HSSA Annual Meeting 2020

Saturday, March 14
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Baywood Golf and Country Club
3600 Buttermilk Lane, Arcata


Save the date for the Historical Sites Society of Arcata’s Annual Lunch on March 14, 2020 at Baywood Country Club. 11:30am. $25.00 for lunch, RSVP to: 822-4722


The California Barrel Company:

Arcata’s Biggest Business


For decades, the California Barrel Company (CABCO), was the biggest employer in Arcata. Early on, it made barrels for the Spreckles Sugar Company, later expanding to supply containers to China and to provide wire-bound crates for produce and machinery in the United States.

The company cut spruce and other trees in several parts of Humboldt County, including Fickle Hill and a portion of what later became Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Much of its mill, just northwest of Samoa Boulevard and L Street in Arcata, still stands, recalling the days when it provided the paychecks for 1,142 workers.

Architecture enthusiasts will welcome an account of the Koster Mansion, the San Francisco residence of John Koster, CABCO’s founder. The Kosters were probably the cleanest family in the City, since their twin-turreted home had 13 bathrooms.

So, join us on Saturday, March 14, as we harken back to yesteryears and once again “Roll out the (Cal) Barrel!”

Cal Barrel mill in the distance, looking west along 10th Street, circa 1910

California Barrel Company (to left) c. 1910.

Cants at the Cal Barrel Co.