Casket Rock, Elk

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Casket Rock, Elk

by | Sep 3, 2020

Casket Rock is the outermost of three large rocks west of the community of Elk, about 22 miles (35 km) south-southeast of Fort Bragg and 13 miles (21 km) north of Point Arena, California. Elk was originally called Greenwood after an early homesteading family. When the post office was opened in 1887, there was already another Greenwood in California so it was called Elk Post Office at Greenwood. Eventually, the town name was shortened to Elk.

Elk replaced the community of Cuffy’s Cove as the center of the local timber industry when pioneer lumberman Lorenzo E. White was unable to reach a satisfactory deal with the owners of the lumber chutes at Cuffy’s Cove. To export redwood lumber, the L.E. White Lumber Company built a wharf out from Elk along a string of offshore rocks to deep water where lumber schooners could anchor. Shipping out the lumber was a major feat of engineering. At the end of the wharf, the lumber was put on a wire cable and winched to lumber schooners moored offshore.

The local redwood lumber industry collapsed when the uninsured sawmill burned in 1936. Another sawmill was built in about 1953 and one more in 1963. These operated until the late 1960s when the redwood and Douglas fir were mostly logged out. The town had a rebirth as a recreation destination and many of the larger old houses are now private inns. The state acquired Greenwood Creek beach and the original mill site as a state park in 1978. Read more here and here. Explore more of Casket Rock here:

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