Located in Eureka’s historic Old Town district, the Clarke Museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history and culture of Humboldt County.
Humboldt County's exciting history includes vibrant Native American cultures, Gold Rush settlement, the “Red Gold” of lumber, prosperous ranching/farming and livelihoods wrung from the sea. Through period rooms and changing exhibits, visitors can glimpse Victorian elegance, remarkable craftsmanship, and everyday work, home life and play from Humboldt’s past.
The Clarke’s Native American collection, from Northwest California tribes, is considered among the country’s largest and best. One spacious gallery is devoted to the basketry, ceremonial regalia and stone implements of the Wiyot, Yurok, Karuk, Hoopa, and other area tribes.
The Clarke Museum’s home, the former Bank of Eureka building with its unusual glazed terre cotta façade, was designed by San Francisco architect Albert Pissis and built in 1912. In 1960, Eureka High School teacher Cecile Clarke purchased the building and moved in her extensive local history collection. Nealis Hall, the Native American annex, was added in 1979. The museum’s gift shop offers a unique selection of historical souvenirs, area crafts, and books on regional history
The museum is located in Old Town Eureka on the corner of 3rd and E Streets. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 4 pm.
Current Exhibitions - Summer 2016
Bohmansson Pharmacy Exhibit: This showcase of a turn-of-the-century drug store includes hundreds of authentic apothecary bottles and jars, shelved on display units originally located in the local Bohmansson Pharmacy. Also included in the display is a soda fountain, a driving factor behind the popularity of the local pharmacy as a place for social gatherings.
The Hover Collection: A "living memorial to the Karuk Basketmakers," this collection of Karuk basketry and dance regalia from the mid to late 1800's will be on display once again. Featuring artifcacts from master basket weavers such as Elizabeth Hickox and Nettie Ruben, this collection represents some of the most amazing Native American Basketry in the world.
Humboldt County Remembers WWII: May - August 2016 - A glimpse into the WWII era in Humboldt, a time of blackouts, rationing and coastal watches. The exhibit will pay homage to soldiers at home and abroad, as well as highlighting local efforts to assist the war effort. Also included will be a special exhibit in our Community Case, put together by our partners at the Humboldt County Historical Society.
The Reinhardt Collection: May - December 2016 - The backbone of the Clarke's antique firearms collection, the Reinhardt Collection is part of the original assortment of objects brought to the museum from EHS in 1960. Part of Cecile Clarke's collection since the 1930's, the collection was acquired from the widow of a Eureka gunsmith, James E. Reinhart, who operated a shop in Eureka until his deathtin the late 1920's.