Our Eureka Church History
|~ Chapter 4 ~
Back to Harris & E Street
By 1930 there wasn’t enough room at the church (at Harris & E Streets) for all the children’s divisions of Sabbath School. Even though the church school no longer had as many students as previously, the Sabbath School seemed to be growing. The church board decided that an addition should be built at the back or west side of the church to be used as the Junior Division. This separate building was ready for occupancy by 1932.
At Humboldt Academy Professor Lawrence and Irene Stump had left to go to the Philippines to do mission work, and Lowell Rasmussen and his wife came to take the principal’s position.
There was also a new Bible teacher for the school year of 1931-32, Dores E. Robinson. His wife, Ella, was the eldest granddaughter of Ellen White. In 1905 Robinson had worked as Mrs. White’s secretary, a job he continued until 1915, the year she died.
Harvest Ingathering was very much a part of church fundraising, and on October 3, 1932,the church board discussed helping Pepperwood raise their Ingathering goal of $20.00. If they raised more than that amount, then Eureka was to keep the extra.
On April 2, 1932 the church board voted to have a 10-grade school with Rollin Axtell as principal and teacher of grades 9 and 10. His pay was to be $90.00 per month. The two grade school teachers were to get $70.00 per month each. Two days later there was another board meeting in which they voted to raise Axtell’s salary to between $95.00 and $100.00 per month, as there were 10 to 15 students in 9th & 10th grades. Tuition was $10.00 per month.
In August that year there was discussion of using the print shop as a medical clinic for welfare work. The clinic was equipped to give treatments and by 1933 it was opened. The first report of treatments given was in March 1934: Number of treatments at the clinic 180; in homes 111;and one minor operation performed.
In the steeple at the church was a bell that was rung on Sabbath mornings at 9 o’clock, at 9:30, and 11:00, by Brother Brazelton. But by February 13, 1939 the board voted to remove the bell and the belfry. Perhaps the feeling was that the belfry may not have been structurally safe any longer. The vote was “to remove the bell from the tower and loan it to Eel Rock church if they would like the use of it.” And evidently Eel Rock did want the use of it, because the bell went to Eel Rock for a good number of years. It is now back in our church in Eureka, in the foyer. You may have noticed the picture of the Harris and E Street church with the steeple and the bell inside. This picture is hanging just under the bell.
On August 22, 1933 the church board voted to accept Mrs. Bernice Galusha as part time teacher at $20.00 per month. She was to rent the “cottage,” for $8.00 per month, pay her own water, lights and tuition for her boy - all from the $20.00. Her “boy” was Dudley Galusha. When he grew up, he became a building contractor. Among other things that he is credited with building are Rio Lindo Academy, the Pacific Union College church, and our own Humboldt Bay School.
Dr. N. E. Vredenburg, and his daughter, Betty, had become members here in 1931. His wife had died just at the time of their transfer to the Eureka church.
In 1933 after the Humboldt Academy had shrunk in size and the Administration building was no longer in use, Dr. Vredenburg requested the use of the building to build a sanitarium, and wanted a 20-year lease.
Our pastor at the time, Albert M. Dart, said he would contact the Conference concerning this request. Elder Dart said he would see a lawyer about making out papers for Dr. Vredenburg’s sanitarium. The sanitarium did become a reality, but it was in the Humboldt Academy boys’ dorm, not in the Administration building. This sanitarium operated for about 12 years. In July 1945 it was sold to the Baptists for $4,000.00. Dr. Vredenburg’s second wife was Addie Wright, a nurse, and sister to Annie Cook, whom many of you will remember as a long time member of our church here.
Back to the school again: On January 12, 1935 the church board voted that Brother Brazelton repair the roof on the Administration building, also the school building, which was the building at the back of the school property where the elementary classes were taught. The extent of the expenditure was to be $12.00 and anything over that amount would be raised later.
In 1937 Elder and Mrs. I. P. Dillon from the Sanitarium, California church, and their daughter, Margaret Gibson from the Paradise, California church, transferred to Eureka. Mrs. Dillon and Margaret were both hired to teach at the school.
Teachers’ pay was to be $72.00 per month. It was decided that the janitor work at school would be done by students who couldn’t pay tuition @20 cents an hour. Tuition for the school year 1937-38 per month was as follows:
Grades 1-2 $2.75
Grades 3-4 3.75
Grades 5-6 4.75
Grades 7-8 6.00
Grades 9-10 9.50
The prior girls’ dorm rooms were voted to be rented out at $2.50 per month.
During the summer of 1944 there was discussion about having a union school with Arcata, with a 5-member board. Since Eureka was the larger of the 2 churches, it was thought we should have 3 members and Arcata 2 members on the school board. Evidently this idea didn’t turn out to be feasible, because there was no union school at that time.
The subject of school finances was almost continually before the church and school boards. It seems the parents were always behind in their tuition payments.
The pastors and different members of the boards were often visiting the school families, encouraging them to be more diligent in paying the tuition for their students.
A plan had been created whereby the church members and especially the parents of the students in school, were asked to participate in paying 1 ½% of their income for church and school expense. This was in the middle 1940’s, and the pastor at that time, Elder Charles Hartwick, stated that he wished more members would participate in this plan. But even though the tuition at that time seems low to us, it was a real struggle for many families to come up with the payment each month.