Noyo was Noyo before Fort Bragg was Fort Bragg. Look at this Wells Fargo Pony Express letter addressed to Noyo.
In its heyday in the 1860’s there were three lumber mills operating full time at Noyo on what is called Noyo flats. It was a bustling community with three hotels, numerous saloons and assorted merchants. On the bluff above Noyo harbour 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 onto 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.