Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Arcata & Mad River Railroad Company records, 1868-1927 (bulk 1888-1903).
BANC MSS C-G 131 [no longer used] ; BANC MSS 73/83 c [no longer used]; BANC MSS 2002/195 c box 1; BANC MSS 2002/195 c box 2; ...
Collection Overview


Arcata & Mad River Railroad Company records, 1868-1927 (bulk 1888-1903)


Arcata & Mad River Railroad Company, creator


Korbel, FrantiĊĦek, 1831-1920


Korbel, Anton Francis, 1841-1925


Korbel, Joseph, 1844-1900


Zaruba, Vaclav, 1867-1932


F. Korbel & Bros


Consists of correspondence and accounts. Most of the correspondence is with owners F. Korbel & Bros. Co. including letters between Francis, Anton and Joseph Korbel and the railroad superintendent Vaclav Zaruba. The accounts concentrate with local businesses in Arcata and Eureka, Calif. Also includes labor manifests and pay slips, tax records, train orders, and ephemera, including a sketch map of a layout for a township.


1888 (issued)


Arcata & Mad River Railroad Company -- Archives
F. Korbel & Bros.
Railroads -- California -- History -- Sources
Railroads -- California -- Humboldt County
Taxation -- California
Arcata (Calif.)
Eureka (Calif.)
Korbel (Calif.)


Arcata & Mad River Railroad Company records, BANC MSS 2002/195, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Purchase and gifts; from various sources; in 1957, 1966, 1972, 2001, 2005.
The first railroad in Calif. began in 1855 under the name Union Wharf & Plank Walk Co., as a short line, with a horse drawn car, serving the port of Arcata and local mills. In 1875 the company bought its first steam locomotive. Over the years the company changed its name several times and expanded its local service. In 1881 the company became Arcata & Mad River Railroad, to connect the north end of Humboldt Bay with the north fork of Mad River.
In 1883 F. Korbel & Bros., Francis, Anton, and Joseph Korbel, owners of the Humboldt Lumber Mill Co. at North Fork (now Korbel), purchased the railroad. The superintendent during the Korbel's ownership was Joseph's son-in-law Vaclav Zaruba, a fellow Bohemian immigrant. In 1903, after Francis Korbel moved back to Prague, F. Korbel & Bros. sold all of their Northern Calif. holdings, including the railroad, to a newly incorporated company, the Northern Redwood Lumber Co.
Materials in Czech and English.


Account books.
Letterpress copybooks.

Physical Description:

3 boxes, 1 carton, 4 v. (2.4 linear ft.)




BANC MSS C-G 131 [no longer used]
BANC MSS 73/83 c [no longer used]
BANC MSS 2002/195 c box 1
BANC MSS 2002/195 c box 2
BANC MSS 2002/195 c box 3
BANC MSS 2002/195 c carton 1
BANC MSS 2002/195 c v.1-2
BANC MSS 2002/195 c v.3
BANC MSS 2002/195 c v.4
BANC MSS 2002/195 c