Charles Denslow

Studio full-length portrait of Charles Denslow, c. 1865. (Gift of Alice Earl Wilder, Alice Earl Wilder Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

September 25, 1890 – Charles Wellington Denslow, pioneer of Mendocino, died of pneumonia at the age of 75. Born in Connecticut in 1815, he arrived in Mendocino in November 1866, working as a bookkeeper for the Mendocino Lumber Company and serving as treasurer of the Bank of Mendocino and of the Mendocino Discount Bank.

Denslow designed four houses in Mendocino. His final home, constructed by J. D. Johnson in 1889, was the mansion used as the location for the brothel in the 1954 movie “East of Eden,” starring James Dean. Denslow’s mansion was destroyed by fire in 1956, and the Mendocino Art Center occupies the property today.

Funeral services were conducted at the Denslow Mansion on September 27, 1890 with Rev. M. A. Starr officiating. Denslow’s remains were escorted to Evergreen Cemetery by a very large procession of his numerous friends and acquaintances. S. W. Hills, Eugene Brown, H. H. Jarvis, J. A. Nichols, O. M. Stone, and John Dougherty were Pallbearers, and E. W. Blair was Funeral Director.

“In Mr. Denslow, the community has lost one of its most respected and valued members. He was unostentatious but one of those truly useful men, whose principal aim was the most scrupulous discharge of the duties entrusted to him. He was possessed of rare intelligence and of a most liberal and practical education with especial fitness for the positions he held as the resident accountant of the Mendocino Lumber Company and as the Treasurer of the Bank of Mendocino and of the Mendocino Discount Bank. He had endeared himself very much to all those with whom he was in close business as well as friendly relations and his demise leaves a void in the hearts of those that knew him best, which cannot be filled.”

Jewelry For Doors – Vintage Doorknobs From The Larry Sawyer & Harriet Bye Collection featuring the fascinating door hardware that Larry Sawyer and Harriet Bye have collected over many years as vintage door and window vendors with their company Albion Doors & Windows. Colorful, intricate, charming, yet functional, this assemblage provides a peek into some of the everyday objects people handled in former days. Museum hours: Thursdays through Sundays, 11 am to 3 pm. The Museum is located at 45007 Albion Street in Mendocino.