A Christmas of Longing

Christmas is going to be different this year. 2020 has been a difficult year of anxiety, separation, and loss and with the holidays, we should be looking forward to getting together with friends and loved ones to celebrate the season.  Instead of gathering, we will be isolating as we are reminded of the pandemic that is sweeping our nation. We are fortunate these days to have technology to make this separation easier. We can call, text, Facetime, Skype and Zoom, learn more…

Bette Marie Duke

January 5, 1942 – March 21, 2019 Creative, quirky, passionate and adventurous, Bette Duke of Little River passed away last month on the vernal equinox, March 21, 2019, as if she had planned the day. She was a long-time volunteer at the Kelley House, which allowed her to feed her passion of genealogy, history and artistic design all at the same time. Her work at the Kelley House will long outlive her time there. Bette was born in Yakima, Washington, learn more…

“It is a Dangerous Looking Place: Shipwrecks on the Mendocino Coast”

Since 1850, more than 160 vessels have met their fate along Mendocino’s rugged coastline while the shouts of drowning sailors and passengers have been heard above the roar of the surf. The most famous shipwreck was the Frolic, a Baltimore clipper ship bound for California from China. A former opium runner between Bombay and Hong Kong, the bulk of the Frolic’s cargo now consisted of silks, ceramics, lacquered ware and even a fabricated house that it loaded in Canton and learn more…

A Celebration of Women

The current exhibition at the Kelley House interpreting the 1970’s as an era of change has brought a great deal of unexpected interest. People want to share their stories. As a result, the Kelley House has received donations of clothes, photographs, posters, and albums for the exhibit. As word traveled, the Kelley House started receiving calls from outsiders wanting to come see the display and share their experiences too. We are grateful for the many things we have been able learn more…

Mendocino Basketball Players

Yearbooks for schools are valuable research tools, containing names and photographs of young people from their freshman to senior year of high school. We can learn what clubs they belonged to and what sports they played.  We end up with a snapshot of time when  they were young, good-looking, healthy and hopeful. Although the first Mendocino High School graduating class was 1896, the first yearbook was published in 1907. This photograph pre-dates the first yearbook, although the early yearbooks often learn more…

Mystery Group of People

A group of several unidentified men and women, possibly residents of Fort Bragg, CA, stand in the doorway of a building. The building could have been located at the corner entrance to one of the hotels on Redwood Avenue. The number on the building appears to be 424. Speculation has been that it is a new business or, since the people look as if they are from other countries, perhaps Finland, they might have just become naturalized. We really don’t learn more…

Mapping Mendocino

Maps are one of the oldest forms of nonverbal communication. Before humans were writing, they drew maps. Early maps may have only been a diagram in the dirt to show where to find food. As far as historians and geographers can determine, every culture in every part of the world uses and makes maps. The Kelley House has been collecting maps since 1973. In all shapes and sizes, these maps tell a story or solve a problem. There are maps learn more…