August 29, 1887 – H. E. Wilkinson, a clerk for the United States Signal Service, arrived in Mendocino to install a weather station. This station was one of ten set up thru a partnership between the Signal Service and the San Francisco Chronicle. The other locations were San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Rosa, Yreka, San Bernardino, Modesto, Bakersfield, Indio, and Carson City, Nevada.
According to the Chronicle, “The amount of money appropriated for the purpose by the Government limited the number of signal stations in California and thus prevented the full development of the service. The Chronicle offered to pay the expenses of providing additional observers at ten new stations, of instructing the observers in the use of the instruments, and of telegraphing the reports throughout the State, the only outlay of the Government being the loan of the apparatus and the supplying of printed forms.”
Lauriston A. Morgan was in charge of the Mendocino station. The instruments included four thermometers (including maximum and minimum thermometers), a rain gauge, a barometer, a wind vane, and an anemometer for measuring wind speed. Morgan gathered the weather information and relayed the readings to San Francisco by telegraph three times per day.
The Chronicle compiled the information from the stations and sent “the weather indications for the day to every telegraph office in the State of California. Neat bulletin boards were furnished by the Chronicle and the signal service reports were each day posted upon them, accessible to all interested in the probable changes of the weather.”
In 1891, Congress moved the weather bureau from the Signal Service to the Department of Agriculture, and the partnership ended. The Beacon reported that the weather service “has been discontinued at this place, and now the anemometer and wind vane that were on E. Brown’s water tower no longer cater to the elements. They have been shipped to San Francisco.”
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