House with water tower next to it at end of dirt drive

Bever House, c. 1932. (Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

Sam and Ben Bever, early day pioneers of Mendocino, purchased this lot on Little Lake Street from William Heeser and built this house in the 1880s. The Bever Brothers were the successful proprietors of the “Central House” hotel on Main Street from 1878 to 1904. This hotel was renamed the “Mendocino Hotel” in 1927.

White house with wooden water tower to the side

January 2022

The Bever House was a rental property until the brothers retired from the hotel business. In 1889, Postmaster William Mullen and his family moved into this house. In 1893, Professor R. Y. Glidden, the first principal of Mendocino High School, and his family occupied the home, and in 1894, the Bever Brothers built an addition to the residence.

In May 1904, Sam and Ben announced their retirement and sold their hotel business and property to John A. Silvia of Mendocino. The Beacon reported, “After serving the public for 25 years or more, Bever Bros have retired from the hotel business and have taken up their residence in their cottage on Little Lake Street which they are having thoroughly renovated and repaired.” The brothers added the water tower seen in the first photo in July 1904.

In 1923, the Bever home on Little Lake street was offered for sale, described as “Lot with 120 feet frontage contains fine garden, windmill and tank tower; house well built and furnished and contains steel range, hot water boiler, bath and numerous other conveniences.” Oliver and Selma Olson of Albion purchased the home later that year.

Many improvements have been made to the property over the years. The water tower was replaced in 1991.

More historical photos of Mendocino available in “Perley Maxwell’s Mendocino,” by Bruce Levene. Includes the Mendocino High School Photography Students 2002 Then & Now Project. $25.