Old Town Eureka

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Old Town Eureka
(Eureka Old Town Historic District)
Eureka Old Town and Clock.jpg
Near 2nd & "F" Streets in Old Town
Old Town Eureka is located in California
Old Town Eureka
Old Town Eureka is located in the United States
Old Town Eureka
LocationEureka, California-Roughly, 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Streets, between B and M Streets.
Coordinates40°48′13.34″N 124°9′59.04″W / 40.8037056°N 124.1664000°W / 40.8037056; -124.1664000Coordinates: 40°48′13.34″N 124°9′59.04″W / 40.8037056°N 124.1664000°W / 40.8037056; -124.1664000
Built1850-1874, 1875-1899, 1900-1924, 1925-1949
Architectural styleVictorian, Greek Revival, Classical Revival (Neoclassical)
NRHP reference No.91001523[1]
Added to NRHP1991

Old Town Eureka (formally the Eureka Old Town Historic District) in Eureka, California, is listed on the United States National Register of Historic Places. This Historic district is a 350-acre (1.4 km2) area containing 154 buildings[2] mostly from the Victorian era. The core of the district runs the length of First, Second, and Third Streets, between "C" and "M" Streets and includes many types of architecture from the 1850s to the present. Though not officially within the district, the Carson Mansion, the undisputed Victorian jewel of the city and region, commands the highest elevation at the eastern edge of the district.


The city began as an 1850 settlement on the edge of Humboldt Bay where the district is today. Developers and settlers planned for Eureka to aid in the provision of miners working inland to the east. By 1865 the central core of what would become Eureka's "Old Town" was considered "a lively place for a small town, full of business and with plenty of money... the roads beyond Second street (the equivalent of "Main" Street) were covered with stumps from the (recently logged) Redwood forest and not yet open.[3]

Old Town today[edit]

Eureka's California State Historical marker, #477 is located on a plaque near the intersection of Third and "E" Streets

Old Town is the thriving, cultural heart of Eureka, California and the region. The area is an attraction for visitors and homeless alike. Its placement on the California North Coast is indisputably beautiful. The area, often shrouded in fog and very definitely behind the Redwood Curtain, is very different from the rest of California. The vibrant art scene that has grown up there in the final decades of the 20th century led to the declaration that the city was one of the 100 best art towns in America.[4] Among restaurants and inns, are multiple bed and breakfasts, including the award-winning Carter House Inn Restaurant 301, noted for repeatedly winning the "Grand Award" from Wine Spectator Magazine due to extensive collection of wine.

The Clarke Historical Museum is located at the corner of 3rd and E Streets. The collection includes extensive representation of basketry of indigenous native cultures throughout the region and regional and cultural history, with focus on the Victorian era.


  • Blues By the Bay occurs in late summer on City of Eureka property below the Carson Mansion.
  • First Saturday Arts Alive! occurs each month in the Old Town and Downtown sections of Eureka. More than 80 local galleries and other shops display local art to the public. The open house event often features wine, non-alcoholic drinks, and hors d'oeuvres. Musicians, performers, jugglers, poets and fire dancers perform on street corners as well as in shops and galleries. The event often coincides with performances of the Eureka Symphony in the Arkley Performance Center in the refurbished "Old" State Theater Building. Children can be safely cared for in the Discovery Museum, while parents participate in the North State's largest ongoing community arts event.
  • Old Town Eureka has a street-fair Fourth of July celebration followed by fireworks over the bay.

Examples of historic architecture in Old Town[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Register of Historic Places
  2. ^ Historic Sites in Humboldt County, California
  3. ^ Overhold, Ken (Editor) (1994) [1987]. Eureka: An Architectural Heritage (Second ed.). Eureka, California: Eureka Heritage Society. p. 270. ISBN 0-9615004-0-9. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Villani, John (October 1998). The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America (3rd ed.). Berkeley, California: Avalon Travel Publishing. pp. 256. ISBN 1-56261-405-3.

External links[edit]

General guides
Arts, music & museums