Virtual Guidebook to the Northern California Coast and Coast Ranges
Downtown Scotia
on the Eel River in Humboldt County California


Company-built and owned towns were often a necessity for lumber and mining enterprises in the west. Most were strictly practical and often temporary. But at Scotia the Pacific Lumber Company built a masterpiece, Scotia, the most elaborate and beautiful of all western company towns. Scotia survives intact today, despite two decades of ownership by the despicable Charles Hurwitz.

Downtown, the north end of Scotia, consists of the hotel, shopping center, theater, a former bank which is now a museum, a health center, and the company offices. All the buildings are constructed of redwood, often unpainted, and sometimes with the bark still on. Huge mill buildings run through the middle of town, between the railroad tracks and the millponds.



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The elegant old Scotia Hotel

(August 6, 2008)


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In the lobby of the Scotia hotel

(August 6, 2008)


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Comfortable old-fashioned bedrooms at the Scotia Inn

(August 6, 2008)


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Claw-foot bathtubs at the Scotia Inn

(August 6, 2008)


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The shopping area at Scotia, rebuilt since the earthquake and fire of 1992

(August 6, 2008)


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The Winema theater in the heart of Scotia

(August 6, 2008)


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The old bank building, now the Scotia Museum, built entirely of redwood

(August 6, 2008)


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Donkey engines and a locomotive outside the the Scotia Museum

(August 6, 2008)


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The Scotia health center

(August 6, 2008)


Next Locality: Scotia Mill and Residential Areas