Incendiary Balloons in the Northwest

An event happened during World War II in Oregon that could have easily happened on the Mendocino Coast if Mother Nature’s winds had blown farther south.  On the bright spring day of May 5, 1945, a minister and his wife took a youth group on a hike in the Oregon woods near Bly, east of Klamath Falls. Christian Alliance Church leader Archie Mitchell dropped his wife and five youngsters off on a trail, then drove his car down the road learn more…

History Tidbits of Orr Hot Springs

As a Kelley House docent researching a book on the Orr Hot Springs area, I have amassed more information than I could ever possibly use in what I plan to be a small publication on the subject. While the who, what, when, where, why and how facts get arranged into chronological order, it’s the odd, poorly documented tidbits of information that keep distracting me. For those who may not know of this place, Orr Hot Springs was a popular resort learn more…

Elise Kelley Drexler

Mendocino County produced many memorable women, but one proudly declared her occupation as “Capitalist.” This was Elise Drexler, daughter of Mendocino coast pioneers William and Eliza Kelley. Born in 1866, she was educated at the public schools here, and then at a girls’ private school, and later went to Mills College in Oakland, at a time when only 2% of American women were getting a college education. She went to Europe as a teenager with her Aunt Abigail Blair and learn more…

A Contest of Wills

The old MacCallum family of Mendocino included not just Alex and Daisy, but also their children, Donald and Jean. We don’t know a great deal about these two. Neither married.  Donald was always a quiet one, sometimes described as “odd.” He lived most of his life with his mother in the MacCallum residence or traveled about California with her to resorts and hot springs. He was known to be a “competent businessman,” the owner of a family mining operation. Most learn more…

Historical Geography of Mendocino County

Here is another fascinating look into county history left to us by the late Dr. Richard White’s “Mendocino Medicine and Gazetteer.” In the 1990s, White published this small magazine of rural health information for medical practitioners and always made space for writings about his science and nature interests. Deborah White of Ukiah loaned bound volumes of his writings to the Kelley House Museum so that we could share them thirty years later. White discovered a 1948 master’s thesis called The learn more…

Mendo High School Yearbooks Need New Homes

Following hot on the heels of our wonderfully fun and successful “History and More” book sale, here’s another chance to capture a bit of Mendocino history. And if you’re a local from a long-time family, you might find your ancestors.  Kelley House Museum wants to find new homes for twenty-six Mendocino High School yearbooks, published in the years between 1921 to 1993. We’re asking for a $10 donation, which goes toward our educational programs at the museum. They’re all surplus learn more…

History & More Book Sale

Fundraisers are always appropriate for a small museum when coming out of tough times. So, Kelley House will host a HISTORY & MORE book sale on Saturday, May 29th, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the east porch of the museum.  Curated by retired librarian and Kelley House docent Katy Tahja, she emphasizes you won’t find everything, but you’ll like what you do find. Look for history, travel, how-to, crafts, gardening, and other nonfiction. Don’t expect fiction or kids’ books. learn more…

Prehistory at Albion Head

An archaeology dig of a Native American camp site on Albion Head? Yes! Of course, it was 40 years ago, but the late Dr. Richard White wrote about it in a short feature story called Prehistory of Albion, found in issue 42 of his “Mendocino Medicine and Gazetteer.” A publication of medical news for rural practitioners, with added bits of history, biology or geography that attracted his attention, White’s periodical is an interesting read. Bound volumes are on loan to learn more…

Floral Tributes and Funeral Cards

So, I walk into the Comptche Store and owner Belinda Pollack hands me a sheet of paper with a list of names and says, ”Look what someone gave me! And who was Amanda Newman?” Another local history exploration begins. Belinda and my husband are both multi-generational descendants of old-time Comptche families, so we knew the names on the list. It was titled, “Comptche Friends Floral Tribute to the Memory of Mrs. Amanda Newman,” but there was no date. Of the learn more…

Discovering Albion’s Seashells

Did you know you can find more than 50 different kinds of seashells on the Mendocino Coast? Thanks to the late Dr. Richard White’s publication, “Mendocino Medicine and Gazetteer,” his interest in seashells can be shared 30 years later. “Seashells of Albion: The Gastropods” was a fascicle (printed installment) in “Coastal Life of Albion.” These were from Dr. White’s personal research, and the collected reports of the Pacific Union College’s Mendocino Biological Field Station, which was located on the south learn more…