1 Citywide, bail bondsmen alone outnumber bait-and- tackle shops, Starbucks and travel agencies.
2 It is a crime to ride one’s bike in exactly two locations in town, one of which — Henderson Center — is home to the city’s largest bicycle store; bikes lacking a city- issued license tag can result in a $100 fine. (These laws are seldom, if ever, enforced.)
3 Longitudinally, Eureka is situated slightly north of New York City … and slightly south of Chicago. Yet, unlike these other cities, it seldom snows in the Victorian seaport.
4 Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger launched his 2006 re- election campaign here, explaining his strategy to start “at the top of the state” and work his way down. (According to maps, Eureka is 100-plus miles from the Oregon border — the geographical “top” of the state.)
5 Throughout most of the 1960s, Eureka lacked a pizzeria, but was home to a Sambo’s Restaurant, named after a cartoon character that is pejorative of black Americans.
6 Danica Patrick learned the sport of race car driving under the tutelage of her older sister, Eureka’s own Wendy “Sativa” Patrick. Sativa got her start training Danica — the most successful female race car driver in history.
7 Before 1959 it was illegal for individuals of Chinese ethnicity to be within city limits.
8 It takes an astounding 16 degrees to get from Kevin Bacon to Eureka:1) Kevin Bacon “Flatliners” Julia Roberts.2) Julia Roberts “Pretty Woman” Richard Gere. 3) Richard Gere “Chicago” Renee Zellweger. 4) Renee Zellweger “The Bachelor” Chris O’Donnell. 5) Chris O’Donnell “Vertical Limit” Bill Paxton. 6) Bill Paxton “Twister” Helen Hunt. 7) Helen Hunt “Castaway” Tom Hanks. 8) Tom Hanks “Forrest Gump” Gary Sinise. 9) Gary Sinise “Open Season” Ashton Kutcher. 10) Ashton Kutcher (married to) Demi Moore. 11) Demi Moore (formerly married to) Bruce Willis. 12) Bruce Willis “The Fifth Element” Gary Oldman. 13) Gary Oldman “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” Cary Elwes. 14) Cary Elwes “The Princess Bride” Fred Savage. 15) Fred Savage “The Wizard” Beau Bridges. 16) Beau Bridges’ father Lloyd Bridges built and owned the Lloyd Building in downtown Eureka.
9 In the 1970s CalTrans decided that U.S. Highway 101 would bypass Eureka, buying up all property within the three possible bypass routes. Fearful that less vehicle traffic would doom downtown businesses, locals successfully fought off the proposal. To this day, CalTrans owns dozens of unwanted parcels throughout town.
10 An informal study conducted by mail carriers in the 1950s found that rhododendrons grew in nearly 70% of Eureka properties. Bees that pollinate the flower-abundant plant produce honey known for its hallucinogenic properties.
11 It is a crime to discharge a slingshot in Eureka — even if it’s a toy!