Resting atop a small knoll in Fort Bragg on the west side of Main Street lies an ancient storehouse of history, a three-story Victorian mansion known as the Guest House Museum. Built primarily of coast redwood, the building has served numerous functions over the years. Its first role upon completion was as the Fort Bragg Lumber Company’s guest house for out of town company senior officials from San Francisco and VIP guest visitors. The lumber company owning it later changed hands, and the function of this architectural marvel also changed, from guest house to entertainment hub to part of a military post; at one point it even served as a specialty boutique for a department store. Finally in 1985 then-owner Georgia-Pacific Corporation donated the building to the City of Fort Bragg.
Today it is a museum that documents the 150-year history of the Mendocino Coast. Within the ornate mansion’s walls visitors will find a repository of artifacts that shed light on logging, fishing, steam trains, and wood and glass craftsmanship, along with fascinating photographs of the families who once resided in the bustling town of Fort Bragg. The Guest House Museum is run by the Fort Bragg-Mendocino Coast Historical Society. Hours vary seasonally.