Clarke Historical Museum

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Bank of Eureka Building
Clarke Historical Museum.JPG
Clarke Historical Museum, December 2010
Clarke Historical Museum is located in California
Clarke Historical Museum
Clarke Historical Museum is located in the United States
Clarke Historical Museum
Location240 E St., Eureka, California
Coordinates40°48′13″N 124°9′59″W / 40.80361°N 124.16639°W / 40.80361; -124.16639Coordinates: 40°48′13″N 124°9′59″W / 40.80361°N 124.16639°W / 40.80361; -124.16639
Arealess than one acre
ArchitectAlbert Pissis
Architectural styleRenaissance
NRHP reference No.82002180[1]
Added to NRHPApril 12, 1982

The Clarke Historical Museum (formerly the Clarke Memorial Museum) in Eureka, California contains the area's premier collection of California North Coast regional and cultural history. The facility has an entire Native American wing, Nealis Hall, which features an extensive internationally recognized collection of basketry, regalia, stoneware, implements, and other objects indicative of the culture and creativity of local and regional Native American groups including the Wiyot (whose ancestral territory the Clarke resides), Yurok, Karuk and Hupa Tribes. The Eureka Visitors Center is located in the main hall of the museum. The Clarke Museum is a 501 (c)3 non-profit.


The Clarke Historical Museum was founded by Cecile Clarke (1885-1979).  Miss Clarke was a local history teacher at Eureka High School.  It was here at Eureka High that she first started displaying her collection of local Native American basketry.  In 1960, when the school ran out of room for her ever increasing collection of local history items, Miss Clarke sold her family sheep ranch and used the money to buy the old Bank of Eureka building, where she moved her collection.  Miss Clarke taught for over 40 years and dedicated her life to the museum. Originally named the Clarke Memorial Museum, after her parents, it was renamed the Clarke Historical Museum in 2001, and now runs as a privately operated non-profit organization for the use, benefit, and awareness of the City of Eureka, surrounding cities and the local Native Indian tribes.[2] The Native American wing, Nealis Hall, was built in 1979.[3]

The Bank Building

The museum is housed in the former Bank of Eureka & Savings Bank of Humboldt Building (1911) in Old Town Eureka, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places both as an individual landmark and as a contributing building to the Eureka Historic District.[4] The bank building was designed by noted San Francisco architect Albert Pissis in a Classical Revival or Neoclassical style.[5] The building is notable for its glazed architectural terra-cotta facade. Quoined pavilions flank the recessed portico supported by ionic columns and an extensive balustraded parapet appears above the cornice.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ "Clarke Museum - About Page". June 15, 2019.
  3. ^
  4. ^ National Park Service, "Eureka Historic District," National Register of Historic Places. Humboldt County, Eureka, 1991. Reference number 91001523.
  5. ^ National Park Service, "Bank of Eureka Building," National Register of Historic Places. Humboldt County, Eureka, 1982. reference number 82002180.
  6. ^ Overhold, Ken; Architectural Resources Group (1987). Eureka: An Architectural View. Eureka, California: Eureka Heritage Society. p. 270. ISBN 0-9615004-0-9.

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