Home > Humboldt County, Sunny Brae California > Development in Sunny Brae

Development in Sunny Brae

UPDATE: From the Times-Standard — A PowerPoint presentation about historical Humboldt County attractions in the Van Duzen watershed and related areas east of Fortuna will be presented by local author, historian and tour guide Jerry Rohde in a free presentation scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. May 31 at the Fortuna Library.


The below series of photos is taken from local historian Jerry Rohde’s presentation Raising the Redwood Curtain: Merle Shuster Shows Us Post-WWII Humboldt Bay.

  1. Red
    May 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Development bad

  2. Anonymous
    May 16, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Depopulation good.

  3. Ponder z
    May 16, 2011 at 5:25 am

    So, what is your point. Is this bad? it’s sixty years ago. The real shame is 50% of the homes in the 1954 frame are grow houses now. You are saying you could put all those families into on big building? Kind of like they did in the projects of the 50’s and 60’s? Then raise the cost of fuel so nobody can afford a car and install mass transit? It could work. Umm, where is the mass transit going to, and from? The plaza? The mills? The beach? How bout to SF, one way!

  4. Bill
    May 16, 2011 at 6:15 am


  5. Walt
    May 16, 2011 at 6:35 am

    So Heraldo is actually Merle Shuster, being channeled by Jerry Rohde.

  6. Ed
    May 16, 2011 at 6:53 am

    And they say it can’t happen here.

  7. Eric Kirk
    May 16, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Those pictures are fake. That can’t happen here.

  8. Mitch
    May 16, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Yeah, Eric. You can tell by looking at the shadows. Good call.

  9. Lodgepole
    May 16, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Doesn’t look like Lovelace’s house was built yet.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:37 am


    guess where the county line is.

    Anyhow, further up Buttermilk Lane…can’t tell where it bends in picture….. near the water tower and older redwood stands (some near old growth even)… but the landscape is pristine in that area of the backwoods.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  11. Mountain-Top
    May 16, 2011 at 8:54 am

    I have to wonder of they were dumping meth chemicals into the groundwater back then, too. You muppets claw at fantasies that aren’t even based a shred of fact, people LEAVE Humboldt for better lives elsewhere.

  12. May 16, 2011 at 9:14 am

    “…people LEAVE Humboldt for better lives elsewhere.”

    And people leave elsewhere for better lives in Humboldt.

  13. Ed
    May 16, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I have to go, my muppets are clawing on my fantasies.

  14. May 16, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Thanks for the link. These are photos are all amazing! I was going to take one of Jerry’s Ollie classes this year, but took ones from Ray and Marie Raphael (Founding Fathers) and Gayle Raemer Olson (The Constitution) instead. I’ll be sure to sign up for some of Jerry’s classes on Humboldt History in the future.

  15. High Finance
    May 16, 2011 at 10:01 am

    All of you that have moved here since 1950 and think development is bad should move away and move right NOW !

  16. tra
    May 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Why “since 1950?”

  17. 06em
    May 16, 2011 at 11:28 am

    “It is a condition we regret, & do not like to mention, but it is nevertheless a fact that Eureka is losing population at this very moment. The steamers are taking away more passengers than they bring here, & among these passengers it will be found that families are numbered. Not only this, but business firms are in some instances, seeking new locations. What is the cause? Simply because this community is struck with the blight of a studied & systematic repression. Men of enterprise are not content to stay here & waste the best years of their lives waiting for a prosperity that the people of this city make no effort to secure. There is but one way to counteract all this.—Help to build a railroad to this bay.”

    “The Humboldt Daily Times” Eureka, California
    Friday, May 16, 1890

    For muppet-fixated BlackFlag/MountainTop.

  18. ()*&#$$(*#*
    May 16, 2011 at 11:47 am

    1950 is when HiFi’s watch stopped

  19. What Now
    May 16, 2011 at 11:49 am

    “()*&#$$(*#* says:
    May 16, 2011 at 11:47 am
    1950 is when HiFi’s watch stopped”

  20. High Finance
    May 16, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Tra, because the first pictures above are dated 1950.

    Mouse and the other trolls should stop to think before they insult and make fools of themselves again.

  21. Smart 5th Grader
    May 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Why “since 1950”? Why not, since we started killing all the locals to make room for High Financial and the Once-lers?

  22. Reinventing The Wheel
    May 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Great quote 06em!

    This nation and its communities once prospered when it invested in its infrastructure and human resources, prior to a generation of public divestment and deregulation that outsourced factories while eliminating taxes.

    U.S. Captains of Industry treat the world as if they own the extraction rights for labor and resources, just as local developers harvest the public’s infrastructure to build bigger homes that are more profitable, but few can afford.

    Left unchallenged, they’ll create a new set of financing tricks and traps that the average American can bailout…for the 3rd time since the 1980’s…..stay tuned.

  23. Oldphart
    May 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    So Ernie Pierson is a good guy because he developed Sunny Brae in the 1950’s, but all the developers of the present are the scum of the earth. Make up your minds.

  24. Anonymous
    May 16, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Ernie built modest homes suited to the conservative financing principles and affordability at the time. You have to drive further up Buttermilk Lane to witness the recent drain on infrastructure costs imposed by today’s unbridled greed, and the financing tricks and traps it required that eventually collapsed the world economy.

    There’s only one Pierson that attends every GP hearing in support of sprawl.

    I wonder what Ernie would have thought?

  25. May 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Although there are many “Pierson” style homes in Sunny Brae, I was told that he was not the developer of this particular subdivision.

  26. Rumbustious
    May 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    In any case, Jerry Rohde has put together a very interesting presentation. I love being able to see pictures of this area as it was. I only regret that I didn’t know about his talk. Thanks, Jerry.

  27. May 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Sunny Brae was built beginning in 1954 by developer Chet Spiering with the aid of builder Joe Cruz. Chet, for whom Mr. Arkley, Sr. once expressed admiration because of his enterprising nature, named the streets after his relatives. I had the good fortune to speak with Chet before he passed away, and his former wife Virginia as well. One thing he insisted on is that it is “Sunny Brae,” not “Sunnybrae” as is often used. Chet also built the Westwood and other area subdivisions. We cobbled together a good amount of related information on this for the Sunny Brae Eye edition back in 2000. (I have copies if anyone is interested.) I even met the late Merle Shuster, who brought photos to my office to scan. They are all now online. http://library.humboldt.edu/humco/holdings/photoresults.php

  28. May 16, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    I don’t know why I waste my time responding to HiFi but here we go again. This is my FIRST post on this line, HiFi. If you don’t believe me, then head back to your cave. The bats are waiting for their dinner.

    I usually don’t have time to monitor the blog very much. When I do, you’ll know it!

  29. baby boomer
    May 16, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    …twas the season, to make the nests.


    May 16, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Anonymous says:
    May 16, 2011 at 3:11 pm
    Ernie built modest homes suited to the conservative financing principles and affordability at the time. You have to drive further up Buttermilk Lane to witness the recent drain on infrastructure costs imposed by today’s unbridled greed, and the financing tricks and traps it required that eventually collapsed the world economy.

    There’s only one Pierson that attends every GP hearing in support of sprawl.

    I wonder what Ernie would have thought?

    Response: Ernie was a good man from what I learned from hanging out with other family members during 4-H years. So, don’t get the whole “bash anyone but Ernie in the Pierson family”. Also, there are builders similar to Ernie’s style today (yet, sq. ft. is often a bit larger), othwerwise, a starter home would be no less than a half million in todays market.

    Remember too, the development is MOSTLY DECIDED BY PLANNING DEPARTMENTS in so far as density, shape, functionability (or not), etc…. Funny how back in Ernie’s days, there were less restrictions and more homeowners……….whereas today, more restrictions and less homeowners locked in at higher prices. Yep, can’t hardly blame current-day builders for the “better opportunities” back in the old days.

    Ok, now, how many will now say Ernie got-off without having to put the necessary improvements to the public infrastructure like developers have to today. Further, farther-up Buttermilk Lane, it becomes county with plenty of water wells and leach fields (these are not tied into the public infrastructure).

    Ok, who has there home but does not want anymore neighbors?


  31. Be Angry
    May 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    First, developers today do not pay the costs, nor a fair share, in today’s subdivisions.

    If water were the only public expense from subdivisions, you’d make a lot of sense….

    May 18, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Be angry,

    would you be les angry if information proved you incorrect in so far as your “verbage use”…….developers is a blanket statement that I would counter and say….I know of no less than one developer who paid all costs and more than a fair share.

    Don’t believe the monolithic generated hype; rather, follow as best you can the money trail of each developer, wink-wink :-) You’ll find things deviate amongst size of project, political connections to the project developer, area or location in proximity to land power grabs that gubbamint types pin-pointed years ago, etc… It is true, some developers are forced to “over-do” while other developers are allowed or excepted to “under-do”. Sad that people are so outta-touch with the “micro prejudices” within real-estate!


    May 18, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Here is one for Be Angry,

    When a current subdivision is signed off by the Fire Department/Agency for emergency access, ingress and egress, the sign-off is when hardly a vehicle is parked in the cul-de-sac. After the sign-off, homeowners will park vehicles in the cul-de-sac.

    Deceitful to approve a sub-division where emergency access, ingress and egress do not exist (paper to ground) because the deception by public empoloyees is to apply “process checks” without the inclusion of people or objects for a realistic observation of what WILL OCCUR on the ground.

    SO, all those cul-de-sacs should be larger to accomodate the invisible vehicles when the on-site emergency inspections are done prior to development sign-off. One only needs to understand the fascism that generates here locally for greed, power and control. I especially enjoy the ADA breaches where the driveways intersect the sidewalks – someone needs to manufacture an all-terrain wheel chair that can go over a 6-8″ curb. Flaws are so easy to spot check.


  34. Anonymous
    May 18, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Despite historic moderate growth, Eureka needs $100 million today just to update its sewer system, not including the $30 million Martin Slough Interceptor, or multi-million dollar Elk River Treatment Plant expansion.

    Despite the continuing collapse of our economy and infrastructure, one thousand dollars in hookup fees allows any speculator to double their money on a home too big and too expensive for 80% of those that live here, the same 80% that subsidized the infrastructure being harvested by greedheads!

    It’s a process consistent with Wall Street’s harvest of the public treasury in “bailouts”, devised and enforced by the political hacks they funded.

    Just like here…

    Who will tell the people?

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