Mendocino County is a county located on the northern coast of California.
Mendocino is Spanish and means “of Mendoza”. In 2010, about 87,850 people lived there. The capital of Mendocino County is Ukiah. About 16,000 people live there. The city area is 12.1 km². Mendocino County covers an area of 10,044 km². 9,088 km² of that area is land and 956 km² is water.
Mendocino County is the southernmost county in California that is part of the World Wildlife Fund’s ecoregion with temperate rainforests in the Pacific Ocean. It is the largest region on the planet with those conditions. If you move down further south you will find smaller areas of redwood forest.
The county is known for California’s “Lost Coast” which is a natural and undeveloped area along the north coast of the state. Lost Coast stretches through Humboldt and Mendocino counties. The name “the Lost Coast” was given to the place after the population there decreased during the 1930s. The steep rock walls in the coastal mountains made it difficult and expensive for road works. State highways and highways were difficult to build there, making the area the most undeveloped coastal area in California. The lack of major highways means that all communities in the region are kept isolated from the rest of the state.
Mendocino is known for its winemaking.
An old steam locomotive running between Fort Bragg and Willits in Mendocino County is a highlight.
Mendocino County is one of the original counties of California. It was founded in 1850 and consisted mostly of white Americans. There was a small population living there and the county was ruled by Sonoma County until then. In 1859 they got their own government. Between 1850 and 1860, part of Mendocino County’s land was given to Sonoma County.
There are two possibilities for how countyt got its name. It was either after honoring Antonio de Mendoza, who was New Spain’s trusted representative Viceroy of New Spain during the years 1535–1542.
The second possibility is that the name comes from Lorenzo Suárez de Mendoza, who represented New Spain from 1580 to 1583.
There was still a white majority in the county except for two Mexican land holdings in the southern part of the county. It was Rancho Sanel in Hopland, 1844, and Rancho Yokaya 1845, which make up the majority of the Ukiah Valley.
Mendocino Indian Reservation and Nome CUlt FArm were established in 1856.
During the 19th century, the Native American population was brutally exterminated. It was mainly the tribes Yuki, Pomo, Cahto and Wintun who were hit hard. Their land was occupied, the villages burned down and captured and sold as slaves. This led to the Mendocino War in 1859. Hundreds of indigenous people were killed in bloody battles. On March 30, 1870, the Round Valley Indian Reservation was opened and exclusion and discrimination continued well into the 20th century.
During the “California Trail Of Tears”, many other mountain tribes were forced to hike to the reserve. Many of the tribes were already in conflict with each other before, so when they were forced to live together, tensions arose that are still obvious today.