December 30, 1887 – Rev. J. P. Rich of the Mendocino Presbyterian Church officiated at the funeral of church member Christina Perry. Christina had died the day before at the Howard Street home of her stepson Ira after a months-long illness. She was 78. Following the funeral, which was held at the Perry house, she was buried in Evergreen Cemetery.
Christina was born in Pennsylvania, but grew up in Virginia, where she married and had three children. After her first husband died, she moved to Ohio in 1839. There, she married brickmason Seth Perry in 1844, and raised his children by his prior marriages, including Ira. The Perry family moved to Hannibal, Missouri in the spring of 1860; Seth passed away there in December.
From Missouri, Christina moved to Chicago and stayed there for 5 years. In the fall of 1867, she came to California, arriving in San Francisco on December 15th to live with Ira who had been in California for some time. Ira was a veteran of the Civil War, worked in a sawmill, and later became a traveling photographer. Christina’s first California home was in Sonoma County with Ira.
Horse-drawn stage in front of buildings

Stage in front of Ira Perry’s photography studio on the south side of Main Street. (Photographer: Ira C. Perry)

In December 1880, the Perrys moved to Mendocino where Ira established a photography studio. Two years later, he purchased a lot on Howard Street (just south of today’s AT&T building) and built a home there. He also opened photography studios in Fort Bragg and Elk during this time.
Ira closed his Mendocino County studios in the mid-1890s, and by 1910, he had moved to Vallejo. In 1911, Ira had his stepmother’s body disinterred and transported her remains and the 10-foot-tall white bronze monument that marked her grave to Sunrise Cemetery in Vallejo. The plot Ira purchased in Evergreen Cemetery still appears in the cemetery records, but the grave remains empty. Ira was buried in Vallejo next to his stepmother in 1932.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mendocino Historical Research Inc., now known as the Kelley House Museum. Meet founders Dorothy Bear and Beth Stebbins, who moved to Mendocino, fell in love with local history, then galvanized a community to establish a research center to preserve the town’s many stories and artifacts. On display are some of the earliest donations made to MHRI: census records from the 1860s, clothing from the Kelley family, the Ford family’s Bible, materials from Bear & Stebbins’ first exhibit “Mendocino Homes,” Anne Kendall Foote’s bespoke wallpaper reproductions, and photographs of the activists whose labor restored the house and whose contributions have supported the Kelley House over the years. 45007 Albion Street, Mendocino. Thursday-Monday, 11am – 3pm. Now until February 26.