Welcome to Kelley House Museum!

The Pond


The Kelley House Museum is working with the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department to repair the Kelley House Pond. The Fire Department will use the pond as a ready source of emergency firefighting water. Because of changes made to the town sewer system, the pond can no longer hold a steady water level. A new liner must be installed, and landscaping added to restore a natural appearance. All of this work will be expensive, and we need substantial community support to get it done. Please contribute now, by clicking the “Donate” button.

If you would prefer to use a credit card instead of PayPal, click the Donate button and follow the instructions under: Don’t have a Paypal account.

Kelley House Museum, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

About the Kelley House Museum

The mission of the Kelley House Museum is to collect, preserve and share the rich history of the Mendocino Coast. Founded in 1972, Kelley House Museum, Inc. maintains a beautiful house museum and gardens, as well as the Mendocino Coast’s only museum-quality storage facility and staffed research office. Our research archives represent over 150 years of Mendocino coastal history. Collections include historic photo collections, local genealogical data, research documents and publications. Over 3000 entries of maps, documents, books, photographs, oral histories and artifacts from our collection are searchable through our site.

The Kelley House Museum is an historic house museum in the heart of Mendocino, California, a picturesque town of 1,000 people. The home was built in 1861 by William Kelly (sp), one of Mendocino’s founding fathers, and now contains 19th Century furniture. The ocean-view home sits on an acre of gardens, with a pond and three resident geese. William had the pond built and stocked so that the neighborhood children could fish.

Did You Know?

We offer Walking Tours of the Mendocino National Historic Preservation District. Tours leave from the Kelley House Museum every Saturday and Sunday at 11 am, and last for 1 1/2 hours.

History Mystery

Domestic Steam Laundry Automobile

Domestic Steam Laundry Automobile

This photograph was taken around 1919. The Domestic Steam Laundry was a business in Fort Bragg. Who is the fellow in front of the automobile piled high with bags of laundry?


Father Time and the Maiden Big River Logjam Racing on the Mendocino Headlands in the 1930s The J.M.Griffith in Mendocino Bay Kwan Tai Temple Loggers working a Tall Redwood Closeup of Loggers on a Redwood Point Cabrillo Lighthouse Wells Fargo Stage in Mendocino Logging Camp on Big River

Around the House
—Director’s Blog—

Hitched at the Kelley House!

December 19th, 2014 by Staff

Saying “I Do” by the Christmas Tree.


Guestbook Entries

Rodrigo and Annikka, of Los Angeles and London, U.K., respectively, just got married in the intimate setting of the Kelley House Museum main parlor. Attended by a small party of family and friends, the couple were beaming as they said their vows.
Looking for a special place to tie the knot? Come to the Kelley House!

Making the Season Bright

December 17th, 2014 by Staff

Kelley House Christmas Tree 2014

The Kelley House Museum has now been decorated for the season, and in keeping with history, our Victorian embellishments are on the modest side. Docent Frances Casey, with help from Docent Wallace Conroe and Archivist Carolyn Zeitler, carefully set the scene. The original residents of the house would likewise have had somewhat restrained decorations, since the mega-event that a commercial Christmas has become was still many years in the future. Our tree does have electric lights, and there is a peaceful feeling to be had by standing out in front of the Kelley House on one of these rainy evenings, looking up the lawn, and seeing the demure tree with lights twinkling in the front window.


Queen Victoria, 1819-1901

The first English Christmas tree came through Queen Victoria in the early 1800’s. Her husband, Prince Albert, had been raised in Germany, where the “Tannenbaum” was already a long-standing tradition. The custom soon caught on in Great Britain, and within a few years ordinary families had made the display of a small, decorated tree in the parlor a treasured part of the seasonal celebrations. Please come by and soak up a bit of the Victorian holiday spirit here at the Kelley House Museum.