Samoa Cookhouse, The Last Lumber Camp Cookhouse in the West

The Whistlepunk is the newsletter of the Timber Heritage Association. Their loco barn is at the foot of the hill on top of which is the Samoa Cookhouse, the last surviving lumber camp cookhouse in the West. The April 2008 issue of the Whistlepunk came into my possession quite recently and it contained a very nice article (see below) on “The Lumber Company Cookhouse” which makes special mention of the Samoa Cookhouse.

Page 1 of Article in April 2008 issue of the Whistlepunk

Page 1 of Article in April 2008 issue of the Whistlepunk

Page 2 of Article in April 2008 issue of the Whistlepunk

Page 2 of Article in April 2008 issue of the Whistlepunk

The Samoa Cookhouse is located in Samoa which is a little to the north of Eureka. I have been there several times. I have very vivid memories of my first visit when the American friend I was with insisted I eat just like a logger used to do and ordered me some grits. Even when buried under butter they are truly ghastly and I cannot conceive how those poor loggers ate them with gusto (or so I was told by the waitress).

Samoa Cookhouse, Samoa, CA

Samoa Cookhouse, Samoa, CA

Dining Room at the Samoa Cookhouse

Dining Room at the Samoa Cookhouse

The Samoa Cookhouse walls are covered with pictures of logging “back then” which are a veritable treasure trove of information.

One of the photos on the walls of the Samoa Cookhouse

One of the photos on the walls of the Samoa Cookhouse

There is also a quasi museum at one end of logging artifacts which includes several dragsaws (see yesterdays blog).

Logging artifacts in the Samoa Cookhouse

Logging artifacts in the Samoa Cookhouse

There is also more than one comp machine there. A comp machine is a pre computer adding machine mechancical contrivance for adding up rows/lists of numbers/amounts. I was once paid 30 shillings a week “bonus” because I was able to operate one. This was enough, at the time, for a really good Vindaloo curry and a pint.

Seriously, if you want to eat like a logger this is THE place to go.