Humboldt Principal Meridian
Scotia, CA

This meridian was established due to pressure from land claims in the Humboldt Valley precipitated by the gold rush. It would have taken too long to run the lines north through difficult terrain from Mount Diablo in San Francisco. All 3 PMs in California are located high upon mountain tops. According to Albert White, in hindsight, it probably wasn't necessary or beneficial to make them this difficult to establish. 

Home Page

Submitted by:
John N Shankland








Historical Marker




Scotia CA from partially up the mountain The top of the mountain Foggy view towards the Meridian the next morning

This meridian was difficult to obtain. Gene Holmerud had previously been here and discovered a locked gate and posted property. When I arrived in Fortuna late in the afternoon, I was tired very tempted to bypass this one but decide to push on after dropping off the RV. The weather was clear, not always the case here, so I didn't want to wait until the morning. After making some futile inquires at the lumber company in Scotia I decided to proceed and get as far as Gene had. To my surprise, the gate was open and even though the area was marked no trespassing decided to proceed to see if someone was there I could ask for permission. When I got to the top finding my way via GPS I discovered a bunch of radio antennas on top of Pierce Mountain but no marker. I was a little nervous hoping that no one was locking the gate behind me or upset about me being near all of this important equipment. I was reading Albert White's  book trying to figure where the monument was when I looked up and someone was approaching me. Turns out he was quite friendly. He had an internet business and was up doing some maintenance on his antenna. He knew where the monument was and brought me to it. The next day the mountain was totally socked in by fog.

I revisited this site in the spring of 2009: