Samoa Cookhouse Historic Logging Museum - Eureka Travel Guide

Samoa Cookhouse Historic Logging Museum

The Samoa Cookhouse Historic Logging Museum is one of the oldest restaurants in California and the last surviving lumberjack camp style cookhouse in the West. In addition to serving hot meals for breakfast, lunch & dinner, the building also contains a logging museum.

At logging camps, the cook was recognized as one of the most important people. His cooking skills and style created the tone for hard working lumberjacks who burned thousands of calories each day, and longed for something good to eat. Loggers were actually known to leave a camp for better meals. Actual kitchen utensils once used during the 19th-20th century logging era of Samoa includes a stove, pots and pans on exhibit in the Samoa Cookhouse Historic Logging Museum.

The museum houses artifacts from the early logging days as well as implements used in lumber camp kitchens. From old logging boots, saws and machinery to a massive wood-burning stove, the Samoa Cookhouse Historic Logging Museum is a treasure trove of items from the lumber mill and Cookhouse in Samoa. Visitors can sign the guest book in the museum and quickly discover that tourists come from around the globe to enjoy old-fashioned food service and quality meals cooked fresh daily, while learning about the logging history.

Samoa Cookhouse Historic Logging Museum Quick Facts
Open 7 days a week except Thanksgiving and Christmas
Tour groups are welcome.
Across from the Maritime Museum
Serving American (Traditional), Breakfast & Brunch, Diners

Cookhouse & Logging Museum Hours
Breakfast 7am-11am
Lunch 12pm – 3pm
Dinner 5pm-8pm
Sunday breakfast served till noon and lunch till 4pm. During summer, dinner is served till 10pm

Samoa Cookhouse Historic Logging Museum - Eureka Travel Guide

The Samoa Cookhouse and Historic Logging Museum walls are lined with an extensive pictorial review of this history, including the maritime industry.

More about the Samoa Cookhouse Dining

Humboldt County Logging History & the Samoa Cookhouse
Every large or small logging or mill operation in the redwood country had a cookhouse. It was the hub of life in the temporary community, if it was in the woods. If it was located in a substantial settlement, it served as a “community center”. If the cookhouse was set up to serve fifteen or twenty men in a shingle bolt camp, often a woman and her husband, with a helper or two called bullcooks, flunkeys or cookees, handled the cooking and serving. If the boarders numbered in the hundreds, a staff of dozens of men and women carried the demands of the task. “Come and get it!” was a familiar cry heard by millmen and brawney-armed longshoremen at the Hammond Lumber Company cookhouse – now the Louisiana-Pacific Samoa Cookhouse – at the beginning of the century. When “quitting” whistles blew, the men were more ready to sit down to a big meal.

Learn More
Lumbermen and the Whistle-Aware White Logging Horses
Even the big, white horses which drew the three-wheeled lumber carts around the yards were wise to the meaning of the whistles. They stopped in their tracks, refusing to make another move until their harnesses were unbuckled, allowing them to head for the big barn down below the cookhouse, for their oats. Lumbermen worked six days a week, twelve hours a day. They were served three hot meals everyday except for Sunday evenings – a “cold plate” made up of leftovers and cold cuts was served. In 1906, the men spent a small fraction of their one-dollar a day earnings for meals.

By 1922, in the days after World War I, they earned more and could pay more. So, 60 cents a day covered three generous meals. When the big doors of the Samoa Cookhouse were thrown open, the men some were wearing calk (pronounced “cork”) shoes, made a rush for their places at the table. There was no waiting. Each man sat down, took up his steelware – knife, form and spoons and dished up his food and ate all he wanted. He could tell what day of the week it was by the menu. The tables were set “family style” with heaping bowls and platters of food. The men ate heartily until the contents disappeared. As the plates lowered, the waitresses were kept busy rushing to the kitchen and bringing back refills. A good cookhouse never sent a man away saying “I could have eaten more”. The main part of the menu was meat, with potatoes and gravy, and plenty of vegetables.

Samoa Cookhouse Old Dining Hall meals were served at long tables covered with cloth. From 1900 to 1930, it was a busy place. While there were no “reserved seats”, some of the men had places where, through habit, they sat, an no one dared to sit in that place. Now and then a newcomer would sit down and refuse to move, and once in a while there would be a fist fight over the matter.

Up until 1915, the cookhouse management had a steadfast rule which said only single women could be employed. After that time, a few married women were hired. Around the founding year of 1900, and the years after, girls who worked at the Samoa Cookhouse were required to reside in the upstairs dormitory.

Waitresses worked seven days a week for five weeks before earning a “day off”. The “day off” was usually on Sunday. They received $30 a month, including board and room. Each waitress was assigned to four tables, with ten men per table. As many as ten waitresses were employed regularly.

The girls appeared in the cookhouse kitchen at 6am. They set up tables and fed the “early” men. By 7pm they usually completed their day’s work. In the summer, they worked until 9pm in the preparation of vegetables. There was no overtime, but morning and afternoon breaks were permitted.

When longshoremen were loading ships down at the dock, 30 extra tables were set. Even the girls who make the beds in the bunkhouses, where the bachelors lived, came in to assist the waitresses. If the logging train came in from the woods, the girls had to stay and feed the crew.

Directions to Samoa Cookhouse Historic Logging Museum:
Take the Samoa Bridge (Hwy 255) over the Bay from Eureka, then turn left and follow the signs. Only 5 minutes from Eureka.

Location: 511 Vance Ave., Samoa, CA 95564 | (707) 442-1659 | Website | Hours Daily: 8:30am-10:30pm | 3.4 mi from Hotel

Tags: Samoa Cookhouse, Samoa Cook House, Samoa Cookhouse Historic Logging Museum, Eureka Museum, Logging Museum, Humboldt County Logging Muse

Eureka & Humboldt County Museums, Galleries and Historic Sites Guide

Within walking distance, a short hop in your car, or a day-long driving excursion from the Eureka Townhouse Motel, you will a variety of Crescent City Museums, Galleries and Historic Sites to explore. There is much more to Humboldt County than the redwoods and coast that everyone comes to see. Learn about the nearby Eureka Museums, Galleries and Historic Sites nearby in our Eureka travel guide, and find some time to learn about the people and events who settled the area.
View Eureka & Humboldt County Museums

Hotels In Eureka California:
About Eureka Town House Motel

The Town House Motel – Historic Old Town Eureka, is located on the scenic Northern California Coast, home to the world’s tallest redwood trees and miles of stunning coastline. Conveniently located in downtown Eureka, the The Eureka Town House Motel is near historic Old Town, a National Historic District possessing some of the most spectacular Victorian architecture in the nation. The Morris Graves Museum of Art is a few blocks away from the Motel. Humbolt Redwoods State Park, home to the largest contiguous redwood forest in the nation, is 40 miles to the south.

Rooms feature free Wi-Fi and wired internet; wall mounted flat-screen TVs with DISH satellite service and 9 HBO channels. Rooms are equipped with refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee makers. Covered parking is free and dogs are welcome – and ALL calls in the 48 US contiguous states are FREE (local, 1+ and 800).

Town House Motel is rated for the best value in Eureka! Guests get more for their money when compared to other hotels in Eureka. As a result, we have been a top TripAdvisor hotel for years and work very hard to earn your trust and maintain that status. Take a few moments to read our Guest Reviews and see what others have to say.

Eureka Townhouse Motel - Family Owned and Operated
Two Bedroom Queen Suite - Eureka Towhouse Motel
Eureka Townhouse Motel - Your Humboldt County Redwoods HQ

Location, convenience and pricing - score!!!

My first stay at anchor Beach Inn, and I was very impressed with the rooms, the location, the price and the employees. They have view rooms, but mine wasn’t one of those, so no opinions on that. But the room I had was extra clean and spacious and extremely comfortable after a day on the trails in the Redwoods. Their continental breakfast was better than most and was well attended when I went through – THAT always tells you something. GOLDENDALE, WA TRIPADVISOR GUEST
Humbolt County - Eureka Pacific Coast Highway
Two Room Queen Family Suite - Eureka Townhouse Inn
Make Eureka Townhouse Motel your Redwoods HQ

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Go to Top