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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.

collage of woman with magnifying glass, typewriter, teacup

Murder, She Wrote Festival

Celebration and Screening

Saturday, May 4th
“Deadly Lady” Screening at Matheson Performing Arts Center: 4pm – 5pm
Celebration at Blair House Inn: 5pm – 7pm
$60 members, $70 general public

Walking Tour & Tea Tasting

Sunday, May 5th, 1pm – 3:30pm
Second tour added: Sunday, May 5th, 2pm – 4pm
$30 at the Kelley House Museum
All proceeds benefit the Kelley House Museum’s education program.

People viewing an ornate mirror

Special Tour

Haunted Mendocino Walking Tour

Tuesday, April 9th 5pm – 6pm
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.

 

man in hat sitting on stump in black white photo

Exhibit Spotlight

NATHANIEL SMITH
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

photo of dirt road lined with shops from 19th century.

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

Frank and Nettie Allen

April 7, 1878 - Frank Allen and Nettie Shuman were married by Rev. W. R. Stewart at the Mendocino Presbyterian Church. Their wedding announcement in the Mendocino Beacon ended with: “May their wedded life be happy; may they live long and prosper.” Frank Allen, his wife Nettie, and their two children Nettie and Warren, [...]

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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