The Jacoby plaque is gone from the Plaza

The new look at Eighth and H streets. Photo by KLH | Union

Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union

ARCATA – The metal plaque advertising the Jacoby Building as Historical landmark No. 783 no longer misinforms or offends passersby on the Plaza, because it isn't there any more.

The plaque, now at at the Corp Yard.

Condemned over its crude characterization of events during Arcata's settlement era as "Indian troubles," the plaque, installed June 8, 1963, was removed early Tuesday morning by a crew from Arcata Public Works.

Scott Lackey, street supervisor, and his workers used a chipping hammer to separate the brass alloy plaque from the large granite rock to which it had been affixed with bolts and epoxy. Concerns about damaging the plaque proved groundless, as it survived intact. It now languishes at the city Corp Yard, but may be turned over to the owners of Jacoby's Storehouse as a historical relic.

Below, the obsolescent story appearing in tomorrow's Union.


Public Works removes the plaque as the McKinley statue waits its turn, per the City Council's recent decision.

ARCATA – The week after the City Council voted to remove the statue of William McKinley, the matter seemed anything but settled.

Advocates for removal and retention continued to battle it out on social media, talking as much about each other as the statue itself.

While some pro-McKinley partisans had hoped for a Motion to Reconsider at this week’s City Council meeting, none appears on the agenda.

Lacking council action, the keep-the-statue forces appeared to be coalescing around creation of a petition advocating for a ballot measure to decide the statue’s fate.

Arcata resident David LaRue, who created the “Save Arcata’s Historic McKinley Statue” Facebook page, announced there that “There is a lot of work going on behind the scene and we should all have great optimism that Arcata will get their chance to vote on this issue in November.” But specifics are as yet unknown.

Local postcard collector Steve Lazar has been compiling historical images of the statue. A number of postcards were first available on The Humboldt project website,, but the images were later transferred to his Facebook page.

The Los Angeles Times sent reporter Jaweed Kaleem up to cover the statue controversy, and his is known to have conducted a number of interviews. But as of Monday, no story had yet been published.

American Legion Post 274 is exploring the possibility of accepting the statue once it is removed from the Plaza, but action on that regard was tabled pending further discussion among members and consultation with the Arcata Veterans Memorial Building’s neighbors (see story, pages A1 and A2).

Meanwhile, action to remove and replace the Jacoby Building historic landmark plaque from the corner of Eighth and H streets was proceeding with dispatch.

City of Arcata Senior Planner Alyson Hunter said that city workers had assessed the logistics of plaque removal, and could attempt a Plaza plaque-ectomy as soon as Tuesday of this week, and hopefully before Friday. 

She said the workers had said it would be “not too hard to remove without damaging it,” but that it might take more than one day to accomplish.

Jacoby’s Storehouse managing co-owner Bill Chino said the plaque vendor had told him that a replacement with roughly the same number of words will cost about $2,675. That’s well within his initial ballpark estimate.

The replacement wording would be developed with the Historic Landmarks Committee in consultation with local historians and local Indian tribes.


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