Once upon a presstime

From 1886 through 1995, the Arcata Union newspaper chronicled the life and times of northern Humboldt County, including the historic visit in August of 1969 (bottom photo) of three U.S. Presidents -- Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan -- and their families. (The Rev. Billy Graham is at far left and former Congressman Don Clausen is third from left.) Former Publisher Craig Hadley captured the image and a similar photo which ran full-page on the front page of the Union.

The technology and people who got the presses rolling for 109 years is the subject of a historic exhibit opening this month in the Historical Sites Society of Arcata Phillips House museum, at 7th and Union streets. The museum is open from noon-4 p.m. every Sunday to the public and for school tours by arrangement through May. (Call 822-4722 for information.)

Austin Wiley, editor of the Arcata Union from 1886-'96.

Posing above in front of the press are Bob Cottrel/Goss erector, Gordon Hadley/Union publisher, George Black/mechanical superintendent, Loren Abbott/production manager, Art Omholt/editor, Jim Yarbrough/Del Norte Triplicate publisher, and an unidentified visitor looking on.

The former Arcata Union building on the Plaza, Arcata, across from the old City Hall.

Rachel Black at her linotype keyboard in the early 1950s.

The dedication of Lady Bird Johnson Grove in 1969. (Monica Hadley Collection)

The North Coast Journal Table of Contents