Capetown Update



Just returned from a two week combination business trip and personal vacation to the Eureka area in Humboldt County.

Began on a Friday by renting a SUV from the John Wayne Airport and driving to Eureka with stops at San Francisco and Santa Rosa.

The old back porche would have been fun, however we delivered numerous items up and back, and Cristina isn't up to running alongside for 2000 miles.

We stayed at the Eagle House Victorian Hotel in Old Town and began to eat ourselves through every seafood restaurant in the area. And as always, enjoying visiting the Samoa Cookhouse for breakfast...

Spent some time in Ferndale reviewing several business and ranch properties...

Also looked at the Old Town B & B in Eureka and decided that any investment was going to be upside-down...which took about 5 minutes.

While there, Cristina and I spent some personal time at Centerville Beach...she looked for rocks and driftwood while I took some time out to MD near the linear parking lot...found a lot of beer bottle caps, pull tabs and rubbers...a lot of horsecrap and nails (?)...and absolutely nothing else worth yapping about.

The next day we drove the Matolle Road to Capetown located on the Bear River junction and found the old one-room school house (1850's) abandoned but still standing. What was interesting is that the current owners have raised the structure in place and are placing a new foundation under it. Although the building is 160 years old, it looks nearly new due to its solid redwood construction. The buildings walls in this part of California are composed of 8/4 (2 inch) boards set horizontally and backed with 8/4 vertical boards that provide solid insulation and virtual soundproofing. These boards are then finished on the outside with tongue and groove boards and on the inside with wainscot boards. The floors are 4 inch x 12 inch solid redwood planks and the roof is shingled again with redwood. The school was last used in the late 1950's by local ranch families.

A while back, I had researched an old Capetown Inn that was described in a 1913 British publication, which is why we were interested in Capetown. While we were sitting in our car looking at the school structure, a local rancher and his wife stopped and talked for a while. His family had been in the area since before the gold rush and was very down to earth and once he found we were interested in the local history, he became a fountain of historic information.

The Capetown Inn began as a stage coach stop and then eventually grew into a Road House for travelers coming from or going to San Francisco. Once a 2 story structure, it has been reduced to a 1 story bunkhouse / guesthouse for the ranch now occupying the site.

By the time we finished talking with the rancher, we ran out of daylight and were unable to take any pictures, but plan to return at a later invitation. The groundwork has been set for future searches.

Other than these 2 historic structures, the valley is the home of 2 cattle ranches.

Homeward bound, we stopped at the Aquarium of the Pacific near Monterey and drove south for the next stop at San Luis Obispo and Cal-Poly to stay the night at the Apple Tree Farm. Next day drove south with a brief stop at the Danish Village of Solvang then onto Santa Barbara.

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