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© 2020 Harbor House Inn

history

of the

area

Elk Town

The coastal mountains of Northern California are home to a unique wilderness of redwood trees. These giants can grow for hundreds of years and reach heights of 300 plus feet. They offer a micro-eco system that is unlike any other forest. The canopy often extends into the clouds and brings moisture down to the soil. The forest is open at the bottom but mostly covered from above creating a moist and mysterious environment below where the duff will quiet your footsteps and you will see groves of green and purple redwood sorrel, a delicious source of vitamin C.

In the early 1800's a few brave pioneers began to explore the coastal mountain ranges of California in hopes to find gold, but they quickly realized that the gold was growing out of the ground in the form of giant redwood trees. These are old-growth trees that have durability qualities unmatched by other timber. Redwood is among the most resilient types of timber for building because of its ability to withstand elements, ward-off pests, and last centuries. Without the redwood, the railroad may not have continued its quest into the west. Without the demand for redwood, the town of Elk may have never made its mark.

 "In the early 1900's the mill put electric lights in residences. Each house was entitled to four lights and the monthly charge was one dollar. At first they were in operation only until midnight. The Goodyear company was forced to close during the depression and the town was without electricity from 1929 until the PG&E came in 1948. The mill was abandoned and dismantled, the railroad tracks torn up and there was no work in town until 1952 when Daniels and Ross build a mill in the former lumberyard. Logs and lumber works carried by trucks and ships no longer called here. Thrasher bough the mill and conducted the business until the middle 60's when all materials were auctioned and Greenwood had seen the last of it's saw-mills." (Memories of Cuffey's Cove…, 10)