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The Victorian Village of Ferndale

Ferndale is a charming and picturesque town located in the northwestern corner of California. Nestled among the rolling hills of Humboldt County, Ferndale is known for its well-preserved Victorian architecture, rich history, and vibrant local culture. Founded in 1852 by Seth Shaw, Ferndale was originally a dairy farming community, and it quickly became one of the leading dairy regions in the state. Today, the town is still home to several working dairy farms, and visitors can sample local cheeses and other dairy products at the town's annual Humboldt County Fair.

One of the main attractions of Ferndale is its well-preserved Victorian architecture. The town boasts over 150 Victorian-era buildings, including many that have been lovingly restored and preserved over the years. The Ferndale Museum, located in the town's historic Carnegie Library building, is a great place to learn more about the town's history and architecture. Another popular attraction in Ferndale is the Ferndale Repertory Theatre, which has been producing high-quality theater productions since 1972. The theater is housed in a beautifully restored Victorian-era building, and it offers a wide range of plays, musicals, and other performances throughout the year.

Ferndale is also a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The nearby Lost Coast Trail offers stunning views of the rugged coastline and is a popular destination for hiking and backpacking. Visitors can also explore the Eel River, which runs through the area and offers opportunities for fishing, swimming, and other water activities. For those who enjoy shopping and dining, Ferndale has a vibrant downtown area filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants serving up delicious local cuisine. The town's annual Victorian Holidays celebration, held in early December, is a must-see event, with carolers, horse-drawn carriages, and other festive activities. Ferndale is a gem of a town that offers something for everyone. Whether you're interested in history, architecture, the outdoors, or simply enjoying the local culture, Ferndale is a destination that should not be missed.

Ferndale's history dates back to the mid-1800s when it was founded by Seth Shaw. The town was originally known as Centerville, but the name was changed to Ferndale in 1865 due to the abundance of ferns in the area. During its early years, Ferndale was a prosperous dairy farming community. The town's dairy industry grew rapidly, and by the turn of the 20th century, Ferndale was one of the leading dairy regions in the state of California. The town's dairies produced large quantities of butter and cheese, which were shipped to markets throughout the region.

In addition to its dairy industry, Ferndale was also an important commercial center. The town's location on the Eel River made it a natural transportation hub, and many goods were transported to and from the town by river. Ferndale also had a bustling lumber industry, and several sawmills operated in the area, providing lumber for the construction of homes and businesses throughout the region.
Throughout the 20th century, Ferndale continued to thrive as a center of commerce and industry. The town's Victorian architecture was well-preserved, thanks to the efforts of local residents, and today, the town boasts one of the finest collections of Victorian-era buildings in the state.

Today, Ferndale remains a thriving community with a rich history and vibrant culture. The town's dairy industry is still a major part of its economy, and visitors can sample local cheeses and other dairy products at the town's annual Humboldt County Fair. The town's historic downtown area is filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants serving up delicious local cuisine, making it a popular destination for visitors from near and far.
One interesting fact about Ferndale is that it has been the filming location for several Hollywood movies, including "Outbreak" (1995), "The Majestic" (2001), and "The Majorettes" (1986). The town's well-preserved Victorian architecture and picturesque streets have made it a popular location for filmmakers looking to capture the look and feel of small-town America. In fact, the town's Main Street was even used as a stand-in for a small town in Pennsylvania in the hit TV series "Murder, She Wrote." Ferndale's unique character and charm have made it a favorite among filmmakers and visitors alike.