National Register of Historic Places in Mendocino County
The Osgood W. Getchell House is one of the few woodframe structures that survived the 1906 earthquake and the frequent forest fires in the area.
Situated adjacent to the old stage road at the edge of the forest facing the sea, the Getchell House is an important visible link with the timbering and maritime history of this region of California. It has been a landmark for ships as well as land conveyances for more than a century.
Getchell built his house with redwood from the mill at Collins Landing, a loading point for lumber schooners anchored offshore. By 1870, Getchell had acquired ownership of several lumber schooners and sited his house to afford a view of the ocean cove and the landing. Local legend holds that Getchell used a flagpole in the front yard to signal his captains as they arrived offshore.
The history of the communities of Gualala and Anchor Bay is intimately linked to the careers of such early pioneers as Getchell. The region historically relied upon the lumber schooners for its economic livelihood as well as its communication link with the outside.
Architecturally, the house is pleasing in its spartan, symmetrical style, its clean workmanlike construction, its use of redwood, and its highly visible siting.
Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1980.