Pine Grove was one of the earliest settlements and was located between Caspar and Russian Gulch. At Pine Grove there was a tannery, a pitch rendering plant for making tar for roofs and caulking boats. The pitch was put in barrels and was lighted at night for distress signals. There was a brewery (see picture right), hotel, racetrack and a dance hall. Some of the original homes are still there. Pine Grove disappeared after the brewery closed.Pine Grove RacetrackTwo racing cars on Mendocino HeadlandsRacing Car on Mendocino Headlands
At the Point Cabrillo lighthouse, which is close to Pine Grove, is a street map and a few notes about Pine Grove.
One of the first white settlers on record to establish himself in the Pine Grove area was Captain Peter Thomson. Thomson first came through what is today Caspar in April 1852 and he built a cabin in Pine Grove a mile south of Caspar. Thomson was a hearty “frontiers-man” who had roamed the Apache country in 1830s and had gone to South America with Kit Carson a few years before he decided to settle in Caspar. A chronicle written in 1879 noted that he continued to live in Caspar and led “as wild a mountain life as the country will afford.”
The booklet “There Was a Town Here – The History of
Pine Grove on the Mendocino Coast” is an excellent source.