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Photo by mlhradio, Flickr Creative Commons

Van Damme State Park

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Van Damme State Park is 3 miles south of the town of Mendocino, where the Little River crosses Highway 1. Some visitors come here for the river and the redwoods, some for the coast and the abalone, and some for the history.

The park is named after a Flemish-American, Charles Van Damme. After operating the Richmond-to-San Rafael ferry line in the Bay Area for a few years, he invested in property in the redwood groves where his father had been a logger. After Charles died, the parks system acquired the land in 1934.

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