Ship in harbor, with buildings above on bluff

Photograph of a ship being loaded at the Mendocino Lumber Company’s shipping point. A smaller loading boat called a lighter is nearby.

The structure on the far left is the freight shed. Rail cars loaded with lumber supplied by the nearby lumber yard (seen in the background) would enter it from the back side. The wood would then be sent out the front on an apron chute that was lowered down to the anchored ship. This shed also housed the firewood that fueled the adjacent steam boilers, which powered the hoist engine, located in the smaller building nearer the edge of the bluff.

The long building to its right was another freight shed that also had rails coming to its back side, as well as a platform off the front above a second apron chute. Notice the long staircase that comes up from the beach below. Passengers arriving on vessels such as those owned by the Pacific Coast Steamship Company, which had a stop here, would sometimes disembark this way when ocean conditions were calm enough.

A tall flagpole was used to signal ships at sea and in the bay. The other buildings to the right are warehouses for shipped goods. In front of them you can see the pit of the Mendocino Point Blowhole, with its sea cave below. (Photographer: John F. Sims; Gift of Barbara Hamilton)

Walking Tours of Historic Mendocino – Join our expert docents for a stroll and lively commentary. You’ll pass by early pioneer homes, historic meeting places, and buildings that make up the the Mendocino Historic District.