 27, 2002. However, historic "100" year dramatic weather events such as the Christmas Week flood of 1955 and, especially, the Christmas flood of 1964, which severely damaged the region, may not be reflected in records listed herein. Snowfall on the coast happens occasionally, averaging only 0.2 inches (0.51 cm) as of the 1981–2010 normals, but only 5 years during that period had measurable snowfall.

Climate data for Eureka, California (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1886–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 78
(25.6)
85
(29.4)
78
(25.6)
80
(26.7)
84
(28.9)
85
(29.4)
77
(25)
82
(27.8)
86
(30)
87
(30.6)
81
(27.2)
77
(25)
87
(30.6)
Average high °F (°C) 55.6
(13.11)
56.1
(13.39)
56.7
(13.72)
57.7
(14.28)
60.1
(15.61)
62.2
(16.78)
63.4
(17.44)
64.3
(17.94)
63.7
(17.61)
61.7
(16.5)
58.0
(14.44)
55.0
(12.78)
59.6
(15.33)
Daily mean °F (°C) 48.3
(9.06)
48.9
(9.39)
49.7
(9.83)
50.9
(10.5)
53.8
(12.11)
56.1
(13.39)
57.7
(14.28)
58.5
(14.72)
57.0
(13.89)
54.4
(12.44)
50.8
(10.44)
47.8
(8.78)
52.9
(11.61)
Average low °F (°C) 41.1
(5.06)
41.7
(5.39)
42.6
(5.89)
44.1
(6.72)
47.5
(8.61)
50.1
(10.06)
52.0
(11.11)
52.8
(11.56)
50.4
(10.22)
47.1
(8.39)
43.5
(6.39)
40.6
(4.78)
46.1
(7.83)
Record low °F (°C) 20
(-6.7)
24
(-4.4)
29
(-1.7)
31
(-0.6)
35
(1.7)
40
(4.4)
43
(6.1)
44
(6.7)
36
(2.2)
32
(0)
27
(-2.8)
21
(-6.1)
20
(-6.7)
Precipitation inches (mm) 6.50
(165.1)
5.63
(143)
5.30
(134.6)
3.32
(84.3)
1.78
(45.2)
0.75
(19.1)
0.18
(4.6)
0.31
(7.9)
0.59
(15)
2.24
(56.9)
5.61
(142.5)
8.12
(206.2)
40.33
(1,024.4)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 16.6 14.9 16.2 13.4 9.1 5.8 2.7 3.2 4.4 8.5 15.2 17.5 127.5
Sunshine hours 140.1 143.7 207.4 253.1 280.5 277.7 273.4 236.5 220.3 175.8 131.3 126.2 2,466.0
Source: NOAA (sun and relative humidity 1961–1990)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 2,639
1890 4,858 84.1%
1900 7,327 50.8%
1910 11,845 61.7%
1920 12,923 9.1%
1930 15,752 21.9%
1940 17,055 8.3%
1950 23,058 35.2%
1960 28,137 22.0%
1970 24,337 −13.5%
1980 24,153 −0.8%
1990 27,025 11.9%
2000 26,128 −3.3%
2010 27,191 4.1%
Est. 2015 27,017 −0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
Booklegger Eureka
Bookstore in Eureka's Old Town
Eureka Theatre
The Eureka Theatre is on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1937. It is listed as a Streamline Moderne Theater.

The population of the city was 27,191 at the 2010 census, up from 26,128 at the 2000 census, representing a 4.1% increase, and the population of Greater Eureka was 45,034 at the 2010 Census, up from 43,452 at the 2000 census, representing a 3.6% increase.

According to a report by the City of Eureka, the Greater Eureka area minimally includes the unincorporated adjacent or nearby neighborhoods and Census Defined Populated Areas of Bayview, Cutten, Elk River, Freshwater, Humboldt Hill, Indianola, Myrtletown, Pine Hill, Ridgewood Heights, and Rosewood, all of which have Eureka addresses, postal zip codes and Eureka-specific telephone numbers. The Greater Eureka area makes up the largest urban settlement on the Pacific Coast between San Francisco and Portland. This area is similar to what the US Census officially defines as the Eureka UC (urban cluster), which is a "densely settled core of census tracts and/or census blocks that meet minimum population density requirements, along with adjacent territory containing non-residential urban land uses as well as territory with low population density included to link outlying densely settled territory with the densely settled core" of up to 50,000 in population. The bayside communities of Manila, Samoa, and Fairhaven (all on the Samoa Peninsula), and King Salmon and Fields Landing (both located south of the city), and communities listed above, with the exception of Elk River and Freshwater, are shown to be part of the Eureka Urban Cluster. A 2011 community study performed by the St. Joseph Health System, projects increased growth of 20,000 to occur in the unincorporated communities (outskirts) located adjacent to Eureka. If that forecast is realized, Greater Eureka could achieve a population of at least 65,000, barring any increase within the city limits. Eureka is the largest city of the Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna Micropolitan Area, a construct of the US Census Bureau, which is synonymous with the County of Humboldt.

2000 Census data

As of the census of 2000, there were 26,128 people. The population density was 2,764.5 people per square mile (1,067.5/km²). There were 11,637 housing units at an average density of 1,231.3 per square mile (475.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.5% White, 1.2% Black or African American, 4.2% Native American, 2.6% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 2.7% from other races, and 5.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.8% of the population.

There were 10,957 households out of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.8% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.3% were non-families. 35.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.93. In the city, the population dispersal was 22.4% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 23.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 98.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,849, and the median income for a family was $33,438. Males had a median income of $28,706 versus $22,038 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,174. About 15.8% of families and 23.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.6% of those under the age of 18 and 11.1% of those 65 and older.

2010 Census data

The 2010 United States Census reported that Eureka had a population of 27,191. The population density was 1,881.3 people per square mile (726.4/km²). The racial makeup of Eureka was 21,565 (79.3%) White, 514 (1.9%) African American, 1,011 (3.7%) Native American, 1,153 (4.2%) Asian, 176 (0.6%) Pacific Islander, 1,181 (4.3%) from other races, and 1,591 (5.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,143 persons (11.6%).

The Census reported that 25,308 people (93.1% of the population) lived in households, 1,434 (5.3%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 449 (1.7%) were institutionalized.

There were 11,150 households, out of which 2,891 (25.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,554 (31.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,449 (13.0%) had a female householder with no husband present, 710 (6.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,161 (10.4%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 146 (1.3%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 3,971 households (35.6%) were made up of individuals and 1,183 (10.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27. There were 5,713 families (51.2% of all households); the average family size was 2.93.

The population dispersal was 5,431 people (20.0%) under the age of 18, 3,102 people (11.4%) aged 18 to 24, 8,021 people (29.5%) aged 25 to 44, 7,422 people (27.3%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,215 people (11.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.2 years. For every 100 females there were 106.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.7 males. There were 11,891 housing units at an average density of 822.7 per square mile (317.6/km²), of which 4,829 (43.3%) were owner-occupied, and 6,321 (56.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.7%. 11,251 people (41.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 14,057 people (51.7%) lived in rental housing units.

Arts and culture

Richard Sweasey Theater
The Richard Sweasey Theater, originally built in 1920, was refurbished to an earlier era in 2007 and served as home of the Eureka Symphony until it closed in 2013.

Eureka is one of California's historic landmarks. The California State Historical marker, #477, designating Eureka, is located in Old Town, one of the nation's best preserved original Victorian era commercial districts. The city was voted as the No. 1 best small art town in John Villani's book "The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America." Eureka hosts the region's largest monthly cultural and arts event, "Arts' Alive!" on the first Saturday of each month. More than 80 Eureka business and local galleries open their doors to the public. Often local cuisine and beverages accompany live performances by acclaimed regional bands and other types of performance art. The downtown Eureka area is also decorated with many murals.

Theater offerings include year round productions from several various theater groups including the North Coast Repertory Theater and the Eureka Theater. Various events occur throughout the year at the Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. Art organizations include the Humboldt State University First Street Gallery, Humboldt Arts Council and the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Redwood Art Association, The Ink People and the Eureka Art and Culture Commission. As a regional center, the city offers lodging, restaurants and shopping areas, including dozens of specialty shops in its historic 19th Century Old Town commercial district and the only large mall in the region.

Annual cultural events

Kinetic sculpture race 2
A participant team in the World Championship Kinetic Sculpture Race approaches the Old Town Eureka finish line completing the first day of three of the internationally known event of people powered art!
Note: original brick masonry on 1870s commercial store fronts in the background.
  • Redwood Coast Jazz Festival – March
  • Perilous Plunge – March
  • Rhododendron Festival – April
  • Kinetic sculpture race – May
  • Redwood Acres Fair and Rodeo – June
  • Humboldt Wood Fair – June
  • Summer Concert Series on the Boardwalk – June – August
  • Fourth of July Celebration – July
  • Humboldt Bay Full of Blues – August 30 & 31, 2014
  • Chicken Wingfest – September
  • Excalibur Medieval Tournament and Market Faire – September
  • Pride Parade and Celebration – September
  • Humboldt Bay Paddle Fest – September
  • Craftsman's Days – November
  • Christmas Truckers Parade – December

Museums and galleries

See also: List of museums in the North Coast (California)

Museums include the Clarke Historical Museum, the Humboldt Bay Maritime Museum, the Morris Graves Museum of Art, HSU First Street Gallery, Discovery Museum for Children, the Fort Humboldt State Historic Park and the Blue Ox Millworks and Historic Park.

Architecture

William S. Clarke House 2
The William S. Clarke "cottage", completed in 1888, is an excellent example of a Victorian using many characteristics of Eastlake style architectural detail. The home is a National Historic Landmark.
The Pink Lady in Eureka
Milton Carson Home (aka the "Pink Lady"), a Queen Anne style Victorian, completed in 1889, was a wedding gift to the eldest son of William Carson, owner of the stunning Carson Mansion located across the street.

Due to northern isolation and unfavorable economic conditions in the latter part of the twentieth century, much of the post-war redevelopment and urban renewal that other cities experienced did not occur in Eureka. As a result, Eureka has hundreds of examples of 19th- and early 20th-century architecture and historic districts. David Gebhard, Professor of architectural history at University of California, Santa Barbara, wrote that Eureka has the potential of becoming the West Coast Williamsburg. He stated Williamsburg, Virginia preserves an authentic colonial environment; Eureka preserves intact Victorian and early twentieth-century architecture. The extensive array of intact Victorian era and later homes and public buildings include many ornate examples of Colonial Revival, Eastlake, Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, and Stick styles of Victorian architecture. All of these styles are present in the Carson Mansion (pictured above).

A remake of another Newsom and Newsom (builder architects of the Carson Mansion), is the Carter House Inn located only two blocks from the mansion. The original Queen Anne mansion built on these plans was lost in the fire after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Plans were found and the building rebuilt as original.

Approximately 16% of the city's structures are cataloged as important historical structures, with many of those attaining the status of state and national significance in terms of a particular structure's importance in relationship to the body of surviving examples of the architectural style attributed to its construction and related detail.

Parks and recreation

Sequoia Park Zoo, situated on more than 67 acres (270,000 m2) of mature second-growth Redwood forest, includes Eureka's largest public playground and a duck pond in addition to meticulously kept gardens and examples of the area's many varieties of rhododendron bushes. The City of Eureka Recreation Department manages 13 playgrounds, including Cooper Gulch, which is 33 acres (13 ha), and many ball fields as well as tennis courts and others, including basketball and soccer. Other parks in or near Eureka include the Humboldt Botanical Garden and the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and the Eureka Marsh, an accessible protected marsh between the Bayshore Mall and Humboldt Bay. There is a modern boardwalk along the city's waterfront and two large marinas capable of mooring over 400 small craft.

Popular culture

The map shown on the left indicates the location of Duckburg ("Donaldville" in Calisota in French). The Calisota map resembles a map of Northern California (right), with Duckburg corresponding to a coastal area in Humboldt County near the city of Eureka, located on Humboldt Bay. The map shown on the left indicates the location of Duckburg ("Donaldville" in Calisota in French). The Calisota map resembles a map of Northern California (right), with Duckburg corresponding to a coastal area in Humboldt County near the city of Eureka, located on Humboldt Bay.
The map shown on the left indicates the location of Duckburg ("Donaldville" in Calisota in French). The Calisota map resembles a map of Northern California (right), with Duckburg corresponding to a coastal area in Humboldt County near the city of Eureka, located on Humboldt Bay.
  • Disney characters Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Daisy Duck, and most of their supporting cast live in the fictional city of Duckburg, first mentioned in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #49 in 1944, created by Carl Barks, where Duckburg is described as a medium size city located in the fictional U.S. state of Calisota. Don Rosa, a subsequent cartoonist of Donald Duck, described his placement of the imaginary town: "I won't bother to say precisely where I situated Duckburg and Calisota on America's west coast... but if you get out a good map and compare the coastline, you'll see that I stuck the old gold-prospector's adopted hometown directly across the bay from a very appropriately named actual city."

Sister cities

Country City State / Region Since
Japan Japan Kamisu Ibaraki Prefecture
New Zealand New Zealand Nelsoncitycouncil-council-crest.jpg Nelson Nelson flag.svg Nelson

Images for kids


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