Fortuna History

History of Fortuna / Slide/ Springville / Rohnerville; Brief and Abridged

Fortuna's city history - Fortuna became Fortuna in 1888 when the residents selected the name Fortuna (Latin for fortune) for our friendly city because everyone felt so fortunate to live by the beauty of the redwood forest, the ocean, the rich valley and beautiful rivers.  We got electricity earlier than most small towns (1883) as it was a boon to the saw mill.  The lumber industry was the start of the town and its primary industry.  You get a sense of our history by visiting the Depot Museum on Park Street.  It's open every day noon to four-thirty in the summer (Jun 1 to Aug 31); and Thursday through Sunday those same hours in the winter months (September 1 to May 31).  This restored railroad depot was constructed around 1889 and re-opened as the local history museum in 1976.  The museum features information on the Rohner family (opened the first saw mill here), the railroad, how Fortuna served gold miners and more.  You can do a little genealogy work in the Reference Room.  Admission is free and generally visitors stay about an hour. 

Today there are about 12,000 residents in Fortuna.  We are proud stewards of the vast forests that surround us.  We hope you will feel as humbled as we do to stand in front of giant trees that were here when the Roman Empire was at its height.

Read the History of Highway 101 through the redwoods

Read about the  Fortuna Depot Museum