The Redwoods Community College District was formed January 14, 1964, by an election of the people of Humboldt County. A bond issue of $3,600,000 was passed for the initial construction phase of the college.
Instruction began in 1965 and continued into 1967 at Eureka High School. Initially 45 majors were offered, 15 of which were technical-vocational. Over 1,800 students registered at the College in 1965-66.
The founding President/Superintendent, Dr. Eugene J. Portugal, supervised a full-time faculty and administrative staff of 31 with 85 part-time instructors.
In May 1975, the residents of coastal Mendocino County voted for annexation to the District. Del Norte County joined the Redwoods' District in July of 1978, completing the District's current service areas of Humboldt County, coastal Mendocino County, Del Norte County and a portion of Trinity County.