Bournes Landing is about halfway between Gualala and Point Arena. Google’s maps do not show it as a place anymore – see Googlemap. Yet it clearly existed – see photo. Bourns Landing was a dog hole port with its own peculiarities. We suspect that it was one of those Mendocino Coast ports where a schooner captain ran back and forth from exclusively because he knew every sunken rock in the dark. At Bourns Landing a tram and a wharf came out over a detached rock, where two chutes reached out from a platform. In the mid 1880’s 140 schooners loaded here each year.
In the Coast and Geodetic Survey of 1911 it states that Bourns Landing was ”Near the extremity of the point and at the edge of thebluff forming the northern lea of Bourns and Walalla Mill Company's landings.” Walalla is one of the old spellings of Gualala. In the Western Railroader on Gualala (read here or click thumbnail left. Download a pdf version here) it says that the lumber was shipped out at “Bowens Landing about two and a half miles northwest of the mill at Gualala.” We cannot find anything on Bowen’s Landing at all and two and one half miles northwest of Gualala lands you more or less where Bourn’s Landing was so……….
We do not know the date of the photograph but it is truly remarkable for the detail it contains – check out the man standing at the end of the foreground chute.
The photo left, which we have unearthed from the Bancroft Library , has caused us some confusion.
The photo is clearly labeled “Bourns Landing”. The loading chute on the left is definitely the same as the one shown above. What surprises us is the number of schooners moored waiting to be loaded.
What information we have on the Gualala mill (the source of the lumber being shipped) does not indicate any railroad going from the mill to Bourns Landing. Bourns Landing is two and one half miles northwest of the mill which in the days or very poor roads seems a long way to “truck” lumber with horse power.
If anyone has any information to throw some light on my/our confusion please contact me.