The Town of Scotia has a rich history as one of America's longest surviving "company towns." These towns, once common throughout the country, are entirely owned and operated by the companies. In the 1880's, Pacific Lumber Company started logging operations in Humboldt County and needed housing for the loggers. The first employee bunkhouse was built in Scotia in 1884. Mill A in Scotia was completed in 1887, employing 150 men. By that year, a boarding house and 100 individual houses had sprung up as Scotia grew. The following year the boarding house was remodeled to become a hotel and Scotia's first saloon was opened. 1903 saw the construction of the "Mowatoc Hotel" with 135 rooms on the site of the current Scotia Inn. A second sawmill, Mill B, was built and became the world's largest redwood sawmill, beginning operation in 1910. That same year the Scotia Volunteer Fire Department was established, as was the First National Bank of Scotia. In 1912 the company's main office was built in Scotia, followed by an elementary school in 1914.
As the company expanded, so did the town. 1920 saw the construction of both the Winema Theater and a bank building which currently houses the Scotia Museum. The 1920's also witnessed the construction of a new school, the Scotia Inn with 140 rooms, and the Scotia Hospital. The company continued to expand and by 1929, with a population of 1,000, Scotia was the second largest town in Humboldt County.
In 1950 the Scotia Shopping Center was built and the stores were leased to private companies. 1951 is when a new bank building went up and the old bank became the Scotia Museum. In 1957, when a nearby hospital was built in Fortuna, the Scotia Hospital closed. It now serves as doctor and dentist offices. 1959 was when the Scotia athletic complex opened with an indoor swimming pool and gym. A new elementary school followed in 1968.
In 1986 the company began construction of its new 25-megawatt cogeneration power plant, supplying power to the sawmills, businesses and the entire Town of Scotia. In 1991 Scotia became the first town in Humboldt County to initiate curbside recycling. 1992 was the year that three major earthquakes struck in two days, causing heavy damage in Scotia. The shopping center was destroyed by fire and rebuilt the following year, opening in 1994. The Scotia Child Care Center opened in 1996.
Scotia's Winema Theatre was renovated in 2002, including the addition of a new video and sound system. In 2003 the county planning commission approved rezoning of 225 acres in the Town of Scotia, 213 as industrial and 12 as commercial. In 2008 Pacific Lumber Company was reorganized, forming the new Humboldt Redwood Company. Today Scotia is owned and operated by the Town of Scotia Company, LLC with opportunities on the horizon for living, working and doing business in this beautiful, historic location.
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