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Postcards Mendocino
about mendocino
Mendocino, the only town on the California Coast that is designated as an Historical Landmark. Established in the 1850's, the architecture is reminiscent of Maine with its grand Victorians and quaint Saltbox cottages. First thing you'll notice after the gorgeous coastline; is that flowers grow lush and many of the Mendocino Inns offer beautiful gardens to enjoy. Mendocino is a photographers paradise, everywhere you look there is another picture postcard waiting to be snapped. From crashing waves and old-fashioned water towers to flower covered picket fences and sandy beaches - just some of the magic that makes Mendocino unique.
Mendocino enjoys a cool summer Maritime Mediterranean climate. Summer days may be cooled by fog, while highs average in the upper sixties and lows in the fifties. Winters rarely, if ever, see frost or snow, due to close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Mendocino averages about 43 inches of rain per year concentrated mainly in fall, winter, spring, and early summer. As of the 2010 United States Census shows Mendocino had a population of 894.
Pt. Cabrillo Lighthouse

HISTORY of MENDOCINO
The picturesque village we know today as Mendocino, was created by accident (actually shipwreck). In 1851, a merchant ship called the Frolic hit rocks and run aground near today's Caspar. Jerome Ford came to the area to find the wreck and salvage its cargo. By the time he arrived the local Pomo Indians had already found and removed anything salvageable. But Ford recognized the true treasure; lush Redwood forests.
Ford House Museum
Ford returned to San Francisco, happy to tell entrepreneur, Henry Meiggs about his discovery. Meiggs purchased a sawmill and a ship to deliver it from the East Coast. Jerome Ford, now a partner in this business venture, drove cattle up the Mendocino Coast, arriving on June 17, 1852. Ford went about staking out lands around present day Mendocino, sharing the land with a shipwreck survivor, William Kasten. Their mill set-up at Big River yielded 1 billion board-feet of timber during its 50-year run. Almost all of which was used to build San Francisco, and rebuild it again after the Great Earthquake and Fire in 1906.
jessica fletcher


Originally named Meiggsville after Henry Meiggs. Many of the early settlers were New Englanders, Portuguese from the Azores and immigrants from China, who built a Taoist temple in the town, currently preserved as one of the oldest Chinese temples in California.
Kwan Tai Temple


During the depression and well into the 1950's Mendocino's economy declined and so did the population. The revitalization of the town began in the late 1950s with the founding of the Mendocino Art Center by artist Bill Zacha.

Most of the town was added to the National Register of Historic Places listings in Mendocino County, California in 1971 as the Mendocino and Headlands Historic District. Mendocino Presbyterian Church on Main Street, dedicated on July 5, 1868, is one of the oldest continuously-used Protestant churches in California, and is designated as California Historical Landmark #714. In addition, the Temple of Kwan Tai on Albion Street, California Historical Landmark #927, may be as old as 1854 and is one of the oldest Chinese houses of worship in California.
Whale Watching


Even if you haven't been to Mendocino yet, chances are you have seen Mendocino. Many movies have been filmed in Mendocino County, including Dying Young, The Russians Are Coming; Overboard (Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg); The Dunwich Horror; The Karate Kid, Part III; Dead & Buried; Forever Young; Same Time Next Year; Racing with the Moon (Skunk Train in Fort Bragg); Pontiac Moon; and The Majestic (also partially filmed in Fort Bragg). Mendocino was depicted as turn-of-the-20th-century Monterey in the James Dean classic East of Eden, and it served as a New England resort town in Summer of '42 (the latter film featuring numerous local Mendocino High School students as extras).
postcards fort bragg


However, the TV series Murder, She Wrote has had the largest impact on the community. Murder, She Wrote was set in the fictional town of Cabot Cove, Maine. Nine episodes of the 264-episode program were filmed in Mendocino, while exterior shots throughout Mendocino were used in the remaining episodes. The program was broadcast for 12 seasons, from September 1984 until May 1996, and won many awards.
postcards fort bragg


Local residents looked forward to the yearly filming, hoping to be chosen to play background parts. A lucky few were cast for speaking roles. Poet, playwright and actor Lawrence Bullock cites being cast in a speaking role as a "Townsperson" in the episode "Indian Giver" as giving him eligibility to join the Screen Actors' Guild. Locals Linda Pack, James Henderson and others were also cast in speaking roles. The main character Jessica Fletcher's home in the series is actually a bed and breakfast in Mendocino Village."

While scenes were being filmed in Mendocino, it was common to see Angela Lansbury, who played Jessica Fletcher, stop to speak with a toddler, or for Tom Bosley to sign his autograph on a Glad Bag box presented by a shopper stepping out of the local grocery store.
postcards fort bragg

Murder, She Wrote also brought in more money to the town due to increased tourism  by some estimates, around $2,000,000. The local high school band appeared in one of the episodes and received enough money from the appearance to go on a band trip.
postcards fort bragg

Mendocino is also the home of the Mendocino Film Festival which was first held in May 2006. Because the area is a haven for artists, the festival honors them with a special "artist category", in addition to the documentary, feature and short film categories.
postcards fort bragg
Fort Bragg on Mendocino Coast
Fort Bragg is a rustic seaside town with a working fishing harbor, beautiful State Parks on the beach and in the redwood forests. You'll find a great selection of interesting shops, everything from grocery stores to stylish boutiques. Fort Bragg is best known for the Skunk Train, it's an old Time Train that takes you on a redwood forest journey without having to hike. Just south of Fort Bragg, on the ocean side of Hwy 1, is a "Must See" for any flower lover, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens are the only oceanfront botanical gardens in America.

FORT BRAGG HISTORY
In the summer of 1857, First Lieutenant Horatio G. Gibson, established a military post to maintain order on the Indian Reservation, located approximately one and one-half miles north of the Noyo River. Naming it Fort Bragg, after his former commanding officer Captain Braxton Bragg, officially on June 11, 1857. The military post was short-lived, by 1867 the reservation and outpost at Fort Bragg were abandoned. In 1869, the land of the reservation was returned to the public and offered for sale at $1.25 per acre to settlers. Within two years, small lumber mills were being built at the mouth of every creek. Ranches were settled. By 1873 Fort Bragg had an established lumber port at Noyo.

The Fort Bragg Railroad was founded to haul logs to the mill. The first rails were run up Pudding Creek and in 1887 reached Glen Blair. A San Francisco streetcar was purchased to carry loggers and their families on Sunday excursions into the woods.

Creature comforts and staples like sugar and coffee were delivered by steamship. In 1905 the California Western Railroad and Navigation Company was formed and plans were pushed to get the rail line all the way to Willits, where train connections to the Northwestern Pacific would link to San Francisco.
Postcards Little River
Then the great quake of 1906 struck, starting a fire that threatened the saw mill and the city. The downtown fire burned the entire block bordered by Franklin, Redwood and McPherson Streets, plus the west side of Franklin. The west Franklin block burned down to approximately one half a block beyond the intersection of Redwood and Franklin. Within Fort Bragg, all brick buildings were damaged. Only two were not destroyed completely. Many frame houses were knocked off their piers.

Within 12 months following the earthquake, most downtown reconstruction was completed. Ironically, the earthquake brought real prosperity to Fort Bragg as the mills furnished lumber to rebuild San Francisco, and the lumber ships returning from San Francisco were ballasted with bricks used for rebuilding Fort Bragg. With the new prosperity, the rail line to Willits was completed and in 1912 the first tourists came to Fort Bragg. By 1916 Fort Bragg had become a popular place to visit - and to settle.
Commercial fishing has also played an important role in the economic base of the community. Once a major commercial fishing port, Fort Bragg was well known for producing quality fish products that were distributed to major metropolitan markets.

The emergence of the City of Fort Bragg as a diverse residential, recreational and growing commercial area had begun and the city was on the path to becoming what it is today. The Guest House Museum is the repository of artifacts and records telling the story of Fort Bragg.
Postcards Albion Elk
Little River in Mendocino
Little River has an unique attraction in its Van Damme State Park. There are three distinct parts to this park; the beach is a favorite for kayaking and abalone divers. The east portion of the park features a paved trail through picturesque towering redwoods that progresses into a hiking trail that loops through a pygmy forest. The nutrient-poor, highly acidic clay hardpan soil that is found at this level of the Mendocino Coast terrain is relatively inhospitable. As a result, the trees are dwarfed; some mature trees are barely waist-high even though they are hundreds of years old.
The town is home to several hundred people and takes its name from nearby Little River. The town center sits on a scenic bluff overlooking the mouth of Little River and hosts a grocery store, two gas pumps, a post office, and a restaurant within a single structure. The population was 117 at the 2010 census.
Little River was first settled by Lloyd and Samuel Bell, and the Moore Brothers. Shortly after, in 1856, W.H. Kent purchased the Bell tract and until 1862 the place was known as Bells Harbor and Kents Landing. In that year Ruel Stickney, Silas Coombs, and Tapping Reeves built a mill here, which provided the stimulus for the formation the town of Little River. This coastal mill town grew with the success of the mill so that eventually a schoolhouse, post house, shipyard, hotels, stores and blacksmith shops all established themselves here. Little River prospered in a similar way to many other towns on the Mendocino Coast until the nearby inland timber stands faltered. The Little River mill closed in 1893. The loss of the mill shrunk the town and since that time it has served mainly as a travelers destination due to its beaches and Van Damme State Park, which the Little River runs through.
Postcards South Coast

The quaint villages of Albion and Elk, are found on either side of where Hwy 128 meets the Pacific Ocean. Travel south on Hwy 1 from 128, until you discover the offbeat village of Elk. It's a lively close-knit community and one of the most pleasant oceanfront hideaways you'll ever find. This charming hamlet is perched high above the Pacific Ocean on sparsely populated scenic bluffs. Albion is North of Hwy 128. Named in 1844, referencing Sir Francis' Drake naming the Northern California Coast New Albion. The ancient word for Britain, which stems from the Latin word albus, meaning white, referring to the White Cliffs of Dover.
In 1845, Mexico awarded English sea captain William A. Richardson a large land grant, encompassing the land between the present-day towns of Elk and Mendocino. Captain Richardson had partly earned this prize by marrying the daughter of the Mexican Commandant of Yerba Buena (present-day San Francisco). Unfortunately, the U.S. Land Commission refused to recognize his Mexican title. The sawmill he established, continued to operate for over the next 75 years. By 1861 a hotel, livery stable, and mercantile store were also in operation. Miles Standish (a direct descendant of the famous pilgrim) and Henry Hickey purchased the lumber company in 1891. Southern Pacific Railroad bought the operation in 1907 in order to provide redwood ties for railroads they were building in Mexico. They expanded the small logging railroad in the area, extending lines inland to Comptche and the deep end of Anderson Valley. The mill eventually closed down in 1928, and the Fort Bragg and Southeastern Railroad halted operation in 1930.
Elk was originally called "Greenwood" after early homesteaders, the Greenwood brothers, sons of mountain man Caleb Greenwood, one of the rescuers of the Donner Party. When the post office was opened, in 1887, there was already another Greenwood in California so it was called Elk Post Office. Eventually the name came to refer to the town. It is an outgrowth of an earlier town called Cuffy's Cove and the cemetery is located at that townsite 1 mile (2 km) north of Elk. When pioneer lumberman Lorenzo White was unable to reach a satisfactory deal with the owners of the lumber chutes at Cuffy's Cove to ship out his redwood product, he constructed a wharf out along a string of rocks in the center of what is now Elk. When he built a large steam sawmill and 3-foot (90-cm) gauge railroad, the new employment drained the town of Cuffy's Cove which was eventually abandoned. The sawmill was producing 80,000 board feet of lumber per day by 1890. The mill was sold to Goodyear Redwood Company in 1916. Elk River Company took over the sawmill when Goodyear went bankrupt in 1932. The local redwood lumber industry economy collapsed when the uninsured sawmill burned in 1936.

Another sawmill was built in about 1953 and one more in 1963. These operated until the late 1960s when the redwood and Douglas fir was mostly logged out. After some quiet times, the town has had a rebirth as a recreation destination. Many of the larger old houses are now Bed & Breakfast inns and the State has acquired the Greenwood Creek beach and the original mill site as a state park.
Postcards Wine Country
Gualala, Pt Arena & Sea Ranch
Even residents can't agree on how to pronounce their town's name. Most of the old timers and locals say "Wah-Lah-Lah". This area is appropriately named because of the Gualala River that flows majestically into the pacific ocean creating a wide river mouth. Gualala is the Native American word for "water coming down place" and located in the south coast of Mendocino.

"Gualala" was the name given to the site of today's Gualala by the Pomo indigneous people. The name comes from ah kha wa la lee. The literal translation is "coming down water place", or less literally, "riverside," or "where the river meets the sea."

Gualala is located on the Rancho German Mexican land grant received by Ernest Rufus in 1846. The American settlement of Gualala was first established by the construction of a hotel, saloon and a lumber mill in the 1860s. The first post office opened in 1862. Logging the local redwood trees became especially profitable after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, when huge amounts of lumber were needed to rebuild the city.

The Del Mar Landing State Marine Reserve lies onshore, about two miles south of Gualala. Like an underwater park, this marine protected area helps conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.

Point Arena is built around a small natural inland harbor, and is located about a mile and a half (1.5 km) south of the actual Arena Point, a narrow peninsula jutting around 1/3 mile (800 m) into the Pacific Ocean. This is the location of the Point Arena Lighthouse, at 115 feet (34.5m) the tallest lighthouse on the West coast of the United States. The lighthouse is also the closest location on the mainland (excluding Alaska) to Honolulu, Hawaii at a distance of 2,045 nautical miles (2,353 statute miles) or 3,787 kilometers.

Mendocino Wine Country begins about 90 miles north of San Francisco in the inland valleys of Mendocino County. Due to the varied terrain and expansive range of micro climates, Mendocino is able to produce an impressive variety of grapes that create superior wines. Within the quaint towns that dot Mendocino's Wine Country, you'll discover charming B&B's, award-winning restaurants, micro-breweries and friendly tasting rooms.
Mendocino Wine Country begins about 90 miles north of San Francisco in the inland valleys of Mendocino County. Due to the varied terrain and expansive range of micro climates, Mendocino is able to produce an impressive variety of grapes that create superior wines. Within the quaint towns that dot Mendocino's Wine Country, you'll discover charming B&B's, award-winning restaurants, micro-breweries and friendly tasting rooms.

Mendocino Image
GO WINETASTING
GO WINE
TASTING

TAKE ATRAIN RIDE
TAKE A
TRAIN RIDE

FUN STUFFFOR KIDS
FUN STUFF
FOR KIDS

DOG FRIENDLYHOTELS
DOG FRIENDLY
HOTELS

OCEANFRONT BOTANICAL GARDENS
OCEANFRONT
BOTANICAL GARDENS

MENDOCINOBEACHES
MENDOCINO
BEACHES

GO GOLFING
GO GOLFING

HUG A REDWOODTREE
HUG A REDWOOD
TREE

GET MARRIED
GET MARRIED

FISHINGADVENTURES
FISHING
ADVENTURES

GETPAMPERED
GET
PAMPERED

MENDOCINOLIGHTHOUSES
MENDOCINO
LIGHTHOUSES

GOKAYAKING
GO
KAYAKING

LIVETHEATER
LIVE
THEATER

MENDOCINOART GALLERIES
MENDOCINO
ART GALLERIES

VICHY SPRINGSB&B and COTTAGESNaturally Carbonated Baths
VICHY SPRINGS
B&B and COTTAGES
Naturally Carbonated Baths

NEARBY
NEARBY
MENDOCINOVILLAGE
MENDOCINO
VILLAGE

FORT BRAGG
FORT BRAGG

LITTLE RIVER
LITTLE RIVER

SOUTHERN MENDOCINO COAST
SOUTHERN MENDOCINO COAST

MENDOCINO WINE COUNTRY
MENDOCINO
WINE COUNTRY

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CRAB & WINE FESTIVAL
CRAB &
WINE FESTIVAL

MENDOCINOWHALE FESTIVAL
MENDOCINO
WHALE FESTIVAL

HOPLAND PASSPORT WINE FESTIVAL
HOPLAND PASSPORT WINE FESTIVAL

MENDOCINOFILM FESTIVAL
MENDOCINO
FILM FESTIVAL

MENDOCINO4TH of JULY
MENDOCINO
4TH of JULY

MENDOCINOMUSIC FESTIVAL
MENDOCINO
MUSIC FESTIVAL

MENDOCINO GUITAR FESTIVAL
MENDOCINO GUITAR FESTIVAL

PAUL BUNYANDAYS
PAUL BUNYAN
DAYS

WINESONG
WINESONG

STUDIO DISCOVERY TOUR
STUDIO DISCOVERY TOUR

MENDOCINO BEER, WINE and MUSHROOM FESTIVAL
MENDOCINO BEER, WINE and MUSHROOM FESTIVAL




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