Tom Doyle Lands Big Fish

Man dressed as a cowboy/sheriff with a background of horse saddles, ropes and spurs.
Studio portrait of Thomas Doyle, dressed as a cowboy/sheriff with a background of horse saddles, ropes and spurs. (Studio: Chas. McMillan, Vallejo, California)

June 21, 1919 – Thomas Doyle, sawyer at the Mendocino Lumber Company mill, caught a 32-pound codfish “in a crab net off the boom-sticks at the mill. Tom thought he had netted a submarine or a trunk of buried treasure when he started to haul in the net. When the big fish came to the surface he made such a struggle that he almost threw his captor overboard. Tom called for help and a bystander went out with a sledge hammer and dispatched it. Black cod have been taken at different times by salmon-trollers near the mouth of the river, but this is the first instance we remember when a big fish of this variety has been landed in a crab net.” —Front page of the June 28, 1919, Mendocino Beacon.

New! Water Towers Walking Tour – Built in the late 19th Century to supply water to the town’s inhabitants, over 100 water towers and accompanying windmills once adorned the landscape, giving Mendocino the nickname “The Town of Water Towers.” During our 1.5 hour walk through town, our guides will illuminate the mechanics and history of a dozen different iconic water towers from Mendocino’s logging era.