August 14, 1912 – A large crowd turned out to see the Columbia Park Boys Club perform at the Odd Fellows Hall on the northeast corner of Ukiah and Kasten Streets in Mendocino. This club was founded in San Francisco in December 1895 by Major Sidney S. Peixotto to help at-risk boys in the south of Market Street tenements expand their opportunities through education, theatre, music, outdoor recreation, museums, and travel. Long summer hikes covering hundreds of miles were a highlight of the program. For several weeks, the boys would hike during the day, set up their own camp, do their own cooking, then perform for local audiences to raise travel money.

In 1912, 42 boys hiked from Petaluma to Eureka, then journeyed back down the coast towards home. This was the club’s fifth summer hike through Northern California. Following their arrival in Mendocino that morning, the boys were treated to lunch by Daisy MacCallum, served to them in an arbor of evergreens and firs on her croquet grounds. The Mendocino Lumber Company launch and rowboats were provided by Superintendent J. S. Ross to take the boys to the boom where they enjoyed a good swim. The Mill cookhouse provided dinner at 5 o’clock.

Boys on shore and swimming in river

Postcard, inscribed: “Swimming hole, Big River Columbia Park Boys’ Club Camp, Mendocino, California.”

Their performance that evening included acrobatics, singing, comedy, and skits. The Beacon reported that “The band was in good fettle and played sprightly music at and prior to the show.”

The troupe stopped to perform in Albion later that week, then completed their final performance in Point Arena. From Point Arena, they took the steamer back to San Francisco.

Walking Tours of Historic Mendocino – Join our expert docents for a stroll and lively commentary. You’ll pass by early pioneer homes, historic meeting places, and buildings that make up the the Mendocino Historic District.