About Katy Tahja

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So far Katy Tahja has created 84 blog entries.

The First Acquisition

Because the Kelley House is celebrating 50 years of preserving coastal history, we recently looked at the first item that was “saved” by the founders, Dorothy Bear and Beth Stebbins. The Great Register of 1894 is a reproduced copy of the official voters in Mendocino County at that time. A potential voter provided the following information: name, age, height, color of complexion, hair color, eye color, [...]

By |2024-01-26T14:50:00-08:00February 1, 2024|

Golden Days in Comptche

Nannie Escola, one of the first chroniclers of Mendocino coast lore, left the Kelley House notebooks full of newspaper clippings and her handwritten notes about local happenings. What follows are some tidbits of interest about Comptche, 12 miles inland, gleaned from those three-ring binders. In the fall of 1884, Newman E. Hoak showed off a gloria mundi apple weighing 29 oz. and a pippin weighing 18 [...]

By |2023-11-22T14:37:53-08:00November 23, 2023|

How “Dry” I Am!

Did you know that Mendocino City went “dry” ten years before the rest of the USA? In the summer of 1909, the voters (men) of Mendocino decided to eliminate the sale of liquor. It can be said that Mendocino was a small town with a large drinking problem, and the number of voices speaking against the evils of alcohol had increased. While this decision made temperance [...]

By |2023-09-16T12:36:39-07:00September 21, 2023|

A Mendocino Remembrance circa 1942

Photo: Courtesy of Robert Dominy When Alvin Mendosa’s long-time friend, Buddy Fraser, passed away in 2018, Alvin received a copy of Buddy’s memoir of town life during World War II. Alvin recognized a little gem when he saw it, and he showed it to the curator at the Kelley House Museum. A few years passed before the document could be published, but recently it [...]

By |2023-07-23T12:14:33-07:00July 20, 2023|

No Gold in These Here Hills

To the average browser looking at a shelf of used books on Western Americana at Grassroots Books in Reno it wasn’t much. A weathered old publication called California Journal of Mines and Geology, Volume 49, October 1953 caught my eye because it featured an article by J.C. O’Brien titled “Mines and Mineral Resources of Mendocino County.” For $3.99 I got 50 pages of information on our [...]

By |2023-06-06T10:20:46-07:00June 8, 2023|

Annual Book Sale at the Kelley House

The Kelley House Museum’s yearly book sale—on Sunday, May 28th from 10 am to 3 pm—will feature a great selection of history and art books at low prices.  This year, there are more than 50 books on the history of photography donated by Anne Bruhner from the collection of her late husband, sculptor Hans Bruhner. A number of them are beautiful coffee table books. Among the [...]

By |2023-05-13T10:55:50-07:00May 18, 2023|

Exploring Nannie’s Beacon Index

Photograph of Nannie and John Escola, c. 1905. (Gift of Jean Rice) Continuing the celebration of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting one of the most influential historians of Mendocino, Nannie Flood Escola. Nannie’s memories and knowledge of early Mendocino were always shared freely with the newly formed Mendocino Historical Research, Inc, now known as the Kelley House Museum.  As a young woman, Nannie [...]

By |2023-03-21T11:59:11-07:00March 23, 2023|

Deadly Lady: Angela Lansbury in Cabot Cove, Mendocino

Angela Lansbury as Jessica Fletcher riding a bike. Likely taken in Fort Bragg. The Kelley House Museum’s current exhibition, Angela Lansbury: Muse of Cabot Cove, has brought back many wonderful memories of Lansbury and her time in Mendocino. One of our docents and celebrated local historian, Katy Tahja, shares a few of her memories from Lansbury’s time filming in Mendocino: I worked as a [...]

By |2023-02-13T13:54:11-08:00February 16, 2023|

Back When Peas Had a Chance

It’s easy to associate pears with Ukiah, apples with the Anderson Valley, hops with Hopland, and grapes with just about every inland valley, but how many of us connect peas with the Mendocino coast? Surprisingly enough, old-fashioned garden peas were once a profitable crop here. Early settlers quickly learned that the coastal marine terraces were excellent places to grow root crops like beets, turnips and potatoes, [...]

By |2022-11-17T14:30:19-08:00November 17, 2022|

How Big Was It?

It used to be unsurprising to see someone carrying a piece of produce into the Mendocino Beacon office so the editor could inspect it and determine how big it was. If it was a record-setting fruit or vegetable, it made it into the next edition of the paper. Inspection of old Beacon issues reveals some of the important local records. Americans have long been fascinated with [...]

By |2022-11-02T12:35:02-07:00November 3, 2022|


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