Bret Harte, a writer later to become famous for his moving stories of California mining camps, began his writing career in Arcata. He stayed in the original house at 927 J Street. This was in 1860, in the midst of troubles between whites and Indians.
The 1 1/2 story Chapman House is a truncated hipped-roof Italianate cottage which is unusual architecture for settlement Arcata, when cultural influences dictated house types. The side house with gables, cornice returns and lattice-work porch was built in 1874; the main house followed in 1876.
The Schorlig House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 as a significant example of Arcata's Italianate architecture. Built in 1885, it sat in the middle of block where Mr. Schorlig practiced his vocation as the "most scientific florist" in Arcata.
Frank Jacobs, who built this home had his office in the little false front at 12th and K Streets. Notice the letter "J" in the elaborate bas-relief over the front porch and the cutout design which trims the casing of a second floor window at the right.
Built in 1889 for Arcata's "jolly dentist", Dr. C.B. Ray, the house is a decorated version of the hipped-roof box paired, pediment-topped bays. Eastlake oranamentation on the cornice, windows and bays make a fancy house out of an otherwise plain form such as the one at 1361 J.