Humboldt history hound Ray Olson traces the trail of celebrated American novelist Jack London in his latest episode of Humboldt Outdoors.
Well-documented history shows that London and his family spent three months exploring the North Coast in 1911 for his magazine article titled “Navigating Four Horses North of the Bay.”
London, a famous literary figure at the time for his recent publications of “Call of the Wild” and “White Fang,” attracted a lot of attention during his visit. According to legend, he even got into an epic hour-long brawl with 19-year-old A. Stanwood Murphy, the future owner of the Pacific Lumber Company, at one of Eureka’s many saloons.
A reading of White Fang.
As he tracks down the local locations London visited, Olson also meets up with some local historians to learn more about the author’s historic adventure.
“I grew up enthralled reading Jack London’s adventure tales as a young boy,” Olson told the Outpost. “What a story, and how fun to learn all the details from such prominent local historians.”
Watch Olson’s full episode in the video above. The following paragraph about Humboldt County is a segment from London’s 1911 magazine article for Sunset Magazine:
These comfortably large counties! They are veritable empires. Take Humboldt, for instance. It is three times as large as Rhode Island, one and a half times as large as Delaware, almost as large as Connecticut, and half as large as Massachusetts. The pioneer has done his work in this north of the bay region, the foundations are laid, and all is ready for the inevitable inrush of population and adequate development of resources which so far have been no more than skimmed, and casually and carelessly skimmed at that. This region of the six counties alone will some day support a population of millions. In the meanwhile, O you home-seekers, you wealth-seekers, and, above all, you climate-seekers, now is the time to get in on the ground floor.