Large group of children on front steps of a church

Children on the steps of the Mendocino Presbyterian Church, Easter 1948. This photo may have been taken after an egg hunt, as just about everyone has a bag – some more full than others! If you can identify someone in this photograph, please be sure to let us know! (Gift of Jeanette Hansen, Jeanette Mendosa Hansen Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

April 17, 1927 – An Easter Sunrise Service was held on high school hill, the first of its kind to be held on the Mendocino Coast.

The Beacon described the scene, “Easter morning dawned bright and beautiful and a group of worshipers gathered on high school hill to greet the rising sun and hold religious services. The high school piano had been moved out of doors for the occasion and seats for 100 were provided. At 5:30 the sun arose above the horizon and was greeted by a trumpet call from the Boy Scouts, which was echoed all over the town.”

The audience sang hymns and gathered around a ten-foot-tall cross which had been placed by the Boy Scouts. Reverend F. E. Howard of Albion read scripture, and solos were performed by Edward Law, Mrs. Mark Eglin of Caspar, and Mrs. Gravenstein of Albion.

The Camp Fire girls marched around the cross while the congregation sang, “each one depositing her offering of lilies at its foot. Rev. Howard then gave an interesting address on the first Easter that was attentively listened to. This concluded the services and the crowd melted slowly away down the hillside.”

The meeting was such a success that plans were made to hold another sunrise service the following year. “The location is ideal for such services; the blue Pacific stretching away to the west, the town spreading out at the foot of the hill, and the forest area in the distance, making a perfect setting for the services.”

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.