Studio portrait of Thomas Dollard, c. 1875. (Emery Escola, Emery Escola Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

August 4, 1879 – Thomas Dollard, Superintendent of the Woods, received a telegram from J. B. Ford of the Mendocino Lumber Company, instructing him not to start work in the Big River woods until he received further orders. Dollard had been preparing to begin work that very morning, hiring men and obtaining provisions to open the logging camps.

As woods superintendent, he was in charge of all logging operations. In “Big River was Dammed,” Francis Jackson tells us that, “Dollard thought a great deal of the men working under him, giving them employment in the woods at times when things were uncertain, particularly in the year of 1879.”

Thomas Dollard was born in Ellsworth, Maine about 1843 and came to Mendocino County around 1866. In addition to his responsibilities as superintendent, he was also a business partner of H. H. Jarvis in the Jarvis & Dollard general merchandise store located on the northeast corner of Kasten and Main, where Gallery Bookshop is today.

Tragically, Dollard was killed on October 15, 1879 during an ambush by the notorious Mendocino Outlaws.

Mendocino Book Two by Dorothy Bear and Beth Stebbins – Meet the Ford family, founders of Mendocino. Learn about Henry Meiggs and the Mendocino Lumber Company and years of early local history. $19.