Carl Higgins Dies in Car Accident

Yarding Out Logs with Donkey Engine, 1890-1895. Photo taken between Camp 3 and 4 on the Noyo River. Carl Higgins is in front on the right, running the donkey engine. (Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

December 12, 1927 – Carl Higgins, foreman of Mendocino Lumber Company’s Northfork logging camp, was killed in a single car accident at “Danger Turn,” a twisty section of roadway north of Jack Peters Creek. Many accidents occurred on the sharp turns of this very dangerous road.

Carl had spent the previous day with his family at their home in Fort Bragg and left about 4:30 am to drive to his work in the Mendocino woods. When he reached the north side of “Danger Turn,” his car veered off the roadway, crashed through a small fence near the edge of the bluff, and plunged 75 feet to the rocky beach of a small cove.

Faulty steering equipment was determined to be the cause of the crash. Investigators examined the steering gear on the wrecked car and found that a nut and bolt had come off the steering column prior to the accident.

Born in Ukiah in 1879, Carl began his career in the logging industry shortly after he finished school, working for the Union Lumber Company in Fort Bragg and the Northwestern Redwood Company in Willits. In 1925, Mendocino Lumber Company hired him to run the Northfork Camp on Big River. The Beacon noted that he was well-respected by all, “His employers rated him as a highly competent and trustworthy employee. The men under his supervision always relied upon his judgment and he worked at all times to promote the maximum of safety in his hazardous occupation; never asking a man to assume a position that he would not be willing to undertake himself.”

Funeral services were held on December 15, and he was buried in Rose Memorial Park Cemetery in Fort Bragg.

The Kelley House relies on the generous support of its community, which has helped us get through this difficult year. Donations of any amount are always welcome.