Trinidad, California

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Trinidad is a seaside town in Humboldt County, located on the Pacific Ocean 8 miles (13 km) north of the Arcata-Eureka Airport and 15 miles (24 km) north of the college town of Arcata. Situated directly above its own North Coast harbor, California's smallest incorporated city (with a 2000 population of just 311) is noted for its spectacular coastline with ten public beaches and offshore rocks. These rocks are part of the California Coastal National Monument of which Trinidad is a Gateway City.[1] This natural landmark is joined by three additional marine landmarks - the historic Trinidad Head Light, the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse, and Humboldt State University's Fred Telonicher Marine Laboratory. Fishing operations related to Trinidad Harbor are vital to both local tourism and commercial fishery interests in the region. Trinidad lies at an elevation of 174 feet (53 m).[2]

Contents

History

Yurok Indians settled the bluffs over the bay before 1700 AD. The first European sighting of Trinidad Harbor was by the Portuguese navigator Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeño, who did not make landfall. The next visit was by Bruno de Heceta and Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra of the Spanish Navy. Their two ships anchored in Trinidad Bay on June 9, 1775. On June 11, which was Trinity Sunday, a formal act of possession was conducted.[3] The area was named "la Santisima Trinidad".

Settlers arrived on the James R. Whitting in 1850 and founded the town, renamed Warnersville in honor of R.V. Warner, one of the settlers.[4] The first post office opened in Trinidad in 1851.[4]

Trinidad was the original county seat of Klamath County, one of California's original counties, from 1851 to 1854. At that time Trinidad became part of the newly created Humboldt County after its creation in 1853, with its county seat in Eureka. Klamath County was finally dissolved in 1874.

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