Historic Eureka

The town site of 'Eureka' was founded in the 1850s as a supply post for the mining industry in the Trinity Mountains to the east. The City of Eureka is the oldest city in Humboldt County, and was incorporated on April 18, 1856. The City was established as a planned development by a land company that divided the land into lots, delineated streets and roads and managed the land for members and investors. Early settlers claimed large pieces of property, eventually selling off smaller portions to other buyers. Some families bought entire blocks, building on one portion and subdividing the rest into streets and lots.

The variety and distribution of historic structures in Eureka creates a cultural fabric that reflects the history of the community. The retention and rehabilitation of the significant number of Victorian-era structures that provide a direct link to the City's history, and the maintenance of the cultural continuity of the Victorian era, are significant components of the City's existing land use patterns and character. This has allowed Eureka to be referred to as the "Victorian Seaport". The community of Eureka is fortunate to possess a wide range of historic and cultural resources. These resources include sites, buildings, structures, places, objects, districts, traditional cultural properties, and landscapes that were created by the people who have lived and worked in this area.

Eureka History Website

Visit the Eureka History website. This is an interactive, map-based website that allows users to explore information about Eureka's local history and architecture, as well as contribute their own information. The site was developed in partnership with Development Services staff and Eureka's Historic Preservation Commission and was funded by a grant through the State Office of Historic Preservation.

Eureka History is meant to both educate the public about the variety of historic resources in Eureka and also create a way to take part and contribute to Eureka's story. Through this site, the intention is to build on Eureka's strengths and showcase Eureka's historic structures as one of its largest and most unique assets.

The site is built around a diverse map with roughly 1,500 structures to explore. If you're interested in William Carson or Queen Anne Architecture, or buildings built in the 1860s, you can filter the site to find that information. You can also search for tours of interesting sites that all have a similar theme or location, such as properties on Hillsdale Street or local theaters. On the Eureka History webpage, choose the "Filter by Tours" drop-down near the bottom of the page.

Much of the information on the site is architectural information, but it is also the intention of the site's creators to include interesting local stories of the people who lived here in Eureka. The majority of the information housed in Eureka History is inspired by "Eureka: An Architectural View", also known as "The Green Book". This resource is the most comprehensive historic inventory created to date and was undertaken by the Eureka Heritage Society in the 1990s. A huge thank you to the Eureka Heritage Society for their efforts and their generosity in sharing this information with the community.

Community members can create user accounts and add information to individual sites by adding written content as well as pictures, audio, and video. The public is encouraged to create user accounts, and contact the Development Services Department at the City of Eureka to learn how to set up an account and become a contributor. All information added to the website from the general public will be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission prior to being published to ensure information is historically accurate. Enjoy!