Little River, California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Little River
Road sign
Road sign
Location of Little River in Mendocino County, California.
Location of Little River in Mendocino County, California.
Little River is located in California
Little River
Little River
Location in California
Coordinates: 39°16′15″N 123°47′18″W / 39.27083°N 123.78833°W / 39.27083; -123.78833Coordinates: 39°16′15″N 123°47′18″W / 39.27083°N 123.78833°W / 39.27083; -123.78833
Country United States
State California
 • Total1.672 sq mi (4.332 km2)
 • Land1.672 sq mi (4.332 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation66 ft (20 m)
 • Total117
 • Density70/sq mi (27/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)707
GNIS feature ID1658981; 2628752
U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Little River, California; U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Little River, California

Little River (also known as Littleriver, Bell's Harbor, and Kent's Landing)[3] is a small census-designated place[4] in Mendocino County, California.[2] It lies at an elevation of 66 feet (20 m).[2] It is located two miles (3 km) south of the town of Mendocino and running along the Pacific Ocean coast on State Route 1. The town is home to several hundred people and takes its name from nearby Little River. The town center sits on a scenic bluff overlooking the mouth of Little River and hosts a grocery store, two gas pumps, a post office, and a restaurant within a single structure. The population was 117 at the 2010 census.


Little River is home to several boutique inns and bed & breakfasts, making it a popular tourist stop along the Pacific Coast. The Little River Area has two state parks, much ocean access and diverse recreational opportunities including ocean kayaking, hiking, and canoeing.[5] Little River is also home to Little River Airport with its mile-long runway. The ZIP Code is 95456. The community is inside area code 707.


Little River was first settled by three Beall men (pronounced Bell). They are thought to have arrived between 1852 and 1856 and are listed on the 1860 Mendocino County census, Big River township: Lloyd (56 years, a farmer born in Tennessee), Samuel (26 years, a farmer born in Missouri) and Harvey (24 years, a stock man born in Missouri). The Bealls joined the Moore Brothers who had preempted land and erected dwellings a short distance from the ocean north of the bay. Shortly after, in 1856, W.H. Kent purchased the Beall tract and until 1864 when it was changed to Littleriver Bay, the place was known as Beall's Harbor and Kent's Landing. Ruel Stickney, Silas Coombs, and Tapping Reeves built a mill here, which provided the stimulus for the formation the town of Little River. This coastal mill town grew with the success of the mill so that eventually a schoolhouse, post house, shipyard, hotels, stores and blacksmith shops all established themselves here.[6] Little River prospered in a similar way to many other towns on the Mendocino Coast until the nearby inland timber stands faltered. In the case of Little River, the mill closed in 1893. The loss of the mill shrunk the town and since that time it has served mainly as a tourist destination due to its beaches and Van Damme State Park, which the Little River runs through. The first road that ran through this area was the Anderson Valley and Big River Wagon Road (1966 GLO Plat). This road was likely widened and altered over the years until it was eventually added to the State Highway System.

The Little River post office opened in 1865, changed its name to Littleriver in 1894, closed in 1929, and re-opened as Little River in 1930.[3]

Film industry[edit]

The Heritage House Inn, a bed and breakfast in Little River, was the location for the film Same Time, Next Year starring Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 1.7 square miles (4.3 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[7]

The 2010 United States Census[8] reported that Little River had a population of 117. The population density was 70.0 people per square mile (27.0/km2). The racial makeup of Little River was 113 (96.6%) White, 0 (0.0%) African American, 1 (0.9%) Native American, 0 (0.0%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 0 (0.0%) from other races, and 3 (2.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2 persons (1.7%).

The Census reported that 117 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 69 households, out of which 6 (8.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 25 (36.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3 (4.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1 (1.4%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 4 (5.8%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 0 (0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 35 households (50.7%) were made up of individuals, and 14 (20.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.70. There were 29 families (42.0% of all households); the average family size was 2.38.

The population was spread out, with 11 people (9.4%) under the age of 18, 5 people (4.3%) aged 18 to 24, 23 people (19.7%) aged 25 to 44, 49 people (41.9%) aged 45 to 64, and 29 people (24.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 54.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.

There were 112 housing units at an average density of 67.0 per square mile (25.9/km2), of which 40 (58.0%) were owner-occupied, and 29 (42.0%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 7.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.5%. 67 people (57.3% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 50 people (42.7%) lived in rental housing units.


In the state legislature, Little River is in the 2nd Senate District, represented by Democrat Mike McGuire,[9] and the 2nd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Jim Wood.[10]

Federally, Little River is in California's 2nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Jared Huffman.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Census Archived 2012-07-14 at WebCite
  2. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Little River, California
  3. ^ a b Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 96. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Little River, California
  5. ^ "15 Best Things to Do in Little River - 2018 (with Photos) - TripAdvisor". Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  6. ^ Little River, History of Mendocino County California - Alley, Bowen & Co., San Francisco, 1880
  7. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Little River CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  9. ^ "Senators". State of California. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  10. ^ "Members Assembly". State of California. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  11. ^ "California's 2nd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 1, 2013.