About the Inn
The Inn at Schoolhouse Creek is the first resort on the Mendocino stretch of the North Coast.
Charles Perkins built the historic farmhouse in 1862 which is now our main office and lounge space. In 1888 he built a second home on the land and after adding the gorgeous coffered, old-growth redwood ceilings, he gifted the farmhouse to his daughter for her wedding. During this time, the first Little River Schoolhouse was also built, giving the Inn it’s name. The property remained a private residence for the next 40 years.
In 1933 the Inn at Schoolhouse Creek opens it’s doors with the completion of the “Shoreline Highway”, now Highway 1. Prior to opening, the owners moved turn-of-the-century mill workers homes from Camp Mendocino onto the property. These historic and beautifully antique units are now Rose, Heather, Fuchsia, and Cypress Cottages. The Garden-edge cottages Thyme and Tansy were built at this time, in classic 30’s motor court style.
During World War II, the property was turned over to the US Coast Guard and they added three more cottages. Pomo Cottage was used as the mess hall, Ledford Cottage was the officers quarters and the Water Tower Cottage was used as an armory while the tower held an anti-aircraft battery.
In the late 1950’s, the Inn underwent another change when the motel craze swept America. While briefly named the “Lazy Eye Motel”, Point Cabrillo, Van Damme, Buckhorn Cove and Anderson Valley were built to cater to guests looking for a quick night stay while driving through town. Gene Clark of the Byrds visited the Lazy Eye often, enjoying the drive up the Pacific Coast Highway in his 1964 Porsche.
In the 1970’s it’s rumored that the owner conducted high stakes card games at the inn, sometimes lasting over a week. He would fly guests from places like Reno and Las Vegas to the Little River Airport. When his grandson visited and we asked about his family, he said that we should believer everything we hear about his grandfather!
In the 1980’s, owners Peter Freary and Linda Wilson revitalized the old gardens, uncovered historical features, and incorporated the old Ledford Home into the resort. Additions to the Inn continued under Al & Penny Greenwood who opened three new units: Garden Cottage, Captain’s Watch and Whale Watch. The last addition to the property was the reopening of the Water Tower Cottage-complete with private hot tub and observation deck-by Steven and Maureen in the Fall of 2002.
Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of the Byrds’ Gene Clark by John Einarson
Early Mendocino Coast by Katy M. Tahja
Kelly House Museum