The mills that were built at Rockport were built along the Cottoneva Creek. Prior to 1878 maps of the Mendocino Coast referred to the creek as the Cottonwood Creek. The origin of Cottoneva or Cottoneva or Cottoneva (all three names were used) are derived from an Indian word meaning “low gap”.
Louis Hough, our Train Society’s finest historian wrote four articles about Rockport which were all published in the Mendocino Beacon. These articles give a comprehensive history of the financial disaster which was Rockport. Click on the following links to read the article: Recalling a rugged bustling Rockport, Rockport redwood to the rescue, Rockport’s revival, recovery and restoration, Redwood cargoes to Dixie.
The forests that the owners of the Rockport forest cut are now owned by the Mendocino Redwood Company. This map (pdf format) shows their holdings and those of the other major forest owners along the Redwood Coast. Mendocino Redwood Company has a website which gives significant historical information. Click here for links to the relevant pages in their site. Click here to read about the suspension bridge used by the Rockport mills.
There is still a little left of the Rockport Mill operations. The pictures below were taken at a picnic area on the north side of Route 1 east of Cottoneva Creek (there is no sign to say where Rockport is although there is a sign that says it is 10 miles away!). Four of the workers houses still stand along with what we believe was the mill manager’s house along the Cottoneva Creek on the south side of Route 1.