The mill and town were built by the Little River Redwood Co. in 1906. The site was purchased from Conrad Bullwinkle and the town’s original name was Bullwinkle. In the 1920s, the name was changed to Crannell in honor of the company’s president (who was an absentee owner who lived in Ottawa, Canada). The Dolbeer & Carson Lumber Company’s Humboldt Northern Railway hauled Little River’s lumber to Humboldt Bay. When Dolbeer & Carson had cut all their timber in the area, the railroad was sold to Little River Redwood. From 1924 to 1931, the company had serious financial problems. In 1931 they merged with Hammond Lumber Comany. The same year the Crannell mill was closed and the timber was transported to Samoa to be milled. The town became headquarters for the railroad and woods crews. After the railroad closed in the early 1960s, the town declined and was razed some years later.