Welcome to the Kelley House Museum

This historic home and research center is 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 $25 per person.

People viewing an ornate mirror

Special Tour

Haunted Mendocino Walking Tour

Saturday, May 25th 7pm – 8:30pm
Visit the homes, hideouts, and hangouts of all of Mendocino’s well-known specters, and learn a little of the town’s history along the way.  Gaze into a mirror where people have seen a woman in Victorian dress looking back at them.  Peer into the waves in search of a stallion and the rider who rode them both into the sea. Your tour will last 1.5 to 2 hours.


poster of oil painting of colored historic buildings

Second Saturday Exhibit Opening!

Reception:  “Paint the Town: The Art of Kevin Milligan”

June 8th, Second Saturday Art Walk.
4pm – 5pm: Kelley House members will enjoy a private preview and reception.
5pm – 7pm: General public invited for refreshments as part of Second Saturday


woman with parasol with two small children on either side of her.

Fun and Fundraiser!

July 4th Lawn Party

Thursday, July 4th, 2024, 11am – 3pm

Celebrate the Fourth of July on the Kelley House lawn, which offers the best parade viewing spots! DJ SlySir will spin dance tunes while you enjoy margaritas, wine, and beer from our generous sponsor, North Coast Brewing Company, plus non-alcoholic options. Burgers and more from Alley Grill food truck. Free admission, but donations appreciated.


man in hat sitting on stump in black white photo

Exhibit Spotlight

Mendocino Coast’s First Known African American Resident

Exhibit runs through May 27, 2024
Nathaniel Smith arrived in Mendocino County in the 1850s and is believed to be the first African American to settle on the coast. His life story is revealed through photos, clippings, and artifacts in this Kelley House Museum exhibit. Smith was at one time “known to every man, woman and child on the coast.” This exhibition presents details of Nathaniel Smith’s life set against the history of California’s treatment of people of color. Follow the path of Smith’s life as he moved from his hometown of Baltimore, traveled the world on a ship, and eventually settled and made his life in Mendocino County. A digital exhibit and a video recording of the presentation by Susan D. Anderson, History Curator at the California African American Museum will be available soon.


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

painting of a water tower with buildings in the background

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

Dollard Post of the Grand Army of the Republic

  Dollard Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, standing on Main Street in Mendocino on Decoration Day, 1883. (Gift of Emery Escola) The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), founded in Springfield, Illinois in 1866, was a fraternal organization of veterans who served in the Union armed forces during the Civil [...]

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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