Elk California Motels - Elk CA Coast Motels, Ocean Front Motels in Elk CA
Bridget Dolan's Pub
The Griffin House at Greenwood Cove
Simply relax... and bask in the ocean breeze

The town of Elk:
Often still referred to as "Greenwood," Elk California was established in the early logging days and was a busy and prosperous lumber town. Peopled with natives, immigrants and homesteaders, bustling with lumber mills, stables, shops, and saloons (and brothels we are told...), Greenwood was a hub of activity and a rich source of history for the generations that followed.

Why is Elk, California sometimes referred to as "the town with two names"?

The town of Greenwood got its name from early settlers, the Greenwood Brothers - William, Britton, James and Boggs - who settled on the creek south of town, between 1854 and 1862.

In 1888, after the opening of the Greenwood Post Office, the official request was made for a post office to be called "Greenwood," but alas the name was already taken. So the name of "Elk" was chosen because of the many elk in the surrounding hills. The "common" name of the town was never changed and today a sign still hangs near the old post office door reading "Elk Post Office, Greenwood California."

And now you know the rest of the story!

The historic cottages at The Griffin House Inn bear the names and stories of early pioneers who settled our beautiful area.

Read some excerpts in the sidebar at the right of this page, and click on the Cottage Names to view the full room descriptions with room photos.

For more photos and history of Elk California and surrounding communities, visit
The Blessed Sacrament Church website.

Please call (707) 877-3422 for reservations and information.
We're waiting to hear from you.
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© The Griffin House Inn and Bridget Dolan's Pub
5910 S. Highway One, P.O. Box 190, Elk, California 95432
E-Mail: griffinn@mcn.org    Technical Comments: Technical Comments
(707) 877-3422

McMaster House : This full and spacious home is named after The McMaster Family, one of the first families to settle in Greenwood CA and are still active members in our beaufitul town.

Matson Cottage : It is only fitting that the first cottage that guests encounter as they approach the bluff is named after the Matson family, since it was they who built the main house and cottages now comprising Griffin House. Completely remodled with a bright new look!

Greenwood Cottage: The middle cottage on the bluff in named after the Greenwood brothers -- Britt, William, Boggs and James--who arrived on the Mendocino coast in about 1852. The sons of a mountain man known as "Old Greenwood," they figured prominently in the early history of the village.

Donohue Cottage: Many of the earliest settlers on the ocean front land were the Irish. Among them was Michael Donohue, who, in the 1870's, had a thriving potato farm on land he eventually sold to L.E. White, the founder of the town and builder of the first mill.

Li Foo Cottage: During the early days of Greenwood, many Chinese were employed as laborers in the lumber camps and also as cooks in the local cookhouses and hotels. Charlie Li Foo, who lost a leg when it was crushed between two logs, was for many years the only barber in town, and--by all accounts--was quite a "dandy."

Gunderson Cottage: A hearty Norwegian known for his swimming prowess, Captain Thomas Gunderson served as the Captain of many of the lumberships that put into port at Greenwood Cove. He served on the Alcacaz, the Whitesboro, and the Helen P. Drew, and finished his career on a San Francisco fire boat.

Farnier Cottage: Frank Farnier, a Portuguese, and Nathaniel Smith, an African-American, were the first settlers at Cuffy's Cove, located about a mile north of the village of Greenwood. These two were already farming the land at the cove in 1852, long before lumbering came to the area. It is said that Frank was mauled and nearly killed by a wounded grizzly bear while hunting at Mal Pass, leaving his left arm useless for the rest of his life.

Smith Cottage: Local historians surmise that Cuffey's Cove was so named because of the presence there of Nathaniel Smith. In those days in Australia, African-Americans were commonly called "cuffeys." So, when some Australian crew members on board a whaling ship encountered Nat when they stopped at the Cove to take on fresh provisions, they called the cove "Cuffey's," and the name stuck.