The Carl Johnson Co.

Our History

Carl Johnson

The Carl Johnson Company is a name that Humboldt residents know. For over 70 years, our company has been serving the community, just as Carl Johnson intended. Our company began in 1948 when Carl opened a lively and entertaining livestock auction in Eureka as a way to market cattle to buyers. Carl knew that auctions were the best method for fair market value, which proved beneficial for both his company and his community. He never intended to expand his livestock auctions, but his entrepreneurial spirit drove him to expand his business much more throughout the years. 


After he delivered cattle to the Bay Area, Carl realized he could load up his truck and haul something back to Humboldt to sell. And so the furniture and appliance departments were born. This expansion led to many other departments that increased foot traffic, as well as contributed to the success of our company. 

Don and Carolyn Johnson purchasing the company.

His son, Don Johnson, graduated from Reish American School of Auctioneering in 1957 and eventually he and his wife, Carolyn, bought The Carl Johnson Company in 1974. Don continued in his father’s footsteps, taking over the furniture auctions, while his brother-in-law and sister, Rich and Carol Holland, ran the livestock auction until 1998. 

Dave Johnson working at the store.

Don’s two sons, Dave and Dan, started working in the family business before their teen years. Like his father, Dave graduated from Reish American School of Auctioneering in 2012, and he and his wife, Lisa, continue to work at the store to this day. Dave and Lisa continue to modernize the store and uphold cherished family traditions. In the ‘90s, Carolyn and Lisa started the Holiday Open House as a way to bring families together at a magical place to shop during the holidays. This longstanding tradition still brings Humboldt County families together. 

Don, Madison, Carolyn and McLean Johnson.

Don’s grandchildren, McLean, Sydney, Carter, Madison and Jayden have all worked in the store over the years. Dave and his father, Don, still host bi-weekly auctions in the same arena where Carl once sold cattle. Today, we not only hold live auctions every other week, we also carry new and used furniture, appliances with a complete showroom kitchen, metal roofing, wood stoves, pool and spa supplies, mattresses, gifts, and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The list goes on and on!

Carl Johnson

Our family-owned-and-operated business has been a longstanding pillar in the community since the day Carl opened our doors. Our contributions to charities and auctions, and our support for local 4-H and Future Farmers of America members is an important part of our business. We are a business that has maintained a wide spread of merchandise, all while supporting our fellow local businesses and community members. The store’s homey feeling and great customer service are what keep people coming back all these years, and we are fortunate to have such loyal customers.

Thank you for 70 great years!