SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Humboldt Bay

Humboldt Bay

The Alta ferry on Humboldt Bay in California ran between Arcata and Eureka and was owned by the railroad. Taken around turn of century. Photographer unknown.

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Ferry Range

The Alta did travel in both parts of the bay. In the book Sail and Steam on the Northern Calif. Coast 1850-1900 there is more than one reference made about the Alta traveling as far as the Bendixen Shipyard in Fairhaven to attend ship launchings - ironically the same place it was built in 1878. The steamer was built for the Arcata transportation company.


The Humboldt Bay is off of Eureka and the Arcata Bay is off of Arcata. The ferry must have gone through both, right?

Arcata Bay

That area is more formally known as Arcata Bay. Redwood trees in the surrounding hills were logged and rivers and streams carried silt down to the bay. A hundred years ago the bay was a deep water port. Today it is a mud flat at low tide.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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