Three people in a horse-drawn carriage. Historic building in background

Chester Ford, accompanied by his wife Almeda Adeline Ford, driving a carriage at a Fourth of July celebration in Mendocino, c. 1901. The Jarvis & Nichols building (today’s Gallery Bookshop) is in the background. (Gift of Emery Escola)

Chester Ford, the eldest child of Jerome B. and Martha Ford, was born in Mendocino in 1856. His father was one of the founders of the Mendocino Lumber Company and served as its first superintendent. Growing up, Chester and his siblings called the Company House, known today as the Ford House, their home. However, in pursuit of better educational opportunities for their children, the Ford family moved to Oakland in 1872.

When his education was completed, Chester returned to Mendocino to learn the lumber business. He moved back into the Company House, sharing the home with then superintendent, E. C. Williams. In the early 1880s, Chester followed in his father’s footsteps and became superintendent of the Lumber Company.

On January 1, 1900, Chester married Almeda Adeline Brayton, widow of teamster D. L. Brayton. They resided in the Company House until 1902, when Chester sold the last of the Ford family interest in the Mendocino Lumber Company and moved to Berkeley.

Celebrate the Fourth of July on the Kelley House lawn, offering the best parade viewing spots directly across from the judges’ platform on Main Street! Enjoy dance music with DJ Dylan, munchies, margaritas, wine, and beer from North Coast Brewing Company, plus non-alcoholic options. Bring a picnic basket or pick up a hot dog at Rotary Park just down the street, and bring it back to enjoy with your drinks. Thank you to our generous sponsors: North Coast Brewing Company, Old Gold Jewelry, and Harvest Market. 11am-3pm. 45007 Albion Street, Mendocino. Admission is FREE, though we appreciate all donations!