Mendocino in California

Monday, 17 July 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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© flickr.com - Lee Coursey/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Lee Coursey/cc-by-2.0

Mendocino (Spanish for “of Mendoza“) is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County, California, United States. The name comes from Cape Mendocino 85 miles (137 km) to the north, named by early Spanish navigators in honor of Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain. Despite its small size, the town’s scenic location on a headland surrounded by the Pacific Ocean has made it extremely popular as an artists’ colony and with vacationers. Mendocino is located 10 miles (16 km) south of Fort Bragg at an elevation of 154 feet (47 m).

Mendocino is home to a large number of hotels and bed and breakfasts. It has a downtown commercial district facing the ocean, with a number of art galleries, retail shops, lodging and restaurants. Mendocino is one of the many small California towns facing severe water scarcity. Many of the region’s wells, the town’s primary water source, have run dry, so water is being brought in by truck at a cost of 20 to 45 cents per gallon. There are concerns that towns and cities in the county will stop selling water to Mendocino altogether: Fort Bragg, a city 10 miles (16 km) to the north, took this step in July 2021 because of concerns about their own water shortage.

California State Route 1 (Shoreline Highway) runs along the eastern edge of the downtown area; it leads north 10 miles (16 km) to Fort Bragg and south 29 miles (47 km) to Manchester. Comptche-Ukiah Road departs east from Route 1 just south of the town, leading across the California Coast Ranges 14 miles (23 km) to Comptche, and 44 miles (71 km) to Ukiah, the Mendocino county seat. The Big River forms the southern edge of the community and joins the Pacific Ocean at Big River Beach within Mendocino Headlands State Park, a quarter mile south of the center of town.

© flickr.com - Russ/cc-by-2.0 © flickr.com - Russ/cc-by-2.0 © flickr.com - Jef Poskanzer/cc-by-2.0 © flickr.com - Joseph/cc-by-sa-2.0 © flickr.com - Lee Coursey/cc-by-2.0 © Meadowgate/cc-by-sa-4.0
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© flickr.com - Jef Poskanzer/cc-by-2.0
Mendocino’s economy declined after 1940, and it became a somewhat isolated village with a shrinking population. The revitalization of the town began in the late 1950s with the founding of the Mendocino Art Center by artist Bill Zacha.

Most of the town was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 as the Mendocino and Headlands Historic District. Mendocino Presbyterian Church on Main Street, dedicated on July 5, 1868, is one of the oldest continuously used Protestant churches in California, and is designated as California Historical Landmark #714. In addition, the Temple of Kwan Tai on Albion Street, California Historical Landmark #927, may be as old as 1854 and is one of the oldest Chinese houses of worship in California.

Since 1987, Mendocino has been the site of the Mendocino Music Festival, a classically based but musically diverse series of concerts that is held annually in a huge circus-type performance tent on the town’s Main Street in the Mendocino Headlands State Park.

Mendocino is also the home of the Mendocino Film Festival which was first held in May 2006. As the area is a haven for artists, the festival honors them with a special “artist category”, in addition to the documentary, feature and short film categories.

Many films and movies have been filmed in and around Mendocino and Mendocino County, including Dying Young, The Russians Are Coming; Overboard; The Dunwich Horror; The Karate Kid Part III; Dead & Buried; Forever Young; Same Time Next Year; Racing with the Moon; Pontiac Moon; and The Majestic. Mendocino was depicted as turn-of-the-20th-century Monterey in the James Dean classic East of Eden, and it served as a New England resort town in Summer of ’42 (the latter film featuring numerous local Mendocino High School students as extras).

The Sir Douglas Quintet had a number 27 hit with their song “Mendocino” (from the album of the same name) in early 1969.

The singers Kate & Anna McGarrigle wrote and sang the 1976 song “Talk to Me of Mendocino” about someone returning to the happiness of the town after unhappy experiences in New York.

The TV series Murder, She Wrote has had perhaps the largest impact on the community. Murder, She Wrote was set in the fictional town of Cabot Cove, Maine. Nine episodes of the 264-episode program were filmed in Mendocino, while exterior shots throughout Mendocino were used in the remaining episodes. The program was broadcast for 12 seasons, from September 1984 until May 1996 on CBS. Local residents looked forward to the yearly filming, as over a hundred and fifty were chosen to play background parts. A lucky few were cast for speaking roles. Poet, playwright and actor Lawrence Bullock cites being cast in a speaking role as a “Townsperson” in the episode “Indian Giver” as giving him eligibility to join the Screen Actors’ Guild. Locals, including Linda Pack and James Henderson, were also cast in speaking roles. The residence of the main character Jessica Fletcher was an actual home in Mendocino and is now a bed and breakfast under the name “Blair House.”

Read more on VisitCalifornia.com – Mendocino, VisitMendocino.com, Wikivoyage Mendocino and Wikipedia Mendocino (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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