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Home Travel Falk, the Abandoned Lumber Town in Headwaters Forest, Officially Listed on the National Register of Historic Places | Lost Coast Outpost

Falk, the Abandoned Lumber Town in Headwaters Forest, Officially Listed on the National Register of Historic Places | Lost Coast Outpost

by Staff

Press release from the Bureau of Land Management:


Falk, a historic town and lumber mill site nestled in the Bureau of
Land Management Headwaters Forest
Reserve, has been named to the National Register of Historic Places.

Listed officially as
the Falk Archaeological District, the designation recognizes the site
as an area of national significance and
worthy of preservation. Remnants of the townsite are visible and
marked with interpretive signs along the
first half-mile of the Elk River Trail. The most impressive remnant
is a fully restored locomotive barn that now serves
as an education center.

Archaeological
investigations conducted by Humbolt State University (now Cal Poly
Humboldt) over 14 years yielded the
information that led to approval by the National Park Service, which
oversees the National Register of Historic Places,
for the Falk listing.

“Credit also goes
to our staff and Friends of Headwaters who have found creative ways
to explain the history of

Falk through
interpretation and restoration,” said Collin Ewing, manager of the
BLM Arcata Field Office which oversees the
Reserve. “Signs highlighting town remnants make it possible for
visitors to visualize life in Falk.”

Falk was a busy
logging and mill town from 1884 to 1937. Workers toiled deep in the
now-protected redwood stands, felling
trees, shipping them on Falk’s very own railroad to the mill, and
finally sending the lumber to worldwide markets
via a port at present day Eureka. Falk had housing for workers,
supported work camps and featured
infrastructure, including a mill pond, to keep the lumber operation
going. After work stopped, the site fell into decline
and decay. The property owners razed the buildings in the 1960s due
to safety concerns.

The Reserve was
established in 1999, after the BLM and California State Wildlife
Conservation Board purchased the
7,400-acre Headwaters Forest. Information on access can be found
online.

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