The history of the Noyo Harbor Inn begins with a sawmill at the mouth of the Noyo River and flows through time. This brief summary of historical moments in the ongoing story of the Noyo Harbor Inn starts in 1854. Although there are many significant events before that time that time, that led to the construction of this now historic site, beginning with the family that built the original home seems the right place to start our story.
Alexander McPherson, who co-founded Albion Lumber Company in 1854, built a steam powered lumber mill at the mouth of the Noyo River. The McPherson family, along with other families, helped to build up the Noyo Harbor and surrounding areas, including a small store they owned and operated, near the future site of the Noyo Harbor Inn.
Alexander McPherson built the original Noyo Harbor house and small lodge on the peninsula like ridge on the north side of the naturally formed Noyo Harbor. The first bridge across the Noyo River would soon follow. McPherson grew the mill and eventually it merged with the Fort Bragg Redwood Lumber Company. Later the merged companies would become part of the Union Lumber Company. Before the turn of the 20th century, the McPherson family would loose their matriarch to illness, Alexander McPherson would become badly injured by a riding accident shortly after and eventually, the family would give up the mill and property.
A second bridge, to replace the original bridge, was built in 1887 across the Noyo River. The building on the left is the White & Plumber Company, a business that bought and sold railroad ties. That building is now the Noyo Fishing Center. Above the trees (also on the left of the image) the Noyo Harbor Inn roof gables are visible. The lumber trade and general economic growth would bring rapid development to the harbor and the mills operating there, until drought unraveled many of these economic gains, before a resurgence in the first decide of the 20th century.
Fisherman began to discover the Noyo Harbor and squatted in the old mill buildings soon after the mill closed in the late 1880s. The Noyo Fishing Village began unofficially with these squatters and in time, became known for the high quality fish being produced during the entire 20th century and into the 21st century.
The 1906 earthquake that shook the Northern California coast caused severe damage to building, bridges and other infrastructure from San Francisco to Fort Bragg. Many of the Noyo Harbor buildings were leveled or burned in the destruction. It took over a year to rebuild the town and harbor. Despite the hardship, the rebuilding of towns and cities damaged by the earthquake, was a boon to Fort Bragg and the Noyo Harbor, as the local mills greatly increased activity to provide the lumber needed to rebuild nearby San Francisco. The resulting affluence led to the completion of a rail line to Willits, and thus the first tourists began to arrive in Fort Bragg and the Noyo Harbor in 1912. By 1916, the area was a popular vacation destination, and new residents began to settle the area.
The Union Lumber Company sells the house and surrounding property to Harry and Annie Holmes. Harry Holmes was the superintendent of Woods for the Union Lumber Company at the time. The Holmes family added additional property to the parcel, creating what would be the final parcel of land that is now home to the Noyo Harbor Inn.
The Holmes family spent nearly a decade renovating, remodeling and adding onto the house. Mr. Holmes employed skilled Scandinavian shipwrights, who stayed in the harbor between voyages, to complete the beautiful board and batten hardwood fir and redwood paneling throughout the building.
From 1935 to 1943 the Schlote raised their family in what they then named Casa Del Noyo. Upon the death of her husband, Mrs. Schlote begin renting rooms in the house to travelers and fisherman at a rate of $5 per night. Casa Del Noyo was the first time the property was used as a formal Inn, and the Schlote family was the last family to live full time on the property.
California completes the CA Hwy 1 bridge over the mouth of the Noyo Harbor. This is the current bridge that visitors cross as they travel the highway along the northern coast. The Noyo Harbor had become a thriving fishing community by this point and was home to a considerable number of fishing boats. A US Coast Guard Station would also be established in the Noyo Harbor, which is currently an active station.
The Nationally known Awareness House training program finds a new home in Casa Del Noyo.
The Casa Del Noyo had operated under various owners during its long history. In 1984, under new management, the Inn re-opened with an inspired new menu, updated amenities and a sense of classy comfort, from the valet parking to the luxurious views of the river and harbor.
The property, after changing hands many times, reopens as a bed-and-breakfast called the Noyo River Lodge.
Joseph Marino purchases the property and spends six years extensively renovating what will become the current Noyo Harbor Inn & Restaurant. Joseph carefully renovates the entire property and all it structures. All the original building materials and decorative elements are preserved, while the structural and internal elements, foundations, plumbing, electrical, are updated. Working with the finest local materials and artisans, the updates to the rooms and other public spaces are restored to their original elegance and beauty, while enhancing the property with modern updates, amenities and luxuries.
On Christmas Day, 2017 the exquisitely renovated Noyo Harbor Inn officially reopens to the public, reintroducing a historic gem to the Mendocino Coast and its visitors.