Mendocino Rockhounds

Kelley House docents David and Katy Tahja are rockhounds. Their idea of a perfect day is being out in the middle of no place with interesting rock samples peeking out of an easily accessible creek bed. Their explorations have taken them to the empty back country of California, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, and Wyoming, following leads they gleaned from books, maps, websites, government publications, and word-of-mouth. While both of them took geology in college, neither consider themselves geologists. Says Katy, “We’re learn more…

Two History Mysteries

Hello All! Here are a couple of intriguing photos we want to know more about. Help us identify the ladies in these portraits, taken at Mendocino coast photographic studios – one at Hazeltine’s in Mendocino and the other at Frederick’s Studio in Fort Bragg. If you can provide any information, please email us at curator@kelleyhousemuseum.org

Talking with Dolly Efishoff in 2001

“Today is Friday, February 2, 2001 and I’m Charlie Carter. And I’m Kyle Houghton from the Mendocino Middle School Oral History Project. Our technical recorder is Travis Bell. Okay, we’re talking today with Eugenie Efishoff also known as Dolly, and her niece Carol Rallinshomes on Cummings Lane about a mile east of Mendocino. Joining in this conversation is Steve Jordan, a community member who is assisting us with this project.” So begins the 12th and our last installment of the learn more…

New Director at Kelley House Museum

The Kelley House welcomes Anne Semans as its new Director. Anne brings 30 years’ experience from the for-profit world, with a background in marketing, small business management, education, and hospitality. She is the author of four self-help books, and has written extensively on parenting, health, and travel. Before moving to Mendocino, Anne lived in San Francisco, where she worked with the groundbreaking, women-friendly, sex-positive, adult toy retailer, toys boutiques, and educators “Good Vibrations” and “Babeland.”   During her 15 years learn more…

Talking With … Richie Silvera in 2000

We want to share once again some excerpts from the oral history project that was created back in 2000 by the students of Ryan Olson Day’s Options Class at the Mendocino Middle School. With the help of Steven Jordan and a grant obtained by Deena Zarlin, they made audio recordings of their interviews with 12 “Old Timers,” who told the kids what it was like living here on the Coast in the first part of the 20th century. Richie’s interview learn more…

Vintage Love Letter

My momma always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get. Forrest Gump Kelley House received a remarkably interesting “box of chocolates” last month – a well-packed bin of papers that had belonged to members of the Kelley family, a gift from John Maulbetsch.  Lifting the lid, we unwrapped cardboard sleeves to reveal photographs of people we had never seen before. There were also numerous bundles of envelopes containing correspondence detailing the real learn more…

Visiting Mendocino in the 1880s

As the communities of the Mendocino coast emerge from the recent public health closures, we will be able to fully welcome visitors back to the area.  This short piece in a 136-year-old Mendocino Beacon reminds us just how long we have been promoting this special coast to visitors:  JUNE 14, 1884. THE MENDOCINO COAST AS A RESORT. The coast of Mendocino County is rapidly growing into favor with the city people who wish to get away for a few weeks learn more…

Talking With … Lena Luzzi in 2000

We are featuring again transcribed excerpts from the oral history project that was created 20 years ago by the students of Ryan Olson Day’s Options Class at the Mendocino Middle School. With the help of Steven Jordan and a grant obtained by Deena Zarlin, they made audio recordings of their interviews with 12 “Old Timers,” who told these children what it was like living here on the Coast in the first part of the 20th century. Kept all this time learn more…

Megan Coddington Smith, Board Member

“Many of you may know me from my past years associated with the Kelley House Museum, also known as Megan Coddington. I was executive director from 1990 to 1996 and again from 2005 to 2007. I had the privilege of knowing Dorothy Bear, one of the founders of the Mendocino Historical Research, Inc and Kelley House Museum. I started visiting Mendocino in the early 1960s and moved to Fort Bragg in 1990. Over the years I have developed an appreciation learn more…

Jane Tillis, Board Member

“I’m here because I love the history of the area. Joining the Kelley House Museum gave me the opportunity to learn local history and impart it to our visitors. We have a number of books, periodicals and articles available at the museum, and they make it so much fun to learn (and it’s easy as well). Originally from Brooklyn, NY, I moved to California in 1985 and spent several years in San Diego, Sacramento and Oakland before moving to the learn more…