The Coast Guard House was built in 1902 by what was known then as the U. S. Life Saving Service, a federal agency that became part of the Coast Guard in 1915. Its official name was declared to be the “U.S. Coast Guard Station at Arena Cove”. Despite the illuminating presence and audible foghorn of the Point Arena Lighthouse just two miles to the north, there continued to be many shipwrecks along this part of the Mendocino coast. The Coast Guard House served as the operations center and housing for “Surfmen”, who from this facility launched their rescue boats and performed live-saving drills. The two-acre complex consists of a main building and several out buildings. The Maritime Initiative of the U. S. Department of Interior’s National Park Service has categorized the main building’s architecture as “Port Huron style”. It is extremely well constructed and despite its location along the San Andreas Fault, it suffered little damage during the infamous 1906 earthquake. Today, it is one of only a handful of intact live-saving stations in the United States.
Interestingly, the Coast Guard House’s history did not end after its fifty some years devoted to daring sea rescues. After its decommission in 1957, it became the site of the world’s first underwater seismic research center. Its proximity to the ocean made it ideal for Columbia University’s geologists to monitor the quakes and tremors that are prevalent in the area.
Bed and Breakfast Style
Today, the Coast Guard House’s main building and two of its outbuildings operate as the “Coast Guard House Historic Inn and Cottages”, a unique and wonderful bed and breakfast inn. As much effort as possible has been made to maintain the facility’s historical integrity. In keeping with its turn of the century beginnings, the inn is decorated with original antiques of the American Arts and Crafts style, which until its recent popularity was unique to that time period. Additionally, the walls are adorned with historic old photos depicting the old life-saving days as well as nautical artifacts and the tasteful work of local artists.
It should be noted that there have been added luxurious touches to further enhance its guest’s experience. Many of its ocean-view rooms and cottages have wonderful fireplaces and whirlpool tubs and are furnished with the finest of linens and towels. Each day a homemade breakfast with freshly baked goods, delectable entrees, fresh fruit and excellent coffee is provided; and as a salute to its maritime history, it is delivered on “anchor ware”, salvaged from decommissioned naval and coast guard ships.
The Coast Guard House is a small local family business. It strives to provide a unique intimate experience for the few lucky people it is able to accommodate. Its location one mile west of Highway 1 and next to the ocean makes it uniquely tranquil, thus it turns out to be a perfect place to dwell on the natural beauty and wildlife of the area or its romantic history.
Breakfast Style Served
Full and Hearty Breakfast
Seasons Open: All Year
Range of Rates: $165- $265
Locally or Family Owned Business
For More Information, Contact:
P.O. Box 117, 695 Arena Cove, Point Arena, CA 95468