Ferndale is a city in Humboldt County, California. Its population is 1,371. The city contains dozens of well-preserved Victorian storefronts and homes. Ferndale is, the northern gateway to California’s Lost Coast and the city, which is sited on the edge of a wide plain near the mouth of the Eel River, is also located near the extensive preserves of Coast Redwood forests.
Ferndale’s climate is moderated by being close to the Pacific Ocean and in the lee of the Wildcat Hills. Winter temperatures rarely go below freezing and summer days are rarely over 80 degrees. The average yearly temperature is 46 degrees. January is the coldest month, July is the warmest. Ferndale receives most of its nearly 50 inches of rain from November to May, with lesser amounts in the summer months. Ferndale, sometimes also referred to as “Cream City”, is known for well-preserved Victorian store-fronts on main street and homes throughout the community, which are also known as “Butterfat Palaces,” due to their construction wherein considerable wealth was generated in the dairy industry. Many of these buildings date from the 1880’s. The entire town is registered as California Historical Landmark #883.
Annual events include: The Humboldt County Fair – August. Every year since 1934 in early
December, local volunteer fire fighters climb and light one of America’s tallest living Christmas trees, an approximately 150 feet spruce, during a celebration of song held at Fireman’s Park.
Each March since 1977, runners have taken to the streets of Ferndale and surrounding Eel River Bottoms for the Foggy Bottoms Milk run.
Each May since 1969, Ferndale is the finish line of the annual Kinetic sculpture race. The race began in Ferndale when Hobart Brown was challenged to race his odd-looking five-wheeled bike down Main Street on Mother’s Day, 1969 by local sculptor Jack Mays.