News and Events


The Phillips House Museum has reopened,
Sundays from 2-4.

HSSA Newsletters Are Here

This season’s newsletter continues on with the theme of People Saving Places, featuring articles by Julie Fulkerson and Joyce Plath in which they discuss their unique experiences of saving and rehabilitating historic homes in Arcata. Click here to read the newsletter in its entirety!

Old News:

May is Preservation Month across the country. This year’s Preservation Month theme of People Saving Places is a national high-five to everyone doing the great work of saving places in ways big and small and inspiring others to do the same! The Spring 2022 Newsletter is devoted to some of our own place-savers, Click here to read!

Our Fall 2021 Newsletter features “What’s Next for the Plaza?” plus an article on the Eureka trolley system (some communities are resurrecting their trolleys to combat climate change); Arcata’s most famous photographer, A.W. Erickson; the return of the Falk Mansion mantel; and more!

Our Summer 2021 Newsletter includes a fascinating article about Essex Ranch and its historic rail mile marker No. 300, an update on Humboldt State’s plans for the Trinity Hospital building, a Phillips House Museum update, and more!

Spring 2021 HSSA News: Learn about the journey of some of the furniture from the Falk Mansion, enjoy an article on Sears homes, and read a tribute in honor of our friend and volunteer, Ann McClary.

In the Winter 2021 HSSA Newsletter, find out about the recent “Phillips House Museum Mystery”, enjoy articles about Arcata’s lost mansion and Shay Locomotive No. 7, and more!

Once upon a time in Sunnybrae (1970), North Coast Museum Alliance talks Covid-19, a tale of two Minor houses, Arcata named “City of the Month” by the state library, and more in the Fall 2020 HSSA Newsletter.

In the Summer 2020 HSSA Newsletter, you will find more then-and-now photo comparisons of local structures and sites presented by Tamara Wolski; a look back at local marshland reclamation and restoration, in the last HSSA News article submitted by local historian Don Tuttle; a story of a “historically informed” interior painting project on a mid-century modern Sunny Brae home, inspired by sheltering in place, by Gabrielle Gopinath; and of course, even more.

The Spring 2020 HSSA Newsletter is here. This issue includes a recap of our annual luncheon, a wonderful series of photographs entitled Arcata: Then and Now, and an article on a special silver spoon collection! And of course, other interesting musings and tidbits!

The Winter 2020 HSSA News is available right here. It includes local photos and history from a family whose great grandmother was born in the Phillips House in 1867. A thoughtful piece reflecting upon the importance of local history, written upon return from a year of studying abroad in Ireland, is also included. And last but not least, a list of preservation-related movies compiled for your winter entertainment.

The Fall 2019 issue of HSSA News featured a story about pioneer Arcata dairyman and Assembly member Melvin Parker Roberts, a view of the lasting effects the 1893 World’s Fair had on Arcata, and more.   A full history of Mel Roberts’ life, prepared by Glenn Hoyle, is also online here.

Our Summer 2019 HSSA newsletter includes a letter from our president, Alex Stillman, about the temperance-related history of the Arcata Plaza’s water fountain, an article by Jerry Rhode on our local railroad history (with references and a copy of pioneer Byron Deming’s biography), information on Claudia Israel’s new “Beer as Rent” display at the Phillips House Museum, and more!

Adaptive re-use, or “reUrbanism”, is featured in the Spring 2019 HSSA newsletter, along with a history of the Hauser-Nixon house, recollections from two sisters who spent many of the past 90 years in Arcata, and more. Download it here, now.

Part one of “History of the Arcata Trail Corridor” by Jerry Rohde appears in the Winter 2019 issue of the HSSA newsletter, available here.  The essay includes a detailed set of references, available for download here.  Part two is in the Summer 2019 newsletter.

The Fall 2018 issue of the HSSA Newsletter includes memories of the Plaza fire of November 12, 1979, by Alex Stillman, along with news of the interns, docents and volunteer board members who keep the Historic Sites Society of Arcata so active.

“The Silent Workforce: Women in the Woods,” the Plaza without McKinley?, remembering Civil Defense and the dedication of Redwood National Park, all in the Summer 2018 HSSA newsletter.

In the third and final part of the Arcata Creamery Building history

Arcata Creamery
Arcata Creamery

by Sean Kearns, we learn of the heroic effort by Jim Marvel to keep the building alive into the 1970s, and the visionary stewardship by Brian and Lisa Finigan that has brought the Creamery to its present revival. Read this and more in the Spring 2018 HSSA News.

Part two of the 100-year history of the Arcata Creamery Building, “Down the timeline, and the road” by Sean Kearns, is now in print and online in the February 2018 HSSA News, available for reading here, along with a biographical look at one of Arcata’s most accomplished women in “Remembering Jessie Turner Woodcock,” drawn from her scrapbooks and oral history at the Phillips House Museum by Madison Hazen.

The Arcata Creamery Building turns 100, and Sean Kearns reviews its varied history in the November 2017 HSSA News. Download it or read online.

Return to the Potawot Indian Health Village 20 years after construction, in the Fall 2017 HSSA News. Download it now.

Fires that changed downtown Arcata forever, and the value of a horde of coins in the Caskey collection are featured in the Spring 2017 HSSA News, available here.

The Big Cutoff on the Mad River in 1862 is the subject of the lead story by Don Tuttle in the Winter 2017 HSSA News, available here.

The Fall 2016 HSSA News features a story on the Arcata and Mad River Shay Locomotive #7 by Dan Hauser.  Download the Fall 2016 HSSA News.

National Historic Preservation Month, updates to the Phillips House Museum, the lumber mills of Arcata and more are featured in the Summer 2016 HSSA News. Get it here.

The Winter 2016 HSSA News describes how the photo collection at the Phillips House is organized and available, what a typical kitchen looked like in the 1920s, and answers some questions you may have had about the Horel House. Download it now.

The Fall 2015 HSSA News featured the Hotel Arcata on its 100-year anniversary. Click here to download.

For the first time, HSSA sent out a newsletter by email in the Summer of 2015. (Download it here.)

Arcata Featured by Office of Historic Preservation

The California Office of Historic Preservation newsletter, “Preservation Matters,” features Arcata’s historic preservation program in its first issue of 2016, in a piece written by City of Arcata Senior Planner Alyson Hunter.  Read it here.

HSSA & a Tracy Memorial Fund Grant

The HSSA received a grant from the Tracy Memorial Fund through the Humboldt Area Foundation early this year for a Photographic History of the Creamery District.  This preliminary research will be conducted by Frances G. Beatty.  If you happen to have a snapshot of people, events, or buildings in the areas between K and O Streets and 7th and 11th Streets, please contact Fran at