Anderson Gulch, Lost Coast

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Anderson Gulch, Lost Coast

by | Oct 15, 2020

Anderson Gulch is a small watershed on the Lost Coast of Northern California, between Northport Gulch and Dark Gulch, about 9 miles (15 km) west of Leggett and 2.6 miles (4 km) south-southeast of Wheeler, California. Anderson Gulch, the Anderson Cliffs, and the historical community of Andersonia were named for sawmill owner Henry Neff Anderson.

Early Native American artifacts found in the King Range suggest settlement in this area first by the Wiyot and then the Yurok by AD 1100. More recently, the Mattole, Sinkyone, and Bear River peoples have lived in here. From the 1570s through the 1800s, Spanish, American, and Russian explorers and fur-trappers arrived. Early European settlers of began harvesting bark of the tanoak tree for tanning hides into leather. Bark collectors formed the small community of Kenny around springs at the headwaters of the north fork of Usal Creek. A wharf was built at Bear Harbor in 1884 for loading bark onto ships. The Bear Harbor and Eel River Railroad incorporated in 1896 to connect the wharf to a sawmill being built on the South Fork Eel River at Andersonia. Henry Neff Anderson was killed in a construction accident in 1905, and sawmill and railroad operation languished after Anderson’s death. The facilities were dismantled in 1921.

The Lost Coast is a mostly natural and development-free area of the California North Coast in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties, which includes the King Range. It was named the “Lost Coast” after the area experienced depopulation in the 1930s. In addition, the steepness and related geotechnical challenges of the coastal mountains made this stretch of coastline too costly for state highway or county road builders to establish routes through the area, leaving it the most undeveloped and remote portion of the California coast. Read more here and here. Explore more of Anderson Gulch here:

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