Occidental was founded in 1876. It was a stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad connecting Cazadero to the Sausalito ferry. In return for donating right-of-way to the railroad, a local landowner named "Dutch Bill" Howards received a lifetime railway pass, and the station was named after him. The railway caused a rapid expansion of the timber industry, and by 1877 there were six sawmills in the Occidental area. Trains also brought vacationers from San Francisco.
Occidental was the hub of community-centered social movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s, giving rise to nearby "hippie" communes such as Morningstar, Wheeler Ranch, and Star Mountain, remnants of which are still visible
Visit: Occidental | Sonoma County