Welcome to the Kelley House Museum

This historic home and research center are located in Mendocino, California on the scenic north coast. Built in 1861 by William Kelley, the house overlooks the ocean and is surrounded by gardens filled with flowers and lawn. The museum, along with docent-led walking tours of the historic preservation district, invites visitors to step back in time and imagine life in a bustling, 19th century logging town.

Kelley House Museum is open: Thursday–Monday, 11am–3pm.

kelley house walking tour foursome

Historic District Walking Tours

Join one of our walking tours, described as “the perfect way to get a sense of the cast of characters who helped shape the eclectic town of Mendocino.” Visit New England-style pioneer homes, learn why Mendocino was known as the city of water towers, and discover the secrets of the iconic “Time and the Maiden” statue. Enjoy Mendocino’s rich cultural heritage, from the Pomo tribe that lived here for thousands of years, to the European and Chinese immigrants who built the town you see today. Narrated, self-guided tours are also available to download on your smartphone.

Tours last 2 hours, depart several times per week, and cost $20 per person.

Water Tower Poster featuring water tower artwork

Exhibit Spotlight

Coming Soon! Water Tower Wonderland 

Exhibit runs June 8th – September 18th, 2023
Second Saturday Reception, June 10, 5pm – 7pm

At one point Mendocino boasted over 100 water towers and was known as the “town of water towers.” Discover the beauty, ingenuity, and architecture of these iconic structures in the Kelley House Museum’s summer exhibit “Water Tower Wonderland.” Using historic photographs, art from local artists, and small-scale models, the exhibit explores the majesty and functionality of many well-known towers, including several still standing and many that aren’t.

woman with parasol standing behind two small boys at a parade

Upcoming Event

July 4th Lawn Party 

11am – 3pm, July 4th, 2023

Celebrate the Fourth of July on the Kelley House lawn, which offers the best parade viewing spots across from the judges platform on Main Street! Enjoy music and munchies along with margaritas, wine, and beer from North Coast Brewing Company, plus non-alcoholic options. Admission is FREE.

guided tour @ kelley house museum mendocino california
antique brush and spyglasses
guest playing piano @ kelley house museum mendocino california
file drawers @ kelley house museum mendocino california
guided tour @ kelley house museum mendocino california

Featured Book ~ From KHM Store

Angela Lansbury riding a bike

Experience Kelley House

Book Store. Our wide assortment of local history books delve into topics as diverse as movies filmed in Mendocino, shipbuilding, early architecture, and Native American history.

Research. Search our collections or let our expert staff help. Our climate-controlled storage and research facility is home to over 150 years of Mendocino coastal history.

Newsletter. Stay current and connected with the living history of Kelley House Museum as we uncover new stories, host events, and feature special collections.

Donate. Please join us in our efforts to preserve and share Mendocino’s history. Become a member or make a donation today.

Making History Blog

Napoleon Bonaparte Bever & Horse Team

Napoleon Bonaparte Bever & Horse Team, c. 1902. Photograph of Napoleon Bonaparte Bever with a three-horse team hauling lumber-filled railroad cars from the Mendocino Lumber Mill located on Big River Flat to the Incline where the cars would be pulled up the bluff and out to the Shipping Point. Behind Mr. Bever is the mill [...]

guided tour @ kelley house museum mendocino california
sorting boxes @ kelley house museum
display case @ kelley house museum mendocino california
antique desk @ kelley house museum mendocino california

The Kelley House Museum is a 501c(3) non-profit educational corporation, tax ID number 94-2277534.


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