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Eureka Blue Ox Millworks Photos and Information

old wood tools by window
vintage wood working tools
 

Blue Ox Millworks 1 X Street. Eureka, CA 95501 (800)248-4259

 

I haven't been to the Blue Ox Millworks for several years, but remember it fondly when looking at photos from my visit.

 

Several years ago when I saw it, I had just gotten off the plane on an Alaska Airline direct flight from L.A. to nearby McKinleyvillee's Arcata Airport. I rented a car and hit Highway 101, that ribbon of road I'd been on earlier in the morning near my home 1000 miles south. The rain came down and unaccustomed to it, I pulled off the highway at the first Eureka exit I could find.  And, as luck would have it, I was delivered to Blue Ox Millworks, a shop I'd seen on the Internet and felt drawn to. I had to check it out. Like Eureka and the Redwood Coast, there's some mysterious force that makes me want to go there for my soul.

 

Blue Ox Millworks is a labor of love. You can feel it in the wood saws, sawdust, and cobwebs that lovingly wrap themselves around 100-year old unused tools preserved on tables next to windows.

 

Having searched the net and seeing a review one person wrote about  her disappointment when she visited Blue Ox Millworks. Here's what she had to say: "....we wanted to check out the advertised tour of this historic Mill Works & School of Traditional Arts. My husband is a woodworker...he remodeled an old Victorian we used to live in (over 100 years old) so we both were looking forward to seeing the Blue Ox." The writer continues that while a helpful blacksmith showed the couple old lathes, routers and saws, along with demonstrating several, they were quite disappointed that the place seemed very run down. "Just think they would do themselves a great service if they devote some effort to fixing up the grounds and exhibits they have," the account conclude.

 

My conclusion: A guy with a passion has done all he can within his power to save a building, equipment and business that maintains a connection with the local redwood materials and Victorian history of Eureka. His business was in jeopardy of closure due to financial concerns, all while also taking youngsters in and teaching them trades in the woodworking arts. He also formed a radio station for students to broadcast from. I think the owner is extremely creative and as such, cares less about making a profit. I believe he put tours together as a sidebar to his operation (makes custom wood panels and pieces for Victorian houses), because so many people wanted to visit and wander through this museum of sorts. Granted, I've not been there for several years and on my visit, the rain was pouring down. But from my perspective, thank goodness there are people willing to put themselves out there and open their doors. I'd definitely go back again, and I wouldn't mind paying to get in. I highly recommend this place.