Regular City Council meetings now start at 6:00 p.m.
Willits was originally called Willitsville.
The city is the eastern terminus of the California Western Railroad (otherwise known as the “Skunk Train”), running through the Coast Redwood forests to coastal Fort Bragg.
Every July, Willits hosts the Frontier Days & Rodeo, the oldest continuous rodeo and Independence Day celebration in California. It is also home to the Roots of Motive Power Locomotive Museum and the Mendocino County Museum.
The Willits area is the final home of the racehorse Seabiscuit. Ridgewood Ranch, where Seabiscuit trained, recuperated, lived out his retirement and was buried, is located a few miles south of the city.
Some notable names from Willits include Tre Cool, the drummer for Green Day, and Mona Gnader, the bass player for Sammy Hagar. Although the band Tommy Tutone is usually referred to as “a San Francisco band”, they were located in Willits at the time that their enduring hit single “Jenny (867-5309)” was released. The folk singer Jeff Buckley spent a year at Willits High School. Stagecoach bandit Charles Bolles (aka Black Bart) stole multiple Wells Fargo boxes and mail from stagecoaches traveling through Willits.