At Blue Ox bare logs undergo a transformation to become quality custom woodworking for homes around the United States. From the circular sawmill, to the handmade stains and varnishes, discover the process of creating masterpieces at the Blue Ox Millworks Historic Park. Here, you may catch craftsmen milling logs, running molders, making scrollwork, turning wood columns, making stains, or even working in our fully functioning blacksmith shop. Other trades are on site and depending on the season you may find potters, plaster workers, or even book binders.
(Above) The Blue Ox Millworks offices are housed in the old North Mountain Power Company building. This building, built in 1904 was once home to Eureka's trolleys, and also spent time as a boatworks before being purchased by Blue Ox in the 1970s.
Antique woodworking machinery from the 1800s and early 1900s is used in the production of custom millwork in our main woodworking building, sawmill building and molder building.
Come see the world's largest functioning collection of human powered equipment from Barnes Manufacturing, one of the most efficient manufacturers of human powered tools in the 1800s.
Ornamental iron work is produced in the blacksmith shop as well as hardware such as nails and bolts. Items necessary for repairs of our antique machinery are made in the blacksmith shop and machine shop. For a schedule of blacksmith classes, see our Class Schedule
Local clays are utilized in our ceramics studio to create experimental glazes using formulas from the 1400s. Students from our school use these to make their own pottery and tiles. For a slight fee, interested tour groups can schedule a ceramics workshop and make their own decorative tile. For more information about ceramics workshops, send an email to email@example.com
Our shop has also been recently expanded with the addition of a full ceramic slip-casting studio. Thank you to our many dedicated donors who have helped to make the expansion possible.
Upstairs in our main building, tourists can explore a functioning apothecary shop where we make our own custom stains and varnishes, and our plaster shop where custom molds are built to duplicate festoons, ceiling medallions, capitals and more. Also check out our compo press, an experiment using old world recipes thought to be lost during the second world war.
Our antique printing presses are still used by our students to print their yearbooks. Tourists can peak into the shop, see drawers of antique type, paper cutters so large that they can cut through stacks of phone books, and if they are lucky they might even see our 1890's press in operation.
The skid camp is a re-creation of the old logging camps featuring a cook shack, bunkhouse and theatre. The buildings were built on sleds so that they could be pulled to the new logging sites by ox teams or steam donkeys. They were the first “mobile homes!”
The cook shack area also features an authentic earthen oven, constructed for the Blue Ox from the students at Humboldt State University, utilizing technology that is over two thousand years old. For more information about the construction and use of the earthen oven, click here.
Unfortunately you can't order a meal in our cafe, but you can stroll inside and see where our students can their own food. Kick back by our cook stove and peruse the brochures of other attractions in Humboldt County. Don't forget to sign our guest book.
Babe and Blue are Belgian Blue oxen trained to work together in yoke. Now fully grown, they weigh 2,400 lbs. each and stand well over 5 feet tall. Thank goodness they are gentle giants! These two are the corner piece of a full collection of animals, including horses, geese, birds, cats, and the friendliest dogs you will ever meet.