Scotia–Independence Or Up For Sale?

Pacific Lumber Co. employees at Scotia Mill

Scotia is lumbering towards a decision–become an independent community or be sold to the highest bidder.  And the LA Times has a fascinating story about the situation.

That residents could balk at independence might seem surprising in light of the history of the company towns built near coal mines, textile mills and steel factories a century or more ago.

In that era, “company town” often meant corporate tyranny. Employees and their families were quartered in cheap company housing and were typically paid in scrip that could be redeemed only at the overpriced company store. At its worst, the system resembled medieval serfdom.

The labor movement and the automobile helped end many of the estimated 2,500 company towns across America. Some were abandoned, but many evolved into cities of their own.

Lowell, Mass., became a commuter suburb. Hershey, Pa., boasts an amusement park for chocolate lovers. Port Gamble, Wash., a timber town like Scotia, became a tourist destination.

William Stephens, 68, thinks Scotia can have the same happy fate.

The story is informative but the video has breathtaking footage that reminds you why you love Humboldt and a lovely recap of Scotia history. It is a must see.


Photo from the LA Times story.

  • Laytonville Rock


  • Outstanding post and a well written, informative article. Our first awareness of it came from here, Kym. Nice job.

    This is a major development concerning Humboldt. Everyone should read the full article for the details and ramifications of an important issue. August 30 is the date set for a decision by Scotia residents. How will it turn out? One thing does seem certain: the community and face of Scotia will be forever changed, however they vote.

  • Thanks, Kym.
    All of my siblings and myself were born in the Scotia Hospital. Thanks for the nudge to watch and read this article.

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