Mendocino Redwood Company





MRC Researchers and Writers

2005 - 2011

  • Doris M. Schoenhoff

Stories include Redwoods and Dinosaurs; View from a Distance; Early Footprints; Golden Dreams; Big River; Wreck of the Frolic; First Mendocino Sawmill; Big River Dams;Company Towns; Miller Sawmill; Suspension Bridge; The Venture; Cottoneva Lumber Company; Finkbine-Guild Lumber Company; Southern Redwood Company; Cottoneva Redwood Company; Rockport Redwood Company; On the Wings of War; Seabiscuit; Helio Courier; Redwood Wars; Roads to Destiny, and Fire from the Sky. Biographies include Cabrillo, Drake, Henry Meiggs, Jerome B. Ford, and Harry Merlo.. Oral Histories include Bernie Agrons, William F. Smith, Fred C. Holmes, Jean Gowan Near, and 2008 fire interviews.

MRC Contributors

Roger Krueger, an archivist of corporate documents and maps in the MRC vault, provided information on land issues, especially relating to deeds, land surveys, and plat maps. Marshall Schraeder, a former MRC employee, researched property owners of MRC land from 1950-2000 through resources at the Held-Poage Research Library (Ukiah). John Nickerson and Mike Spangenberg produced historical property maps based on this research using GIS databases and software. Mike also produced the map of historic Big River logging camps and dams on MRC land from information in the book Big River Was Dammed by W. Francis Jackson. William Fairlee (Duff) took current pictures of Big River and the Mendocino Headlands for our Photo Gallery. Eric Gordon generated GIS maps showing the perimenters of the 2008 fires on MRC land.

Other Contributors

We are grateful to Bernard Z. Agrons for having the wisdom and enthusiasm to collect and preserve information on the history of Rockport over 40 years ago and for donating the records of the Rockport Redwood Company to the Bancroft Library, University of California (Berkeley). Bernie also shared with us some of his own collected material and stories about Rockport.

We recognize Dana VanderHorst’s historical research for Rockport Redwood Company in the 1960s. Dana painstakingly searched through issues of the Mendocino Beacon dating back to 1877 for all references to Rockport.

We thank the following individuals and organizations for their valuable assistance:

  • Robert J. Lee (Ukiah, CA), Carolyn Cooper and Ray Duff at Kelley House Research Office (Mendocino, CA), and Held-Poage Research Library (Ukiah) for sharing historical photos from their vast collections. Mr. Lee also shared some of his passion for history—learned as he listened years ago to the memories of Nannie Escola, Alice Walker (the granddaughter of Jerome B. Ford), and other “old-timers” from the timber industry.
  • Jean Gowan Near (Redwood Valley, CA) for talking with us about her grandfather, George Gowan, who was an owner of the Cottoneva Lumber Company (Rockport) in the late 1800s. Jean’s genealogical history of her family provided interesting letters and interviews about the wreck of the Venture at Rockport in 1892.
  • Robert G. Douglass for sending us a CD of his Master's Thesis, "The Sawmill in Miller Gulch: History and Archaeology on the Redwood Coast” and for quickly responding to our emailed requests for verification of names and dates.
  • Elio Galessio in Peru for answering questions on Henry Meiggs and the Peruvian railroads, as well as for providing two photos from his files.
  • Rick Meigs, a distant cousin of Henry Meiggs, for giving us the names and dates for Meiggs’ marriages and children and other tidbits. Rick’s line of the family, by the way, spells their name with one G.
  • Jack Sweeley for sharing a 1955 map of Masonite Road, as well as his historical knowledge of the timber industry in Mendocino County.

Web Design and Creation


  • Doris M. Schoenhoff, PhD


 Mendocino Redwood Company - Ukiah, California