Small Town Living: Community in Ferndale

What makes a town not only a great place to visit, but to live? Here in Ferndale, we believe it's our incredible sense of community.

There's a reason we're called the Victorian Village. Visitors come from all over the world to see our spectacular architecture and scenery - but what keeps them coming back is what they experience once they're here: the culture of connection, neighborliness, community investment, and the immense pride we take in our tight-knit community.

From our volunteer fire department, faithfully staffed by friends and neighbors for more than a century, to our many community organizations and services, these are the groups that keep our town running smoothly, safely and joyfully.

Hanging out at VI Tavern in Ferndale CA.jpeg

Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department

Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department - Ferndale CA.jpeg

Since it was established in 1897, the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department - the westernmost fire department in the contiguous U.S. - has become deeply ingrained in the culture of Ferndale, from the familiar test of the emergency siren each day at noon to the firefighters' tedious annual task of stringing lights up America's tallest living Christmas tree. When an emergency call rings out, it's normal to see shop owners, business professionals and residents in a mad dash down Main Street to the fire station on foot or by bicycle, and the community comes out in force for Ferndale Fire's twice-yearly blood drives, annual Fireman's Games, and 4th of July fire truck rides for kids.

The fire department is always looking for new members who live and work in Ferndale: Learn more about the requirements and download an application here, or attend one of FVFD's monthly meetings, held at 7pm the first Thursday of each month at the Fire Hall, 436 Brown Street, Ferndale, CA 95536.

Ferndale Library

The Ferndale Library is the only Carnegie Library on the North Coast to still function as a public library. Through the work of the Friends, the library has been able to add more books and materials to its collections and offer programs to enhance library services.  Volunteers can participate in activities, or simply pledge support by joining Friends of the Ferndale Library. 

Friends of the Ferndale Library
P.O. Box 397
Ferndale, CA 95536

Rotary Club

Since 1968, the Rotary Club of Ferndale has been serving the community through numerous programs, from youth scholarships to its annual Senior Christmas Dinner. Hundreds of people from Humboldt County participate in the club's popular Steak & Lobster Dinner annual fundraiser. Rotary meet Tuesday nights, with dinner served at 7pm, in the Turf Room of the Humboldt County Fairgrounds.

Village Club

Ferndale Village Club Logo | Vintage Vanity Fair Illustration

Established as a women's social and discussion group in 1906, the Ferndale Village Club has worn many hats - from an initiator of war efforts during the 1940s to a driving force behind several refurbishment projects funded by the Lytel Foundation in recent decades.

In 1916, the group purchased the triangular lot at the corner of Main and Herbert streets and built a Tudor-style clubhouse, which was later donated to Ferndale for use as a City Hall and Police Department (the police department was later moved to its own building on Berding Street). As a tax-exempt organization, the Village Club continues to support many worthy local organizations.

The Village Club meets the third Tuesday of the month, September through May, at 1:30pm in the parlor of Ferndale City Hall. Each meeting features programs by local speakers. Visitors are invited to attend. Membership is open to all women with an interest in the betterment of the Ferndale community. For more information, contact president Martha Deal-Tubbs at (707) 786-4091.

List of Ferndale Community Organizations

Service Groups & Associations

Danish Hall
Fern Cottage
Ferndale Cemetery Association
Ferndale Chamber of Commerce
Ferndale Children's Center
Ferndale Community Center
Ferndale Garden Club
Ferndale Library / Friends of the Ferndale Library
Ferndale Lions Club
Ferndale Museum
Ferndale Rotary Club
Ferndale Senior Resource Agency
Ferndale Village Club
Humboldt Cattlewomen's Association
Humboldt County Fair Association
Masonic Hall
VFW Hall

Youth Groups

Boy Scouts of America Ferndale Troop 8
Ferndale 4-H

Civic Organizations

City of Ferndale / City Hall
Ferndale Police Department
Ferndale Volunteer Fire Department


Assumption Church
Community Church
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
St. Mary's Episcopal Church
Our Savior's Lutheran Churc/