1918 was a year when there were PLENTY of Salmon in Fort Bragg, CA.

How do I know this? well, there was a snippet in the local – the Advocate – that told me so:

The salmon mild cured at Noyo last winter were recently put on the New York market and sold at a top-notch figure, being pronounced an exceptionally high grade.”  So sayeth the February 13th, 1918 Fort Bragg Advocate.

Noyo was a community and a mill located mostly on the flat of the Noyo River. In 1858 Henry Weatherby and Alexander MacPherson, the owners and builders of the Albion mill built a mill on the flat of the Noyo River. In the winter of 1858 the mill site was flooded making an almost new start necessary in the spring of 1859. The machinery came in by sailing vessel and was landed onto a barge from the ship. The barge had to wait for a high tide to get the machinery to the mill site.  The mill built one of the earliest railroads which hauled logs from Pudding Creek to the Noyo River. The railroad ran along what is now Harrison Street in Fort Bragg.

Pictorial History of the Six Bridges that have crossed the Noyo River, Fort Bragg, CA

I think I am correct in saying that there have been six bridges over the Noyo. It has taken a while but I think I now have pictures of all of them:

First Bridge

First bridge - 1870 picture of bridge over the Noyo River.

First bridge – 1870 picture of bridge over the Noyo River

Second Bridge

Third Bridge

1928 Aerial photo of 3rd A-Frame Noyo bridge

1928 Aerial photo of 3rd A-Frame Noyo bridge

Fourth Bridge

Fifth Bridge

Sixth and Present Bridge

A ghost at The Lodge at Noyo River, Noyo just south of Fort Bragg, CA??????

This blog is NOT about the Noyo River Tavern. The Noyo River Tavern was at Northspur. The Lodge at Noyo River is on a point above the Noyo River.

In its heyday in the 1860’s there were three lumber mills operating full time at Noyo on what is now called Noyo flats. It was a bustling community with three hotels, numerous saloons and assorted merchants. On the bluff above Noyo harbor sits the Lodge at Noyo River. The Lodge has been in operation since 1868 until its recent closure for renovations.

Alexander MacPherson, a young Scotsman living in San Francisco was the first to build a logging mill on Noyo Flats. During the construction of the mill he built a home on “Stony Point” and moved his family in. Some say he chose the spot so that he could count the logs from his window as the floated down river. His home has become the Lodge at Noyo River.

In 1908, Mr. Henry Holmes, another gentleman who made his living in the woods, purchased the property. Mr. Holmes was Superintendent of Woods for Charles R. (C.R.) Johnson’s ULC, the Union Lumber Company (then owner of the California Western Railroad – the “Skunk”). He was very likely the highest paid salaried man in the area.

The ULC was in the process of purchasing all the smaller independent mills for consolidation into one large mill on the two mile long property he owned in Fort Bragg. With the closure of the mills on Noyo flats the town moved to Fort Bragg.

Mr. Holmes remodeled and added on the Noyo River House. A photo of the Holmes family enjoying the patio shortly after the completion of the renovation can be found in one of the hallways. The remodeling installed beautiful board and batten redwood paneling on walls and ceilings the inn. The Scandinavian shipwrights working as carpenters used the finest wood such as choice heartwood fir and clear redwood to create what locals believe to be one of the oldest and finest buildings in Noyo/Fort Bragg.

Main Lodge Building

Main Lodge Building

Now comes the ???????? part. I was told that ghost haunts the Lodge. To say the least I was VERY, VERY skeptical – I am an accountant and we have ice in our veins. This accountant though, is VERY curious. So of he goes trolling the ‘net and what does he find on a site called, “Legends of America”:

Today, it is said to be haunted by an unfortunate honeymoon couple who lost their lives in a car accident near the hotel. Immediately after the accident, the groom was said to have been heard crying for help just outside the lodge, an image that continues to replay itself today. His bride, dressed all in red is said to pace within the lodge. Other strange occurrences also occur including the sounds of ghostly voices and laughing, and well as lights that mysteriously turn on and off by themselves.”

So I thought I might talk my long-suffering wife to spend a night there as a test. Alas, she tells me it is still closed for renovations. Bummer!!!!!

Anybody stayed at the Lodge and met the ghost?

 

Whale Watching off of Noyo River, Fort Bragg, CA

Believe me  – this blog is awesome.

Migrating whales pass by the Mendocino Coast beginning in December and end in May.  The only place along the Mendocino Coast that you can go out to sea to see the whales “up close” is on a boat whose home port is Noyo Harbour, Fort Bragg. Last week the “buzz” in town was that there were “lots” of whales to be seen. So, our emeinent Club member/website guru Roger Thornburn and his lovely wife, Nancy, took to the briny. As you’ll see in a mo’ Roger is also a very accomplished photographer ‘cos his pics are just AWESOME.

Breach

Breach

Seals

Seals

Fluke

Fluke

Fluke

Fluke

Mother and calf

Mother and calf

Fluke sequence

Fluke sequence

Breach sequence

Breach sequence

Thanks Roger.

If you want more info on whale watching near Fort Bragg check out the bottom of this page.

 

Fishing from Noyo Harbour over the years

From the days when the Pomo lived on the banks of the Noyo until the depletion of the fishing stocks the lower reaches of the Noyo provided the only harbour between San Francisco and Eureka big enough to moor a sizable fleet of fishing boats. I have been slowly assembling a collection of photos depicting the Noyo fishing fleet over the years:

[Double click on one of the photos and it will enlarge]

Club member and unofficial mayour of Noyo Dusty Dillion has been kind enough to share these photos of the fishing operations on the Noyo:

 

Loading lumber in Noyo Harbour (Fort Bragg, CA.)

Whilst the Union Lumber Company (ULC) loaded lumber off of the 580 foot long pier in Soldier Bay off of Fort Bragg lumber was also loaded “under the wire” off of the cliff on the north side of the Noyo River. Here’s the pics we have collected showing loading in progress:

Noyo Harbour

Double click on the photos to see the writing on them.

GuestHouse11

909 Bark British Yeoman being loaded under the wire in Noyo Harbour

1909 Bark British Yeoman being loaded under the wire in Noyo Harbour

Watching loading

Watching loading

Noyo Harbour Aerial Views

Thanks to club member Dusty Dillon and others I have assembled an interesting sequence of aerial views of Noyo Harbour. The pics cover over 50 years. Click on a photo to enlarge it.

1865, 1873, 1876, 1889, 1897,1910, 1994 and 2007 Maps of Noyo and old pictures of Noyo

Thanks to club member and muqquomp of Noyo harbour, Dusty Dillion we have some very interesting maps of Noyo. First is the 1865 map:

1865 map of mouth of the Noyo River

1865 map of mouth of the Noyo River

At the top of the 1865 map you can see the location of the Richardson mill -built by George Hegenmeyer.

Next is the 1873 map:

1873 Map of NOYO harbour showing site of mIL

1873 Map of Noyo harbour showing site of mIl

In the 1873 map you can see that the mill has moved downriver onto the flats on the north side.

The 1876 map:

1876 Map of Noyo Harbour showing land ownership

1876 Map of Noyo Harbour showing land ownership

This map does not show the mill but does show the road and the bridge over the Noyo for the first time.

The 1889 map shows the land has bee sub-divided along the coast road:

1889 Map of Noyo River showing land ownersip

1889 Map of Noyo River showing land ownership

The 1897 map is VERY interesting. Did you know that Fort Bragg had a race track? I sure didn’t. I don’t know if the track was for cars or horses. As there was car racing at Pine Grove just south of Noyo I’m guessing it was cars. The second really interesting piece of info from the map are the rail lines and chute in the upper left hand corner.

1897 Map of Noyo River showing location of race track and rail lines leading to wire loading place

1897 Map of Noyo River showing location of race track and rail lines leading to wire loading place

This picture that Dusty recently gave us shows the chute at work:

Noyo Harbour

Noyo Harbour

This pic, also from Dusty shows spectators watching the chute at work.

Watching the chute at work

Watching the chute at work

The 1910 map adds a few details to the 1897 map.

1910 Mao of Noyo River showing County Road

1910 Mao of Noyo River showing County Road

Lastly we have an aerial photo map showing how things have changes since “back then”.

1994 Aerial View of Noyo Basin

1994 Aerial View of Noyo Basin

Last, but not least is a street amp of the area around Noyo harbour dated 2007 which shows the growth in streets but interestingly the original coast road remians.

 

2007 Street Map of area around Noyo Basin

2007 Street Map of area around Noyo Basin

Thanks Dusty – your contribution and knowledge is invaluable.