Northwestern California Newspapers
The Del Norte Region
A brief newspaper-focused history
The honor of being the first recorded newspaper in Northwestern California belongs to the Crescent City Herald which preceded the Humboldt Times in Eureka by a matter of months, beginning publication in June 1854. This birth is described in 1881 by A. J.Bledsoe, a peripatetic newspaperman of the era.
"The year 1854, especially, opened most auspiciously for Crescent City. Nor was the rest of the county behind. The whole county was becoming settled with people from all parts of the Union, and from nearly every part of the civilized world. On the 10th of June that necessity of all civilized communities, a local newspaper, was established...." By 1861, however, "...Owing to lack of support the publication of the Crescent City Herald was discontinued and the material removed to Jacksonville, Oregon."
Between 1861 and 1872 there were no newspapers published in Crescent City, although Frances McBeth identifies the Del Norte Investigator as existing in 1868, connected with the Lyceum. The Crescent City Courier began in September 1872, lasted until March 1875, resumed in November 1879 and finally ceased in February 1881 after it was bought by the Del Norte Record which had begun publication in 1879.
Ralph Hughes describes working for the Crescent City News when he was 14 (1908) and it had a reading room that served as a library and "Mecca for a lot of people who wanted to know what was going on in the world." This paper probably started in 1892; it merged with the Del Norte Record, the Coast Times (1910-12) and the illusive (Del Norte) Argus in 1912 to form the Del Norte Triplicate.
Another Crescent City Courier began publishing about this time, continuing at least until 1930. The Crescent City American appeared in 1926 and became the Crescent City Sunday American in its last year before merging with the Triplicate in 1969. The Daily Triplicate continues today as one of the longest running newspapers in Northwestern California. It produced a Bicentennial Edition in 1976 with an article "Newsmen Were Trail Blazers of Early Del Norte County."
Along the way, there were a few short-lived newspaper attempts outside of Crescent City. There was the Smith River Herald in 1925, the Klamath Chinook in 1932, the Gasquet Gazette (a Civilian Conservation Corps effort) in 1935, and the Pelican Bay News in 1945.
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The Northwestern California Newspaper Project is managed by the Humboldt Room located in the Humboldt State University Library