Mendocino Mill Crew, 1897.
Front row, left to right: William (Bill) Hines, George Knudsen, Frank Brown, Ernest Knudsen, Will Brown, Albert Gregory, John Salvador.
Second row: Henry Kleinschmidt, Joe King, Sr., John Ramus, Fred Halling (Mill boss), Albert Peterson, Frank Clement, Theodore Hansen, Sam Bever (planing mill foreman).
Third row: George Jarvis, Frank Mendosa, Tom Knudsen, John Larsen, George Marshal (sawyer), Unidentified, Isaac Silvia, Tom Richards.
Fourth row: Percy Daniels, Joe “Junior” Ramus, Steady Boy, Old Man MacDonald, Allie Grindle, Little River Smith, Charles Nystrom (engineer), Mike Vaughn, Gus Kontag, Charles Peterson. (Gift of Emery Escola, Emery Escola Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

December 27, 1923 – Charles Hezekel Nystrom, a former well-known resident of Mendocino, died in San Francisco where he had lived for over 15 years.

Born in Sweden in January 1855, Charles immigrated to the United States about 1873. When he arrived in Mendocino is unknown, but on January 27, 1883, he married Elida Constantin Anderson, also born in Sweden, in Mendocino County. Charles worked as an engineer and machinist at the Mendocino Lumber Company mill for many years.

Charles and Elida had three children: Carl, Henry, and Esther. Carl dropped out of high school in 1902 to follow in his father’s footsteps, taking a position in the mill’s machine shop.

In 1903, the mill closed for a week to permit the general overhauling of the machinery. The Beacon reported that, “The battery of boilers, four in number, is receiving special attention at the hands of Charles H. Nystrom, head machinist and engineer.”

As early as 1899, the Beacon reported that Charles was thinking of moving his family to San Francisco. In 1906, Charles and Carl accepted positions at the Union Iron Works in San Francisco, and the family moved to the city. Sons Carl and Henry later returned to Mendocino where Carl worked as a machinist at the mill, and Henry was a log driver at the Boom.

Charles worked as a plant engineer in San Francisco until his failing health caused him to give up active employment. Elida and Esther continued to live in San Francisco following Charles’ death.

How Mendocino Evolved by Chuck Bush – A Kelley House Museum publication covering the history of Mendocino and coastal growth during the logging years. $15.