History of the Mendocino Coast

Giant Redwood at Montgomery WoodsThe history of the Mendocino Coast can be written in one word: Redwoods. The mighty redwood trees spurred the first developments in the area — lumber mills. The first mill was built in 1850 on the Mendocino Headlands, a decidedly bad location, since it was completely unprotected from the winter storms. After having to rebuild the mill several times due to storms, they abandoned the site and moved up to the mouth of Big River.

The wood from this area was primarily used to build the city of San Francisco as it exploded in growth due to the Gold Rush, and again to rebuild it after the Great Earthquake and Fire in 1906.

Here are some detailed essays on various aspects of local history:




Lost Coast to Fort Bragg

Jackson State Forest • Inland


Caspar • Point Cabrillo • Mendocino

Little River • Albion • Navarro


Elk • Point Arena • Gualala