Noyo River Tavern
Not long after logging operations had ceased at Northspur (around 1915?) Union Lumber Company (ULC) began developing the land there. There was an apple farm and there were lots for sale to those who wanted a cabin in the woods. The ULC also built an “up market” resort at Northspur called the Noyo River Tavern.
Click the photo right for a gallery of the photos we have managed to collect of the Noyo River Tavern. As you can see this is camping at the Ritz!
Where was the Noyo River Tavern? It was at Northspur as this map on the left shows.
Noyo River Tavern was built around 1915 somewhere around time the Union Lumber Company’s (ULC) California Western Railroad went “over the hill” from Fort Bragg to Willits. It was very “up market” and C.R. Johnson (C.R.) (the owner of the ULC) must have believed there was a market for the Tavern in the Bay Area. We found this advertisement for it in the Berkeley newspaper of 1917.
Note the spelling mistake, crofuet should read croquet!!!! You can see a picture of the land being offered in the gallery slideshow above.
C.R. and the Union Lumber Company published a brochure around the same time publicizing the Noyo River Tavern which we believe was used to “entice” visitors to the Noyo River Tavern. Click on the cover of the brochure left to open up an e-book of its contents. A pdf version can be downloaded here
The brochure is very interesting. In addition to a lengthy dissertation on the delights of the Noyo River Tavern it also describes Eagle’s Nest which we believe was another resort owned by the ULC. Eagles’s nest was at milepost 20 on the Skunk Train Route from Fort Bragg to Willits. Alpine and Northspur are also described – all places on the Skunk Route. The brochure also describes the “great attraction of cut-over redwood land” for building your own cabin and growing your own apples, nuts and berries.
The piece in the brochure that really surprised was the “offer” of a round trip. From the Bay Area to Willits on the Northwestern Pacific, from Willits to a Noyo River resort, onward to Fort Bragg and then by ULC steamer by sea back to San Francisco. The brochure even gives the steamer schedule! Lastly it gives the times of the trains and the distances covered.
Map of NWP route from San Francisco to Willits, CWR “Skunk Train” route to Willits and Steamer route back to San Francisco