Branscomb, California

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Branscomb is located in California
Location in California
Branscomb is located in the United States
Branscomb (the United States)
Coordinates: 39°39′13″N 123°37′32″W / 39.65361°N 123.62556°W / 39.65361; -123.62556Coordinates: 39°39′13″N 123°37′32″W / 39.65361°N 123.62556°W / 39.65361; -123.62556
CountryUnited States
CountyMendocino County
Elevation1,565 ft (477 m)
ZIP code

Branscomb is an unincorporated community in Mendocino County in the U.S. state California.[1] It is located 8 miles (13 km) west-southwest of Laytonville,[2] at an elevation of 1565 feet (477 m),[1] on a river terrace to the east of the South Fork Eel River.

The ZIP Code is 95417 and the community is inside area code 707.


Benjamin Franklin Branscomb joined an ox-team wagon train that was headed for California in 1857. He was born in Jackson, Ohio, in 1832, the son of Joseph Edmond Branscomb. The family moved to DeKalb County, Missouri, where Joseph became Sheriff. According to family tradition, Joseph, a staunch abolitionist, was shot and killed 3 days before President Lincoln was assassinated, but a contemporary newspaper account says Joseph was shot to death by a Mr. Jacob J. Stoffel in Maysville in July 1865, several months after Lincoln's assassination.[3]

Benjamin later settled in Sonoma County and farmed there for about twenty years. He married one of the daughters of the captain of the wagon train, Mary Jane Taylor, and they had 10 children: 6 boys and 4 girls. They moved to Jackson Valley, Mendocino, in 1880, where he homesteaded 160 acres (0.65 km2) of land and 40 acres (160,000 m2) more under the Timber Act. He was instrumental in starting the first school in that area. He built a large home which, after his family grew up, he turned into a hotel. A small grocery store, meat market and livery stable were added later. After more people came into the area, he established a post office, which first opened in 1894.[2] Since the place had no official name, it was named after him, the postmaster. After his death in 1921, one of his sons, John, inherited the property and ran it until 1959, when he sold it to the Harwood family, who built the timber mill in Branscomb called Harwood Products. Unfortunately in the year 2007 the mill filed bankruptcy, eventually closing its doors for good in 2008. The Branscomb store along with the post office, officially closed few years after in 2016.


In the California State Legislature, Branscomb is in the 2nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Mike McGuire, and in the 2nd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Jim Wood.[4]

In the United States House of Representatives, Branscomb is in California's 2nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Jared Huffman.[5]


The Cantwell Soda Spring, a natural spring of carbonated water is located 0.25 miles (0.40 km) north of Branscomb.[2]


This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Branscomb has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[6]


  1. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Branscomb, California
  2. ^ a b c Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 25. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  3. ^ Tubbs, Frederick. "The Genealogy of Richard Branscomb of Brunswick County, Virginia".
  4. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  5. ^ "California's 2nd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013.
  6. ^ Climate Summary for Branscomb, California