Lakeport today, is a city in Lake County California – on the west shore of Clear Lake -that was previously known by several other names including formerly, Forbestown, Rocky Point, Stony Point, and Tuckertown. The area was first inhabited by Native American Indian tribes thousands of hears ago and the Kabe-napos – who were a sub-tribe of the original Pomo people – continued to live in the area after the first settlers arrived in the mid 19th century. Their name for the village, as it was at that time, was Kaci-Badon and this name was derived from their name for the water lily plant (Kaci) that grew in abundance on the surface of the nearby lake and the word for island in reference to its location on the shores of Clear Lake.
The settlers established the first business in the area in 1855 where goods were traded with the Native American tribes for their wares, which was followed by the first official shop that was built here. The building was constructed by Dr. Boynton and the operation was the responsibility of blacksmith James Parrish and wagon maker William Forbes. The latter was also a pioneer undertaker who had arrived in the area in 1858 when he purchased 160 acres of land on which to build his home and farmstead. A few years later when the county electorate was looking for potential land on which to build a county office, Forbes generously submitted 40 acres of his own property. The joint investment with Parrish, combined with the land grant he bequeathed to the town, led to its first official name – Forbestown – in his honor. In June 1861, the name Forbestown was officially changed to Lakeport and it is this name that has been associated with the town ever since. However, while the town’s name today no longer pays homage to Forbes, there are still many landmarks around the city that have kept hold of the name associated with one of its key founders.
Lakeport has seen many significant developments since its humble beginnings several centuries ago including its first official post office that opened in 1858 and the first courthouse that was built entirely from wood in 1861 however the latter was burnt to the ground several years after completion in 1867 under somewhat suspicious circumstances. The construction of the Cache Creek Dam in 1864 proved to be particularly pivotal as its development assisted considerably with operating several mills that had been established in the area. However after a bout of floods – that were the consequential results of the waters diverted by the dam – devastated the areas of Lower Lake and Anderson Ranch, disgruntled locals demolished the dam and tore down the mills. In 1888 Lakeport was officially incorporated and for almost a century held the unique title of being the only city to hold this status in the whole of the county.