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The Victorian Village of Ferndale
Humboldt County Visitor Information

Humboldt Room, HSU Library Special Collections
CA Office of Historic Preservation
California Preservation Foundation
National Register of Historic Places


The Ferndale Museum

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We have outstanding resources for your genealogical research. We use an extensive variety of sources to answer questions that our members and visitors have when looking for information about friends a family. Here are a few:​

1. People and family file - We have an index-card biography file. It is used for quick identifications along with a file containing newspaper clippings and family history booklets.

a. - People file. Index cards, quick identifications and dates.

b. - Family file. Clippings, photocopies, family trees, etc. in vertical file folders.

2. Photographs. A series of binders with photographs of local people - individuals and families - are arranged in alphabetical order. Other binders contain photographs by groups or subjects such as boats, parades, dairies, etc.

3. Computer files. Our computer has a subject listing for people in photographs, on legal documents, etc.

4. Telephone books. Scattered early copies back to 1907, Almost complete file from 1940 on.

5. Lists. Copies of the Ferndale pages from old business directories and city directories. The County Library has a more complete collection of directories for consultation.

6. Census. Some photocopies, some microfilm, some transcriptions. Trinity County, 1850; Trinity County (Special California Census of 1852); 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900. The County Library has additional transcribed censuses.

7. Cemetery lists. Detailed list for Ferndale, less detailed for St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery, and Loleta. From the list you can find the date of death. You then have a 95% chance of finding an obituary in The Ferndale Enterprise.

8. Books. The three local history books by Denis Edeline, his manuscript on Ferndale properites, and one or two other manuscripts are all indexed with personal names.

9. Tax assessors books. We have Ferndale tax assessors' books from 1894-1954. These books list land owners and their property in town.

10. Voting lists (registers). 1890, 1894, 1902, 1906, 1908. The County Library has a more complete collection.

11. Ferndale Enterprise. There is an index to the 140-year-old newspaper for the years 1882-1884. The entire newspaper is on microfilm from 1878 to the present. The years 1878-1923 are also digitized and can be accessed on the museum’s computer via standard search technology.

12. Accession records. Computer entries for all museum items include a personal name and subject entry.

13. Lists. Photocopied lists pertaining to Ferndale from various business directories, city directories, etc. not in our collection.

14. Various maps. Some, like the assessors' map of 1919, show the names of landowners in Ferndale. Sanborn maps from 1886-1926.

15. The Tomahawk (Ferndale High School Yearbooks) 1908-1972. Fairly complete file.

Your next stop after visiting the museum would be the County Library Humboldt Room where they have a fine collection of transcribed copies of birth, death, cemetery and marriage listing, plus the Susie Baker Foundation papers with a miscellaneous index about local people and institutions.

We can do research for you in the museum's resources for an hourly charge if you are not able to come in. On sale in our gift shop are several books on the history of the Ferndale and Mattole Valley areas and their families.


We welcome your visit February through December

Corner of Shaw & Third Sts.
515 Shaw (Map

Tours & school groups welcome!

Ferndale Museum
Post Office Box 431
Ferndale, California 95536-0431 USA

Wed. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sun. 1-4 p.m.
Genealogy assistance available.
Advance notice is appreciated.

Ferndale Cemetery Census-July 2018