The Mendocino Beacon was founded on October 6, 1877 by W. H. Meacham and William Heeser, an immigrant from Germany who also founded the Fort Bragg Advocate-News and three other local newspapers in Kibesillah, Rockport, and Westport. It succeeded the Star, a local newspaper that had been founded previously by M. J. C. Galvin. In an 1878 catalog of North American newspapers the Beacon was advertised as "an independent and vigorous weekly journal, published at a point of rising importance as a place of shipping and trade." From 1975 to 1977 it was published under an alternative name, the Mendocino Coast Beacon.
In the 2009 California Newspaper Publishers Association's "Better Newspaper Contest", the Mendocino Beacon won first place in its circulation category for a business/financial story, for a story on Heritage House by Frank Hartzell. It has also won similar awards in previous years.
- Who Owns What, Columbia Journalism Review, retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Palmer, Lyman L. (1967), History of Mendocino County, California, comprising its geography, geology, topography, climatography, springs and timber, Mendocino County Historical Society, pp. 412, 712.
- Rowell, George Presbury (1879), Rowell's American newspaper directory, Printers' Ink Pub. Co., p. 28.
- Library of Congress catalogue information, retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Carpenter, Aurelius O.; Millberry, Percy H. (1914), "History of Mendocino and Lake counties, California, with biographical sketches of the leading, men and women of the counties who have been identified with their growth and development from the early days to the present", Historic Record Company, pp. 52, 851.
- A Mendocino immigrant, Kelley House Museum, retrieved 2010-08-21.
- Pettengill's newspaper directory and advertisers' handbook for 1878: comprising a complete list of the newspapers and other periodicals published in the United States and British America, S.M. Pettengill & Co., 1878, p. 189.
- CNPA BNC 2009 winners, retrieved 2010-08-21.
- "Local newspapers earn blue ribbons from CNPA", Fort Bragg Advocate-News, July 1, 2004.
- "Beacon recognized with MADD award", Mendocino Beacon, June 10, 2004.
- "Papers bring home awards", Mendocino Beacon, July 20, 2007.
- "Publisher brings home four awards", Mendocino Beacon, October 18, 2007.
- Geniella, Mike (August 19, 2000), "Mendocino Beaco era draws to a close: Newspaper office moves to Ft. Bragg", Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.