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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–Sunday, 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.

Actress Angela Lansbury riding a bike

Exhibit Spotlight

Angela Lansbury Exhibit: Muse of Cabot Cove

Celebrate Angela Lansbury, the beloved actress known for her prolific career in theater, movies, and television, who passed away recently at the age of 96. The exhibit explores Lansbury’s illustrious life and career, in particular her role as the charming sleuth, Jessica Fletcher, in Murder, She Wrote. Leave a note on the tribute wall where visitors’ stories and memories of Angela Lansbury will remain for the duration of the exhibit. Runs through March 5th, 2023.

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

Cinderella of Mendocino, by Gary Starr

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

Ethel Nelson

February 6, 1960 - Ethel Nelson died in a Oakland nursing home after a long illness. Born in Mendocino in 1883, she was the daughter of Elizabeth May (Bessie) Carlson and Captain Henry Nelson. Ethel’s grandfather was John Carlson, who arrived in Mendocino in 1852 on the brig Ontario which brought the first sawmill machinery to Mendocino. Bessie Carlson Nelson (center) with her children, Henry Norman Nelson (left) and Ethel Nelson (right), c. 1936. Ethel’s father was a Norwegian sailor, who made his first trip to Mendocino in 1869. By the time of his marriage to Bessie in 1882, [...]

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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