Travel Photo: Water Towers in Mendocino, California

Note: click image for larger view

Mendocino, California is a very small town located on the California coast roughly 150 miles north of San Francisco as you head up California’s famous Highway 1.  Notwithstanding its small size (population 894), the town is a very popular artist community, and well visited by traveling baby boomers.

We spent a night in Mendocino heading south as we meandered through Humboldt Redwood State Park, and enjoyed stunningly beautiful mountain views as Highway 1 made its break from Highway 101.

Mendocino is famous for its water towers.

Here’s this from the Mendocino Coast Model Railroad and Historical Society:

“The towers were built at the end of the 19th century and they provided the town with water. Unlike Fort Bragg, Mendocino has no central water supply to this day so many of the original towers are still in use. Before electricity the water was pumped up to the towers by windmills.

Most of Mendocino’s 40-60 inches of rain falls between November and March. The water table is very close to the surface and so water has to be stored for the dry months. To provide water gravity pressure and to provide a place for the windmills to catch the wind the towers were built thirty feet tall and some were even sixty feet from the ground.

Many of Mendocino’s water towers have been converted into living quarters.”

I captured this photograph on a beautiful morning as we strolled about the town.  As you can see, this water tower is still in use and makes for a very inviting residential setting. 

I think I could spend a few months here.  How ’bout you?

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