Mendocino as Cabot Cove in “Deadly Lady”

It is a well-known fact among Murder, She Wrote fans that there were two main locations that were used to film the episodes that took place in Cabot Cove: the “Jaws Lake” at Universal Studios; and the town of Mendocino, California.

A couple of years ago, while watching “If It’s Thursday It Must Be Beverly“, I took it upon myself to document the specific Mendocino locations that were used in that episode. I have since been contacted by people who either plan to visit Mendocino in order to walk in the footsteps of Jessica Fletcher, or who are otherwise interested in the Mendocino locations used in other episodes. So for that reason I’ve embarked on a Cabot Cove episode re-watch. (You can currently join me on Twitter every Monday at 7pm EST for my livetweet events using the hashtag #MondaySheWrote.)

Last week, I re-watched the Season 1 episode “Deadly Lady”—the very first episode set entirely in Cabot Cove—and immediately set about documenting the real world places that we can see in it. Below is a summary of those places:

The Cabot Cove harbor and docks

These scenes were actually not filmed in Mendocino, but rather in another California town just north of there called Fort Bragg. The area depicted is on the Noyo River, most likely where the World’s End Rowing Club is now.

Two scenes depicting Cabot Cove Harbor. The buildings in the background are the Harbor Lite Lodge in Fort Bragg. The cameras in these pictures are facing north.

The Noyo Harbor in Fort Bragg is also visible in the header image in this post, which is looking south from North Harbor Dr. just under the Noyo River Bridge.

Hill House Hotel

The Hill House Hotel is a location that features a lot in this episode and which also is featured repeatedly throughout the series. The exterior shots are of a real hotel in Mendocino, California called the Hill House Inn, located at 10701 Palette Dr.

Two scenes depicting the Hill House of Cabot Cove Lodging.

Jessica’s House & the Helicopter Field

I have previously mentioned that Jessica’s house on the show is what is currently the Blair House Inn, at the north-west corner of Ford St. and Little Lake St. in Mendocino, California. In addition to giving us a glimpse of this house, the episode also includes a scene where a helicopter lands in a field. This field is actually an open field across from Jessica’s house.

If you were standing in front of Jessica’s house, you’d be looking South West in this scene.

Cobb’s Mortuary and the Graveyard

The building standing in for Cobb’s mortuary in this episode is actually Saint Anthony Roman Catholic Church at 10700 Lansing Street in Mendocino, California.

Two scenes depicting Cobb’s Mortuary.

The episode also features a few scenes filmed at a graveyard. This was in actuality filmed at the Hillcrest Cemetery (or the conjoined Mendocino-Little River Cemetery) that is just across the street from Saint Anthony’s church.

The cameras in this picture are facing east, and eventually turn to look south for much of the remainder of the scene.

The Beach

The beach where the dead body supposedly washed up in this episode is in actuality the Big River Beach at Mendocino Headlands State Park.

In this scene, you can see the spire of the Mendocino Presbyterian Church in the background.

The map below marks out the Mendocino locations mentioned above:

(A) = Jessica’s house ; (B) = the field where the helicopter landed ; (C) = Cobb’s Mortuary ; (D) = the cemetery ; (E) = the beach where the body washed up ; (F) the church spire visible from the beach ; (G) = the Hill House Hotel.


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