About This Place
Samoa (formerly, Brownsville) is a census-designated place in Humboldt County, California. It is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) northwest of Eureka, at an elevation of 23 feet (7 m). Samoa is located in the northern peninsula of Humboldt Bay and is the site of the Samoa Cookhouse, one of the last remaining original, lumber style cookhouses. The name Samoa is used interchangeably with the peninsula it occupies. The population was 258 at the 2010 census.
The place was known as Brownville until a group of Eureka businessmen formed the Samoa Land and Improvement Company in 1889. Vance Lumber Company purchased the Humboldt Bay frontage from Samoa Land and Improvement Company for construction of a large sawmill in 1892. Eureka and Klamath River Railroad was chartered in 1893 to connect the Samoa sawmill and associated worker housing facilities to the city of Arcata and timberlands near the Mad River. The Samoa sawmill was the largest in Humboldt County when purchased by Andrew B. Hammond in 1900.
A sash and door factory was added to the mill complex by 1909, and the company was reorganized as the Hammond Lumber Company in 1912. Hammond Lumber Company built an emergency shipyard during World War I, and seven wooden steam-ships were built at Samoa between 1917 and 1919. Hammond Lumber Company railroads brought logs and lumber to Samoa from Little River and Big Lagoon until the railway trestles were destroyed by wildfire in 1945.