A Rainy Day Means History Lessons...

The weather report called for 100% rain so we planned our day accordingly. So much so that the photos of us outdoors were taken yesterday. Boy can we plan ahead.
Our first stop was for coffee, pastries and internet inside the old Union Lumber Company Store (1912), once the largest department store and now a cool space still showcasing the grandeur it once held.
To tell all of the history of Fort Bragg is beyond what I can share here, but I will mention, as promised, the lumber history, briefly.
In 1885 C.R.Johnson, the man who started the town, moved his mill machinery to Fort Bragg to take advantage of the harbor for shipping and in 1893 his company was renamed the Union Lumber Company.
The 1906 San Francisco earthquake did severe damage in Fort Bragg, but within 12 months following, all downtown reconstruction was completed. Ironically, the earthquake brought real prosperity to Fort Bragg as the mills furnished lumber to rebuild San Francisco. With the new prosperity, the first tourists came to Fort Bragg. By 1916 Fort Bragg had become a popular place to visit—and to settle.
The next stop on our history tour was The Guest House (1892). Now a wonderful, informative museum, this beautiful home, built for the Union Lumber Co, was a showpiece of what could be done with the best old growth redwood available. Interestingly, it featured a west facing porch on the third floor with a bird's eye view of the mill site, shipping harbor and the Pacific Ocean beyond. This home away from home was the epitome of comfort and now is preserved to tell to the history of Fort Bragg and the Mendocino Coast.
In 1901, the Union Lumber Company incorporated the National Steamship Company to carry lumber, passengers and supplies. The only link to manufactured creature comforts and staples like sugar and coffee were from delivery by steamship. In 1905, the California Western Railroad and Navigation Company was formed and plans were pushed to get the rail line all the way to Willits, where train connections could be made for San Francisco. The train, affectionately called the Skunk Train, continues to carry passengers after 125 years in service. We enjoy watching this train leave the station.
High on my list of places to visit was the World Famous Triangle Tattoo & Museum: Dedicated to preserving the rich heritage and ancient art of tattoo.
I wish I could have photographed this place, but I honored their request not to. What we both left with was a whole new positive opinion regarding tattoos. Each reason for a tattoo is individually unique. One that really impacted us was a series of photos of breast cancer survivors with beautiful works of art decorating where their breast once was. So very powerful. According to the owners, "Tattoos are something to take with us everywhere we go. They will crawl into bed with us at night, accompany us in our dreams and wake up in the morning with us, staring out from our skins in the fogged morning mirror. Our tattoos will follow us into our graves or scattered to the wind. They will perhaps later be discovered as a clue to our heritage." We loved our rainy day of discovery.

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1 comments:

Nesbit Library rocks! said...

Does that mean you might *consider* getting a tattoo ever?

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