Union Landing

Union Landing never had a mill but it was a busy place for shipping lumber from many small mills nearby. The first wharf, built by Charles Arthur McFaul, shipped six-foot railroad ties to San Pedro in Southern California for the Los Angeles Railroad. These ties came from timber in the vicinity of Big Juan Creek.

In 1920 all of the timber in Big Juan Creek was acquired by W.P. Frick and during 1926 he had a wharf built. This was the last wharf built along the Mendocino Coast and due to the depression and the great lumber slump was barely used.

Union Landing was not really a town but did have a large hotel-come-boarding house to accommodate those who worked on the wharf.

First Union Landing Wharf
The large white house in the foreground was the family home built by C.A. McFaul
Wharf with Schooner being loaded
Union Landing from the North
The wharf at Union Landing built by Charles Arthur McFaul

CHARLES ARTHUR McFAUL, the man who built Union Landing

In the “History of Mendocino and Lake Counties, California with biographical sketches” which was written and edited in 1914 by Aurelius O. Carpenter and Percy H. Millbury. Aurelius Carpenter is the father of Grace Hudson the famous painter of the Pomo. If, after reading what follows, you believe Mr. McFaul was a neat chap remember that this was an autobiographical sketch.

“A veteran of the Civil war, Charles A. McFaul was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, January 3rd, 1849. His father, Elijah, removed from Canada and became an early settler of New London, Wisconsin, where he was engaged in contracting and building. He and his wife, Margaret, spent their last days with our subject and died at Bridgeport.

Charles Arthur McFaul was educated in the schools of New London, Wis. At the age of fifteen years, August 24, 1864. he volunteered and enlisted in Company A, Forty-second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, serving until the close of the war, when he was mustered out and honorably discharged. After about a year he entered Eastman’s Business College, Chicago, where he was graduated in 1867 and then returned to his old home and taught school for one year.

From 1868 to 1872 he taught at the Calumet and Hecla mine, Houghton County, Mich., after which he engaged in manufacturing extract from hemlock bark at Clintonville, Wis., until the fall of 1875. In that year he made preparations for removing to California, and arrived at Little River, Mendocino County, in December, 1875.

He entered the employ of Coombs & Perkins and for six years was in charge of the yards and shipping. In 1882, in partnership with Charles Keen, under the firm name of McFaul & Keen, he bought the mill at Bridgeport and engaged in the manufacture of lumber. Four years later, having sawed all the available timber they sold the mill and continued in general merchandise and tie business at Bridgeport.
Mr. McFaul purchased a ranch of one hundred and twenty acres at Bridgeport, which he still owns but is now leasing.

In 1896 the Hardy Creek Lumber Company was organized with Mr. McFaul as manager. The wharf was built and he continued with the company until 1899, when he sold his stock and retired from the company. In that year, with his sons, he bought the present place and organized the Union Commercial Company and they built the Union landing and wharf.

They engage in general contracting, getting out ties and tanbark, and they make and ship ties for the Los Angeles Railway Company and the Pacific Electric Company to Los Angeles and also operate a saw mill for them on Juan creek. This is the shipping point not only for the above named companies in schooners to Redondo and San Pedro, but for the output from Howard Creek. The wharf and landing are well equipped for loading and shipping lumber, ties and tanbark, and the business has grown to large proportions under his able management, he being assisted by his sons. They have built nearly all the roads in this vicinity and are now interested in building a road to Hollow Tree for an outlet for settlers there and in the Jackson valley country. Most of the work has been done at their own expense. They built the new grade from Union Landing to Alviso creek and so well was it built that the earthquake did not create slides. Since then other roads have been rebuilt and constructed with easier grades.

In Houghton county, Mich., Mr. McFaul married Mary E. Pound, who was born in Holland, Mich., and to them have been born five children, as follows : Wilson E. resides in Fort Bragg. Charles W. and E. J. are partners of their father. Stella, a twin sister of E. J., is the wife of E. H. Dean, of Fort Bragg. Arthur P. is still at home.

Mr. McFaul has always been interested in the cause of education and has been an active member of the board of school trustees in the district. He has resided and is now clerk of the board of trustees in the Rowena district. Politically he is a staunch Republican.
Mr. McFaul has had many ups and downs and adversities, but he has overcome obstacles and been most successful. He is liberal and kind hearted, but his charities are all accomplished in an unostentatious manner, and his career is well worthy of emulation.”

Belonging to Places – The Evolution of Coastal Communities and Landscapes between Ten Mile River and Cottoneva Creek”, by Thad M. Van Beuren
Published by the Mendocino Historical Review Volume XXVI – Summer 2012

This book, is a REAL history book …… definitely the best we have read on the Redwood Coast. As it states in the preface, “it takes the long view”. You can learn about coast erosion, the Pomo, the people and the significant events that happened from Ten Mile up to Rockport. Superb. This book goes way beyond what our website provides in the way of history. Our website concentrates on the background to the layout we are building. There is little information in the website on the people who built the towns from Rockport to Gualala.

In this excellent book pages 67 through 69 amplify greatly the knowledge we have in the website of Union Landing. Recommended reading if you are interested in finding more out about Union Landing.

Property of Club Member Tony Phillips