Russian Gulch Landing was an active doghole port supplied by the Russian River mills through a steam
railroad system. The doghole port had a slide chute at first and later a wire chute extending from the
bluff just south of Russian Gulch Beach. The area is now part of Sonoma Coast State Park. The slide
chute’s use dated to the late 1890s, while the wire chute represented a more modern technology and is
connected with the Western Redwood Lumber Company that was active after the turn of the 20th century.
While the most common features still present at other doghole ports are iron fittings, evidence at
Russian Gulch Landing is comprised mainly of wooden features. The archaeological remains include
railroad ties, unidentified wooden fragments, and regularly spaced timbers possibly indicating the
location of the rail bed or road. A wire cable protruding from the ground was also recorded and is
consistent with the gauge used in wire chutes.
Divers did not conduct an underwater survey of Russian Gulch Landing due to poor weather and sea
conditions as well as the lack of information in the historical record to pinpoint mooring positions.
-- Deborah Marx, Maritime Archaeologist, Maritime Heritage Program, Office of National Marine