Long Distance Telephone Service Arrives in Mendocino

The beach at Van Damme Memorial Park looking north towards the town of Little River, 1920-1940. Utility poles stretch across the beach.(Frederick Studios of Fort Bragg, Gift of Dot Johnson, The Everett Racine Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

September 17, 1897 – The telephone line extension from Mendocino to Elk was completed. Four copper wires were strung. Two wires were for local service, and the other two were for long distance calls. Long distance service was not available until the end of the month, and even then, service was spotty, due to everyone wanting to try the system simultaneously.

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.