Sunday, May 13, 2012

May 8, 2012. The Hawthornes Lunch In Trinidad And Stay In Eureka, California.

Driving down Pacific Coast Highway 1.

Around lunchtime, 
the Hawthornes found themselves in Trinidad, California.

 We consulted the Garmin
and decided to check out the Seascape Restaurant,
right on the water.

Heavy duty construction is going on here.
They're building a pier in front of the restaurant
and the restaurant was hard to find.
We saw the signs for the restaurant,
but not the restaurant.
That's because you park at the back of the restaurant
and have to walk around to the front.

 I ordered the clam chowder for starters.
Smoky ham added to the flavor.
Carrots and potatoes were in there.
Not bad.

 Both Mr. Hawthorne and I ordered the grilled cod.
Cod is basically flavorless,
but it was the only fish offered on the menu.
I didn't want battered and fried fish,
which would only have helped the cod.

They gave me a shitload of delicious fries
which I picked at.
But I don't want to make a meal of fries.

I was served garlic toast.
People, is it sooooo damn hard to use real garlic
when you make garlic toast?
This was granulated garlic on the bread.
One bite and buh bye.
Cod is not something you eat by itself.
Cod can go into a chowder and that would be fine.
Cod assumes the flavor of whatever it's surrounded by.
Keep cod around scallops
and cook it that way
and the cod takes on the flavor of scallops.
Marry it with shrimp,
and I'm good to go.
Just don't cook it by itself.
It's boring.

 Outside was more iceplant,
I think.
I've never seen a yellow one,
so this may not be iceplant.

 This is the highly succulent-like foliage
of Northern Pacific iceplant.

More succulents.
Is this some type of Hens and Chicks?
What think ye?

And that would be my friend, Mar,
of Foodies Untie Blogdom.
She's a Master Gardener
and my go-to-gal for botanical ID's.

ETA:  Mar ID'd my plant above.
Thank you, Mar.

We arrived in Eureka, California,
for the evening.

The Hawthornes took a quick tour through town
and found the Carson Mansion,
which screamed at me to take its picture.

One of the most written about, and photographed Victorian houses in California, and perhaps in the United States, the William Carson Mansion epitomizes the range of possibilities for eclectic design expression that created a peculiarly American style of architecture. Derived from many sources, but unique enough to represent none predominately, this much discussed and debated property stands today in virtually the same condition as when first constructed.  The designers, Samuel and Joseph Newsom, were well respected San Francisco architects who heartily embraced the concept of the "picturesque," a quality that continues to fascinate all who see the Carson Mansion's intricately composed interiors and exteriors.

Prominently sited, the extensive grounds provide a substantial pedestal for this sculpted edifice.  Eye-seeking and shadow-producing surfaces showcase the use of wood as a building material.  This three-dimensional "pattern-book" took over one hundred men over two years to construct.  Its influence on the design of subsequent buildings in Eureka is readily apparent even today.  In addition to the abundant use of redwood, Mr. Carson imported 97,000 feet of primavera or "white mahogany" from Central America, along with other woods and onyx from the Philippines, East India, and Mexico.  The elaborate interiors include stained glass, plasterwork, and carved ornaments in exotic woods.

The Carson Mansion was owned by the descendents of William Carson until 1950, when it was sold to the Ingomar Club.

Regarded as one of the highest executions of American Queen Anne Style architecture,
the home is considered the most grand Victorian home in America.

The front and south elevations can easily be viewed from the street,
but the home and grounds are never open to the general public.
 Boo hoo.

Touring Eureka
First some history:

The first large party of miners and merchants arrived in Humboldt Bay aboard the sailing vessel Laura Virginia in 1850.  The rush was not to last and, gradually, disappointed, cold, and ill-fed miners filtered back to the coast.  It was here that a second opportunity presented itself- the timber resources.  Eureka was to become the transportation, supply, and milling center for the timber industry, a role for which it has long been recognized.  Aside from the mills, another major industry was shipbuilding, particularly the yards of Hans Bendixsen.  Hundreds of wooden sailing ships and steam schooners were built along the shores of Humboldt Bay.  While the large yards are gone, fishing craft and other small vessels are still built and repaired here today.

Commercial fishing has also added greatly to the activity in the Bay.  The beginning was with crab that would be shipped live to San Francisco and with salmon for canning.  By the 1930s, trawlers had joined the fleet to go after bottom fish, particularly sole.  This fleet of trawlers along with salmon and tuna trawlers once boasted 500 vessels.  Today there are less than 125.  Two companies are operating oyster farms in the remarkably pure water of the Bay.  Over 70% of the oysters eaten in California come from Humboldt Bay.  Crab fishing is still very important.

Eureka was established at this point on the North Coast as it was and still is upon the shore of the best harbor between San Francisco and Puget Sound.  It is one of eleven ports in California.  The harbor figured prominently in the local economy especially before 1914 when the best way to reach the area was by local steamer.  Then a major change came with the completion of the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, the first to connect Humboldt County with the rest of California and the Nation.  Land-based transportation was to gain greater and greater importance especially with the completion of the Redwood Highway (US 101)about 1920.  With the help of the railroad first, and then automobile transportation, tourism was greatly increased.  The growth of tourism is a key part of Eureka's economic future.

The most populous city in Humboldt County is Eureka with 36,000 citizens.  The largest city between Santa Rosa and Medford, it has a significant past.  Every visit should include time to enjoy the vast architectural resources of its Victorian neighborhoods and Old Town commercial center.  
Symbolic of its beginnings is its name, a Greek word meaning "I have found it!" - a cry often heard in  the California gold fields.  Gold rather than lumber attracted the first settlers to this region in 1850.  The rush was to the Trinity Mines deep in the Coast Range, especially around present day Weaverville.  Miners and supplies bound for this region would travel by ship up the coast from San Francisco and then to the mining areas via pack mule from either Eureka or Arcata.

William Carson (1825-1912) arrived from New Brunswick, Canada, in 1849.  By 1853, he was shelling shiploads of redwood lumber bound for San Francisco.  In 1863, Carson joined forces with John Dolbeer and in 1881, they revolutionized logging technology with the invention of the Steam Donkey Engine, which enabled logging in hard-to-reach areas.  In 1884, their logging operation was producing 15,000,000 board feet annually.  Dolbeer and Carson's milling operations, combined with partial ownerships in schooners used to move the lumber to markets all over the globe, set the stage for the unlimited budget and access to resources allowing Carson to build his mansion.

In 1883, Samuel and Joseph Newsom of San Francisco, premier 19th century builder-architects, were placed under contract by Carson to create the house.

The mansion is a mix of every major style of Victorian Architecture, including but not limited to the following styles:  Eastlake, Italianate, Queen Anne (primary), and Stick, depending on which expert one consults.  One nationally known architectural historian described the home as a "baronial castle in Redwood..."  and stated further that, "The illusion of grandeur in the house is heightened by the play on scale, the use of fanciful detail, and the handling of mass as separate volumes, topped by a lively roofscape. A nationally recognized architectural survey states, "The home epitomizes the range of possibilities for eclectic design expression" in the use of Victorian architectural styles in a manner that is "peculiarly American."  Unlike most other homes dating from the period, this property has always been meticulously maintained, therefore standing today in virtually the same condition as when it was built.

The Carson descendents sold the property to the Ingomar Club.
 Now, I'm wondering about the Ingomar Club.
It's a private club that owns and is based in the Carson Mansion.
So, I'm figgering it's a bunch of rich, fat cats
that want a place to go to and drink.

According to Wiki,
the be all and end all of everything,
the Ingomar Club was founded
"to own and maintain a club headquarters for the meetings and enjoyment of its members; to create, establish, and maintain an association of gentlemen for the preservation and protection of historic 'Carson Mansion;'  to promote interest among its members in athletics, yachting, golf, swimming, and related activities; to promote good fellowship, and to associate together those interested in the field of fine arts, music, and culture."
In other words, a place to go and drink.

Definitely, alcohol is involved.

The name "Ingomar"
is derived from Carson's favorite play,
Ingomar the Barbarian.

The selection of a suitable name for the newly formed Club presented its members with numerous difficulties. Most of the charter members felt that the name should be distinctive, and that it should allude in some way to William Carson, the pioneer builder of the Mansion. The name “Ingomar Club” was finally chosen as the one best meeting these requirements. It was derived from the fabulous old Ingomar Theatre on the third floor of the Buhne Building in Eureka which was built by William Carson and named for his favorite play “Ingomar the Barbarian.”

Please check out the lofty website of the Ingomarians.
I'm thinking alcohol and misogyny feature prominently.
Just sayin'.

Across the street from the Carson Mansion is the Pink Lady, built by William Carson as a home for his daughter.  Now home to various business offices, this is a beautiful example of local Victorian architecture.

This home, also known as the "Pink Lady"
is a classic Eastlake victorian residence designed by the prestigious
architectural firm of Newsome Brothers of Sans Fransisco.  It was completed in 1889 for William Carson, a pioneer member baron of Northern California.

The property left the Carson family's ownership in the 1940s,  was used as a boarding house
and subsequently fell into serious disrepair.   Robert M. Madsen, a local real estate broker and former councilman and mayor of Eureka, purchased it in 1963.  He rehabilitated it to the
to its former glory, meriting the city of Eureka's first beautification award for efforts.  His wife Josephine L Madsen and the Madsen name have maintained its historical elegance.

While the Carson House was being rehabilitated in 1963- 64,
 a decision was made on its exterior color to contrast with the dark color of the Carson Mansion, now known as the Ingomar Club.  
The Carson House was painted bright pink and white.  
Before long, the renovated Victorian gained its special name,  The "Pink Lady."

I like this picture.
I love the stained glass.
It's from the Pink Lady.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

That lunch does sound boring. The houses and views are pretty, though.