Good Mourning Mendocino: Funeral Rites and Customs
Exhibit runs 9/20 – 11/27/2022
“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”
In keeping with this idiom, the Kelley House Museum invites you to explore one of life’s certainties—death—through a new exhibit on funeral customs observed throughout the Mendocino’s history. Far from an exploration of the macabre, the exhibit reveals the artistry of headstone carvings and mourning parlor décor. Marvel at the business side of burial, as shown on undertaker’s ledgers and plot invoices. Historic photos reveal the funeral practices observed amongst Mendocino’s diverse cultures, including one of a Taoist altar and another of Pomo baskets used for the deceased. This photo is from the Kelley House Museum archives, showing James Milliken’s casket in the mourning parlor, 1909.