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. 

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


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.


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

Every Wednesday at 5pm during June, July, August
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

Exhibit Spotlight

Paint the Town: The Art of Kevin Milligan

May 30th – September 30th, 2024
Thursdays through Mondays, 11am – 3pm
Mendocino is a playground for artists, and Kevin Milligan’s gorgeous oil paintings capture the breathtaking beauty and historic charm that have beguiled so many. “Mendocino took me by surprise,” says Milligan. “I’d never seen any pictures of it, had no idea there was such a place anywhere in California: Victorian architecture mixed with seaside cottages and wild-west false fronts, set against grassy fields and the ever-changing Pacific.” Milligan’s paintings are showcased alongside black and white photos of the historic buildings and landscapes that inspired them.  


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

The Mendocino Fire of 1870 by Molly Dwyer

This is a slightly condensed version of an article originally printed in the Mendocino Beacon on March 7, 2013. On October 17, 1870, a fire broke out in Mendocino on the corner of Main and Kasten. It started about 3 a.m. in the Saint Nicholas Hotel, which stood where Gallery Books is today. Mendocino’s newspaper [...]

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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