Fall on the Comptche - Ukiah Road
The hamlet of Comptche is well off of the beaten path on a little used road between the mouth of Big River just south of Mendocino Village and the Mendocino County Seat at Ukiah. At the west end of the route the sign says Comptche-Ukiah Road. At the Ukiah end the sign identifies it as Orr Springs Road. If you plan to travel this way best ask a local to be sure that you are going the way that you intend. It is a picturesque route but definitely not the fastest way between two points.
One of the joys of doing the research for this project was the opportunity to read a lot of personal recollections by old timers who lived in the area. One such tale took place in Comptche.
In the mid-nineteenth century Comptche was a lumbering center like much of the rest of the county. Today there is a country store, a Post Office, and very little else.
It seems that one of the early arrivals in the valley took a job making railroad ties. The first one that he made was so ugly that he threw it in a huckleberry bush where no one would be able to see it. He was just finishing the second one when the foreman came to his work place.
Looking at the second tie that the fellow had made the foreman said "I'll bet a dollar that there isn't a worse looking tie in this whole camp." The man reached into his pocket and fished out a silver dollar. He put it on the tie. The foreman did likewise. The newcomer then retrieved the first tie that he had made from the bushes and put it along side the second one. The foreman said "you're fired". The man took up the two dollars and left Comptche.