Real Estate in Willits

County  Mendocino County
Area Population  13,899

Known as the Gateway to the Redwoods ~ Heart of Mendocino County, Willits straddles Highway 101, in the center of Mendocino County.  The Highway 101 and Highway 20 junction in Willits connects Fort Bragg to the inland, as does the famous Skunk Train.   Willits is Mendocino County’s third largest incorporated community with a population of just over 5,000 residents.

Willits boasts an ongoing pioneer spirit which is celebrated every July Fourth holiday with the Frontier Days & Rodeo – touted as the longest running continuous rodeo in California.  Other historical aspects include the Roots of Motive Power Locomotive Museum, the Mendocino County Museum, and home/final resting place of racehorse Seabiscuit at Ridgewood Ranch.

In addition to a expansive valley floor, the greater-Willits area takes in a handful of communities which are generally concentrated on, around, or within the picturesque mountain ranges that work their way inland from the coast.  These regions include the Ridgewood Ranch, Ridgewood  Summit, Pine Mountain, and Brooktrails.

Real estate in Willits provides a broad range of selection and, generally, more affordable home values when compared to properties to the south.  The valley floor to the east of Willits offers elbow room and wonderful views of the mountains.  The tree-filled mountainous areas offer spectacular views, cool coastal breezes, and abundant wildlife.

The Brooktrails Township, a mountain community which sits at the northwesterly corner of the City of Willits, offers some of the area’s most affordable homes.  Brooktrails has approximately 3,700 residences; varying from sun-filled lots with endless views to tree-filled lots where only filtered sunlight hits the ground.  There is a small market and a video store on the main road up, as well as a picturesque nine-hole golf course shared by golfers and wildlife.  The higher elevation in Brooktrails means cooler summers and occasional snow flakes in the winter.

Willits Elevation: 1,364′
Brooktrails Elevation: 1,634′
Climate: Month Average High Average Low Average Rain
January 55° 32° 9.91″
February 58° 35° 8.78″
March 60° 36° 7.40″
April 64° 37° 3.08″
May 71° 40° 1.61″
June 78° 44° 0.32″
July 85° 47° 0.10″
August 85° 46° 0.21″
September 82° 43° 0.87″
October 74° 38° 2.77″
November 60° 35° 6.89″
December 55° 31° 7.83″

Willits Travel Distances:

Ft. Bragg: 32 miles
Santa Rosa: 80 miles
Ukiah: 21 miles
Laytonville: 21 miles
Covelo: 29 miles
Eureka: 135 miles

Pioneers looking for ranch lands began to settle into the area in the late 1850s.  Little Lake sprouted up near the Baechtel cattle ranch, complete with a town hall, store, blacksmith shop, saloon, and in 1861 a post office.  With its own store built in 1865, Willitsville cropped up near the land of Hiram Willits, who is commonly known as the first settler, having arrived in 1857.

The lumber industry was brought to life in 1861, aided by a water powered sawmill on the Willits Creek, constructed by the Blosser brothers.

In 1888, with the coming of railroad access, the name of the post office was changed and the city of Willits was incorporated with a population of 720.  In coming years, the Northwest Railroad connected Willits to Eureka, making it the railway midpoint between San Francisco and Eureka.  The California Western, now known as the Skunk Train, connected Willits to the coast and serves today as a commuter service and sightseeing attraction.

The original inhabitants, a Pomo population of about 300, remained in the area and, it is believed, were involved in area ranch life.  Established in 1909 as a Federally Recognized Native Sovereign Nation, the Sherwood Valley Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians headquarters are in Willits and the tribe currently operates the Black Bart Casino in Willits.

The name Black Bart appears in various locations in the area as the result of one Charles Bolles.  Black Bart was one of the aliases used by Charles Bolles, who was a notorious stagecoach robber in the 1870s and 1880s, striking throughout Northern California and Southern Oregon.  Not only was he infamous due to his successful criminal career, but also for having a certain level of style and sophistication, including leaving poetic notes at his crime scenes.  Following his release after a six-year prison term, his demise and his whereabouts have been unknown since 1888.

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The information contained herein is provided as a public service. This information stated above has been taken from a variety of sources.They are to be used as a guideline only. All critical information should be independently verified. Coldwell Banker Mendo Realty makes no representation or guarantee as to the correctness or suitability of the information provided or of any linked information. The information and/or services provided may change at any time without notice.


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