Eureka is the largest city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon; the county seat of Humboldt County and the metropolitan center of the Redwood Empire. Its deep water harbor on Humboldt Bay was crucial in the exploitation of the tremendous redwood forests of Northern California and Oregon, which were harvested for the growth of San Francisco during and after the 1849 Gold Rush. The wealth generated by this timber trade is amply demonstrated by the hundreds of grand and elaborate houses and mansions in the town, especially the fanciful Carson Mansion. Fishing was and still is an important industry as well. The Old Town section is on the National Registry of Historic Places. The city’s Sequoia Park also preserves a stand of the huge, ancient trees that once blanketed the countryside.