Scotia can call itself one of the longest surviving company-owned towns in America. In 1869, the Pacific Lumber Company was established with the purchase of 6,000 acres of timberland in Humboldt County.

Originally known as Forestville, the name was changed to Scotia in 1888 when a Post Office was opened. The name change was to avoid being confused with a town of the same name in nearby Sonoma County.

The residents of Scotia were employees of PALCO, as the company was nicknamed. When there was a maintenance issue with one of the houses, residents called the Company, which employed its own plumbers, electricians etc., as well as loggers and millworkers.

The first sawmill (Mill A) in Scotia was built in the late 1880s, burned down and was immediately rebuilt. Many of those original rebuilt Mill A buildings remain today, as part of the Scotia Industrial Park, which includes businesses Eel River Brewing Company (production facility), Aqua Dam, Dayles Diesel, and others.

A second sawmill (Mill B) was built in Scotia and began milling logs into lumber in 1910. For many years there was a free, public self-guided tour of Mill B and the lumber manufacturing operations, but that tour is no longer available.

For decades the Pacific Lumber Company operated the largest redwood lumber producing sawmill (Mill B), and expanded the town of Scotia to provide housing and other services for its workforce and their families.

True to the old saying, there was a company store, bunkhouses for some of the workers, a school, hospital, the Mowatoc Hotel, two churches, a bank, movie theater, and of course a fire department.

The company store eventually became Eel River Mercantile, and that was replaced with a small shopping center in the 1950s. A series of earthquakes started a fire that destroyed the shopping center, and the current town center was completed in 1993.