Myers Flat, elevation 196 feet, population 200, is a colorful village built along the South Fork of the Eel River, in the heart of the Avenue of the Giants. It is located right off the 101 at the entry to Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The area was known as Kunteltcobetlto by the Lolangkok tribe. It was purchased during the Gold Rush by Elias and Andrew Myers from a pair of earlier settlers, for $1,000.
The flat's humus-rich soil was tilled and tended by the Myers family, and soon boasted bountiful orchards and flower gardens. Elias' son, Ulysses S. Grant Myers, eventually took over the property, planting 700 apple trees, 300 pear trees, sweet potatoes and corn. He and his wife Mattie also had hogs, chickens, and dairy products. Inside the lobby of the Myers Inn, there's an 1887 scroll from the Mechanics Institute of San Francisco that acknowledges the ranch's bountiful "Display of Fruitland Vegetables."
It was a rather remote outpost, but travel was beginning to increase through what was then known simply as "Myers," and the family decided to build a hotel which could serve as a resort and way station of the stage line. Today that hotel is the Myers Inn. Its airy and spacious verandas combined with the style of the frontier to produce an unusually striking architecture.
When her husband died in 1937, Mattie subdivided part of the ranch, and the stagecoach stop grew into a more complete community. Now there are antique stores, a grocery store, a laundromat, and a gourmet restaurant. It is a few hundred feet to the drive-through tree and gift shop.
The Myers family partriarchs are buried in the nearby family cemetery. First of all, there is Grant "Pappy" Myers. His father, Elias Myers, founder of the town, named his son after his personal hero. His son's whole name was "Ulysses S. Grant Myers," named after President and Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, who visited the area.
Grant Myers, in turn, named his children after his personal heroes. His son's tombstone reads "Leslie R. Myers." But his real name wasn't "Leslie;" that's just the name he went by. His real was "Lesser R. Myers," and the "R" stood for "Roosevelt." His real name was "Lesser Rosevelt Myers," named in honor of the famous American, Teddy Roosevelt.
His daughter's gravestone is labeled "Vada C. Jennings." Her maiden name was Vada C. Myers, but "Vada" was just her nickname. She was named after a family friend, a woman who was in turn named after the state of Nevada. So her real name was "Nevada C. Myers."
Now, we'll give you a minute to figure out what the "C" stood for. (Hint: She was born on California Admissions Day. That's right, her real name was Nevada California Myers. She's one of the two women pictured sitting on the horse.)
So there you have the early Myers family tree: Ulysses S. Grant Myers, Lesser Teddy Roosevelt Myers, and Nevada California Myers. There's a certain charm to it, don't you think?