Scotia is a lumber mill company town in the redwood forests of Northern California. It had been wholly owned by the Pacific Lumber Company until Pacific Lumber's bankruptcy in 2007. That bankruptcy triggered a confusing series of events that are leading to the subdivision and sale of individual lots in town. Scotia's 850 residents are still dependent on the large operating redwood lumber mill in the heart of town. Scotia was built at the site of an earlier town, Forestville. Railroad service reached Forestville in the 1870s. Pacific Lumber Company completed its first mill in Forestville in 1887 and at that time the town's name was changed to Scotia. The oldest homes in Scotia were built in 1905. The lumber mill underwent several major expansions in the 1910s and 1920s. It was during those decades that most of what exists in Scotia today was built. Some portions of the lumber mill date to the 1890s. The Scotia Inn and other prominent public and commercial buildings were built in the 1920s.
Scotia, which is visible from highway 101, has its main entrance/exit on the north side of town. It is probably technically all private property but it is open to the public. It's not well developed for tourism though. The modern shopping center, while small, has a couple of useful stores. The Scotia Inn is open for business and is operated by the same legal entity that currently owns the town, Town of Scotia Company, LLC. The ownership of the town and lumber mill have been separated. There are a few parks and a local history museum in town. The similar but not always identical company homes in Scotia are mostly occupied and well maintained. It is very much still a working town. On a recent visit during a weekday, late in the morning, the streets were mostly deserted. Samoa is a smaller but similar lumber mill company town on the coast nearby.
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