Victorian Estate Overlooking Rocky California Coast
In the 1870s, a 25-year-old sailor left his home in Maine and took to the seas, hoping to find work and a place to call home. While sailing the California coast, Joshua Grindle came across a rocky promontory whose thick forest and steepled churches evoked the New England towns he'd left behind. Grindle came to anchor in the budding village of Mendocino, found a wife, and built his first home, which stands today as one of four houses comprising the Joshua Grindle Inn.
The Main House calls to mind a Victorian farmhouse from Maine, but its redwood construction speaks of a West Coast pedigree. A resident poodle and two cats might be seen balancing the books on the wraparound porch, which overlooks herb and floral gardens, resplendent with rhododendrons, daisies, and poppies. On nice mornings, guests take to the porch for breakfasts such as apple crêpes and spicy baked pears drizzled with yogurt, paired with sips of Big River Coffee’s special Joshua Grindle Inn Organic Blend.
Guest rooms in the Main House, the Saltbox Cottage, and historical wooden Water Tower are individually decorated, but each incorporates an old New England aesthetic with antique furnishings, four-poster beds, and crackling fireplaces. In the Saltbox Cottage, a former chicken coop, open cedar-beam ceilings, and historical artwork open a small window to Mendocino's early days. Shelves of hardback books stocked by the innkeepers add a personal touch to each room, which all overlook either the ocean or the village of Mendocino.
Mendocino, California: New England–Style Hamlet on the West Coast
Mendocino's old-fashioned cottages and quaint churches appear as if they were plucked from a coastal New England town, and there's little mystery why. The village's first settlers came mostly from the northeast and brought with them their back-home stylings. The redwoods that originally attracted loggers are no longer a source of industry, but the dense forest east of town is a haven for hikers and naturalists. The village’s arts culture emerged in the 1950s and continues to thrive with civic organizations such as the Redwoods Symphony and Mendocino Theater Company.