Humboldt’s Marijuana Museum

Welcome to Humboldt’s Marijuana Museum.  Although Humboldt County is justly famous for its cannabis production, there has been very little done to collect the history of the plant in the area nor to document how prohibition has changed the character of the area and its inhabitants.  This page (and may there soon be more) is an attempt to gather at least a photographic and written record of this very unique slice of history.

Here is a link to the story of the first marijuana grower arrested in Humboldt County.

Anyone wishing to offer photos or other memorabilia may contact me at [email protected]

Here’s to watching stuff grow— be it marijuana or museums.

Posted 11/20/2015: These stickers began showing up this year.

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marijuana code from 1979

See also this article.

41 comments

  • This is so ironic! I dreamed about a So Hum museum just a few weeks ago . . . not just about marijuana, but about homesteading, hippy paraphernalia, photography of crazy hippy dwellings . . . I sincerely hope this happens! Another way to get people to visit the heart of the redwoods 🙂

  • A lady named Teresa Porter, formerly an exec. director at the Humboldt Co. Historical Society, and an owner of the Benbow Inn, wanted to do something big that would include this. She wanted to create a Southern Humboldt history museum, probably in Garberville, with of course a focus on counterculture and pot history, but also including the real old-timey stuff, back to Native times. We spoke about this a year ago or so. She is a person good at accumulating funds and grants–if people got together with her something might happen.

    • Hey, Laura. Hope you are well. Your post lead to a very productive initial meeting between Kym and me. Exciting possibilities and we want you involved. Kindest regards,
      Teresa

      • Thanks Teresa! Keep me in the loop. We are having some exciting news here re: the Mattole Valley Historical Society–i will send you a letter about it– and i don’t know about too much involvement outside my area for now… but you never know, a little way down the road…?

        I will email you the letter re: our news.
        Meantime, i hope all is well with you and yours.
        ~Laura

      • Not sure how long you’ve been an owner in Benbow Inn, but I remember a few years back an “owner” was on KMUD saying how much he hated the marijuana industry. He was saying that he cant keep employees because after a few weeks they meet someone who offers them a job in the “industry”. He said he had to hire traveling, out of country workers.

        At one point Benbow caused a big stink when they asked a breast feeding woman to leave the dining room. The track record doesn’t show Benbow as counterculture loving.

        Jut my thoughts.

        • An old friend was fired from this outfit not all that long ago for failing to pass the management’s “sniff test.” af

      • Kym, I’m curious if your project was ever realized and completed. I would truly have experience, skills and a love of participating in this project if possible. Let me know

      • hey this is awesome to stumble upon and the museum concept at One Log!

    • as I recall, Ms porter disdained the hippy/marijuana culture right up to the day she realized she could make a buck…

      • I’m also seeing an array of comments from others on here in regards to the Benbow Inn being anti-marijuana. It would be nice to see this addressed by the owners.

        If it is indeed true that they have a reputation of being anti-marijuana, yet they are interested in finding a way to profit from it’s history, that’s pretty low.

  • I would love to connect with her about this. It has been a dream of mine for awhile.

  • I would love to connect with her about this. It has been a dream of mine for awhile.

  • Kym, i will send you her email address privately. If she still is interested in seeing this through, i’m sure she won’t mind “going public” with her plan on here.

  • Kym, i will send you her email address privately. If she still is interested in seeing this through, i’m sure she won’t mind “going public” with her plan on here.

  • You should also connect with Pebbles Trippet, she has a copy of a giant coffeetable book put together by locals about the ganja history of Humboldt, including artifacts like turkey bags!

  • You should also connect with Pebbles Trippet, she has a copy of a giant coffeetable book put together by locals about the ganja history of Humboldt, including artifacts like turkey bags!

  • Dani Burkhart, do You by any chance remember the title of this book? Or where it is possible to get a copy of it? It’s of a great interest to me.

    Thank you.

    • The book(s) are titled “Chronic Freedom “. It is awesome and a true work of art. They’re very, very expensive but it’s awesome!

  • I think the idea is lame and underscores why this area will probably never amount to much. We might as well have a beer or hooker museum because those activities have been an integral part of local history from the beginning.

    • wow way to sound like a straight stick in the mud! Do u live in humboldt? If you do, why? If you don’t, why bother commenting on such things. There is a ton of very unique history to this area and people are going to want to know about it in years to come. I mean they have documentaries and reality shows about far less interesting topics. When legalization goes thru this is going to turn into a huge revenue stream for the county and state and there are going to be tourists flocking from all over the country and beyond to see for themselves where it all began. This is a harmless, cool little idea that would be a great way to educate and make some money for people wanting to see the mecca and birthplace of the marijuana industry. sorry that was too long but… a cute little museum about marijuana and the origins of humboldt sounds like an AWESOME idea. They have beer and hookers just about everywhere (thank god jk) theyre not unique to this area at all.

      • ” A Straight Stick In The Mud ” I guess that it is supposed to be an insult but you missed the mark so put the bong down. Outside of the medical uses what is there to celebrate ? ? Your legalisation = jobs is ( surprise. . . . not ) off the mark. Ask any grower, trimmer, transporter, dealer, or home hash maker how great it will be to not have a source of income. How happy will all you pot heads be to pay $ 390 an ounce. Still think it’s a great idea ? If you do I have 10 acre’s on a private road with a water source to sell you.

        • Alcohol was once illegal and smuggled and look now legal and the story and history of alcohol is a big deal…I think it’s same with merijuana I myself don’t smoke it or drink however if people didn’t Humbolt may never have been born..It is top revenue next to logging and logging isn’t so big now…However emerald triangle residents do not want tourist’s not more anyway..no one wants a big flood of people moving in and taking up more beautiful country side…already cut so much redwood only a few small parks of oldest redwoods are.left and that’s kinda sad….imagine cutting one tree down and being able to build a big house with it…or a couple..mabe that’s why in Victorian days everyone’s house was 2345 stories tall some so huge and could afford back then will all the wood and I’m sure weed was there alcohol to.,..always good to know history of a place good or bad the knowledge should be for all and apply everywhere…

  • I second the idea of a beer and hooker museum.

  • I would love to see this museum get back on track. Its an excellent idea!

    • Agreed!

      I also think a brothel and booze museum would be fabulous, this area has a crazy history that is not squeaky clean in the slightest, but it is absolutely fascinating!! Some really great and tragic stories floating around that could be better documented.

  • Pot museum, can we get stoned? 🙂 🙂

  • there is something ironic about Ms Porter wanting to make a buck on the very industry and people she disdained up until she stopped seeing them as dirty hippies and decided to try and cash in…Were I to put my money on a book that would tell the story of the Industry it would not be her’s…..We used to joke about the cannabis museum we would establish after legalization. And we’ve got the stuff. Everything from bags in trees to five plant grows that took an hour to reach crawling much of the way on your hands and knees……The stories are many. So are the carpetbaggers.Be careful with whom you share your stories.

  • once you tell “A” story, to anyone, it is no longer yours, but one they have heard and will re-tell as theirs ,,,,even if it’s about you.

  • You deface your presidential history, yet desire to honor a plant that for decades was criminal.
    Brilliant!!!

  • KATHLEEN RAVEN SURBAUGH

    Hi! I am “one of Humboldt’s first hippies” according to my nephew’s characterization in 1971. I used to go up to Trinidad Patrick’s Point in the late 1950s and meditate sometimes at dawn, sitting on an outcropping overlooking the boiling pale green sea, wishing “people like me” would come into the area to appreciate and be blessed by it. And guess what? They did!
    In 1971, I got a real estate license because I’d concluded that I could either watch the world be chopped into subdivisions and paved over or I could be an active part of making sure those who respect it have a stake in its care. I worked out of a radical real estate office in Berkeley. We were real estate agents for the Black Panthers and facilitated the lease of Congressman Ron Dellum’s house to Angela Davis, among other radical activities. My special area of interest was being a buyer’s agent for those who wanted to do co-housing and cooperative agreements, especially of the forty-acre plots of cut-over parcels in Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt Counties–two-thirds of what became the Emerald Triangle. I wasn’t the only broker who took part in this big movement, but I was a leading proponent–not in it “for the money,” but for the vision of seeing cooperative living become a way of life. I will use a picture of me taken by a client on a real estate discovery excursion we did in about May 1974. We stopped on Bell Springs Road and got out of my TR3 to look out over the mountains that run into the sea when he took this picture. I am a resource for lore and history you can make use of, in support of fleshing out this history of the counter culture! Aho!

  • Kym kemp my grandfather marshalll garst from bridge water va is the one that invented the “turkey bag” for Reynolds aluminum in the 1960s if you need any info hmb

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