About Karen McGrath

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So far Karen McGrath has created 60 blog entries.

Lost in the Mendocino Blow Hole

There are tales, harrowing stories, which have been told and re-told for 167 years about the ship that was sucked into the blow hole in Mendocino Bay. Are they true? The opening to the Mendocino Bay blow hole as seen from The Point on the Mendocino Headlands. (Photo by Carol Dominy) Sidebar – we are not talking about the blow hole with a fence [...]

By |2023-01-15T10:19:24-08:00January 13, 2022|

A Short History of the Redwood Center Building

A 1970s postcard of Ruth Carlson's Studio Gallery in the Redwood Center at the junction of Highway 1 and Main Street in Mendocino. Between the years 1966 and 2000, the gallery, later called Gallery One, featured her paintings as well as the work of other local artists. This unique building is called THE REDWOOD CENTER and was built in 1966 by Kenneth Ricksecker, one [...]

By |2023-01-15T10:57:50-08:00January 6, 2022|

Otis and Annie

Of the four children born at the Kelley home in Mendocino, Otis is the most elusive. Details are missing and you can’t help wondering what really happened with him. Otis Kelley piloting a small motorboat. Otis is wearing his signature hat and smoking a pipe. Location appears to be the mouth of Big River in Mendocino, with The Shipping Point in the background. (Kelley House [...]

By |2023-01-17T11:07:01-08:00December 23, 2021|

Daisy MacCallum, A Mendocino Matriarch

This is a detail of a rare interior view of the parlor in the Kelley House, circa 1890. Daisy Kelley MacCallum is sitting in a wicker chair with her husband Alex standing behind her, and her daughter Jean sitting at her feet. Her posture seems to indicate she is having some trouble with her spinal injury. (Margaret Kelley Campbell Collection, Kelley House Museum archives) [...]

By |2023-01-18T11:52:14-08:00November 18, 2021|

Remembering Eliza Kelley’s Legacy

This fourth installment in our series about the Kelley family features its matriarch, Eliza. Two tiny images in a delicate locket that belonged to Eliza Owen Kelley. Eliza is pictured on the left and would have been about 30 years old. On the right is her husband William Henry Kelley, 34 years old. We presume these photographs were taken shortly after their marriage in 1855. [...]

By |2023-01-18T12:32:47-08:00November 11, 2021|

Kelley House Celebrates 160 Years

“W. H. Kelly now in the house.”  A view of the south and west sides of the Kelley House c. 1880. This early stereopticon photograph shows the house, which looks much as it is today, with the kitchen addition on the west, and painted a light color with white trim. An unpainted Mendocino-style picket fence runs along Main Street. The small octagonal building on the [...]

By |2023-01-19T09:47:46-08:00October 21, 2021|

Partners Gallery at the Beacon Building

This past summer, Partners Gallery, a long-time contributor to the local art scene, moved into the 150-year-old Beacon Building on Ukiah Street in Mendocino. The new occupants contacted the Kelley House to learn more about this historic structure, since so many people who came in to look at the artwork were also curious about the setting. What was with the big black safe?  A 1948 [...]

By |2023-01-19T10:17:34-08:00October 7, 2021|

The Packard Homestead

On the far side of Mendocino, at the east end of Main Street, there is a narrow ribbon of pavement just a few blocks long now called Evergreen Avenue. Its name doesn’t conform to the protocol that most of the other north-south streets follow, which reflects the last names of early families, such as Lansing, Kelley, and Heeser. It refers instead to the nearby cemetery. But [...]

By |2021-08-05T01:25:00-07:00August 5, 2021|

Biggest on Earth History Mystery

We need some help from the public – what are these people doing? Several years ago the Kelley House Museum was given this vintage photograph taken around 1924 showing a scene on Main Street, Mendocino. We see costumed performers in front of the former Ford House, which has a large sign on the roof that reads, "BIGGEST ON EARTH." The writing on the back of the [...]

By |2021-07-29T01:46:00-07:00July 29, 2021|

Tenez for Mendocino

With the 2021 Wimbledon Tennis Championships wrapped up, let’s take a look at where tennis was played in Mendocino. Mendocino High School Tennis Champs, 1927 - 1928.  L-R: Louis Borgna, Grace Nichols, Morton Swales, Thelma Silvia and Clarence Hamblin. Kelley House has documented five tennis courts in town, starting in 1892 at the Morgan residence on Little Lake Street. At present, this is the site of [...]

By |2021-07-15T01:31:00-07:00July 15, 2021|


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