Ferndale is full of old, beautiful, pristine buildings. There are all sorts of architectural treasures along and around Main Street. There are five churches in town, all built before the 1900s. Ring Drugs claims to be the oldest drugstore in California, and Palace Saloon the “farthest westernly bar in the continental United States”.
A little known fact about Ferndale, and Guy Fieri, is that he grew up here. His career began making homemade pretzels as a young boy to sell at the Humboldt County Fair. Ferndale has been the home to the Humboldt County Fair since 1897, making it the longest uninterrupted county fair in California. The Awesome Pretzel Company even had a special pretzel cart which he later donated to his old elementary school. Guy also started to make beef jerky at the butcher shop, Ferndale Meat Co., when he was in the fifth grade. Because of his fondness of the Ferndale Meat Co. he recently bought the building with the butcher shop, to assure that the meat market and deli can remain in business, as is. He says there aren’t a lot of places that have a butcher shop on Main Street, where you can go in and get a sandwich, and he wants to keep it this way. (That Guy is a nice guy!)
The Shaw house, constructed by the founding father of Ferndale, was the first mansion built in the area. The Carpenter Gothic style of most of the houses in Ferndale is a North American architectural spin on the gothic revival. It combines steep roofs and large porches, with the charm of excessive decorative wood elements. Since there was such an abundance of wood in North America, this style was very common in the late 1800s. The Shaw house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its sits on a acre of property on Main Street, but was originally part of a 160 acre parcel.
The Ring Mansion (turned Bed and Breakfast) has been featured in National Geographic and Sunset magazine. The home is said to be the most photographed Bed and Breakfast in the United States. It was originally owned by the doctor who opened Ring Pharmacy. The mansion has thirty two rooms, eleven bedrooms and nine bathrooms. Maybe we will stay right here the next time we are in town. It is probably the quietest place to stay with its double walls and two feet of space between each floor. I guess Dr. Ring liked his quiet time.