Seal Rocks, Laguna Point

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Seal Rocks, Laguna Point

by | Nov 12, 2020

A viewing platform for seal and whale watching is at Laguna Point, part of MacKerricher State Park, and adjacent to MacKerricher State Marine Conservation Area, about 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Fort Bragg and 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Cleone, California. The state park is named after the first settlers in this area. The point was historically the terminus of a rail line, a massive dock, and a lumber loading chute.

In 1883, the Dwelly brothers secured timberland and constructed a sawmill powered by a water wheel about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) upstream from the village of Laguna (now Cleone). In 1885, the mill was converted to steam power and could cut 40,000 board feet per day. The products were railroad ties, lumber, and piling. The company also harvested tanbark.

A railroad ran about 2 miles (3.2 km) from the mill through Cleone to Laguna Point, but no locomotives were used. Instead, the rail cars loaded with lumber or tanbark were run downhill by gravity from the mill to the loading chute and then returned uphill by horse teams. Leaving the mill, a “train” comprised of two to four cars rumbled downhill and through town where residents and shopkeepers could hear the train cars coming and made way. The grade from the mill was sufficient to propel the lumber-laden cars over the dock to the loading chute. The mill was closed in November 1904 and the railroad was abandoned. Read more here and here. Explore more of Seal Rocks here:

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