Pioneering the Profession of Pharmacy for Women

Out of the Kelley House Archives comes the story of Miss Ethel Nelson, born in Mendocino 1883, daughter of Elizabeth May (Bessie) Carlson and Captain Henry Nelson, owner of the Wilson Hotel on Main Street in Mendocino, as well as ship captain for the barkentine, Servia. Henry and Bessie married in Mendocino on January 18, 1882. She was the granddaughter of a pioneer who brought a complete sawmill around the Horn in a sailing vessel. Ethel never married, instead pursuing learn more…

The Great Lady of Horticulture

Charlotte Hoak grew up in the wilds of Comptche, a local girl, born in 1874 on ranch land that had formerly been under the jurisdiction of the local Pomo chief, Comptche—hence the name the region became known by. Comptche is, in fact, a Pomo word that means “the valley among the hills.” It’s land the Pomo traveled through each summer on their way to the coast and the Comptche-Ukiah Road is an old stagecoach route. Look closely and you might learn more…

The Great lady of Horticulture: Charlotte Hoak

Charlotte Hoak grew up in the wilds of Comptche, a local girl, born in 1874 on ranch land that had formerly been under the jurisdiction of the local Pomo chief, Comptche—hence the name the region became known by. Comptche is, in fact, a Pomo word that means “the valley among the hills.” It’s land the Pomo traveled through each summer on their way to the coast and the Comptche-Ukiah Road is an old stagecoach route. Look closely and you might learn more…

KNOWING CLOUDS: MOLLY IN MENDOCINO

The Kelley House Museum is celebrating Mendocino’s Hippie Days with an exhibit, and they suggested that after writing about so many of the women who influenced Mendocino’s history, I write about my myself. I confess to being thrilled; I like to think I have a place among the women who shaped Mendocino. For anyone who loves this coast, who claims some piece of it for themselves—like I do—these pioneer women stand as our mothers, our roots, the soil in which learn more…

Jean MacCallum: A Maiden Fond of Flowers

Among the surviving papers describing Jean MacCallum is a letter she wrote as a child. It’s typed, addressed to her grandmother, Eliza Kelley, and charming. It was written after the MacCallums moved from Glen Blair, just north of Fort Bragg, to San Francisco. Jean was born in Glen Blair when her parents, Daisy and Alexander, left their celebrated Mendocino mansion to oversee a logging enterprise purchased by Samuel Blair. For those trying to piece together the family tree, Blair married learn more…

More of Mendocino’s Dark Side

Fury Town was not the only enclave where mill workers congregated in the olden days along Mendocino’s coast. Up north, the town of Fort Bragg prospered. As the name implies, Fort Bragg began as a military outpost. Built in 1857, it was named after Confederate general, Braxton Bragg, and established to police local Pomo tribes. The native people had been forced onto a 25,000-acre reservation stretching from Noyo Harbor to MacKerricher. The unpleasant enterprise was short-lived; by 1867, both garrison learn more…