In celebration of the Fourth of July…

Excerpted from Mendocino Historical Review, Number 8, June, 1981. Written by Beth Stebbins.

Barbara Carpenter, although quite ill for eight years, had talked about having a flagpole at Kelley House. She wanted to give us her father’s large 5’x8’ flag. We could never afford a pole… but after Barbara’s death, memorial gifts came into MHR for her.

Michael MacDonald rescued the old bench, or at least what was left of it, that used to be in front of the old Kelley store building. Across its back at the top were the words “Behold the Sea”… Bill Lemos cut a 40’ redwood tree on his place and shaved and smoothed it while it dried for four or five months. Bob Collier had a round ball about 6” in diameter suitable for a newel post, but just right for the top of a flagpole. It was in his Mendocino Ornament Shop and I offered to buy it, but Bob insisted on donating it to Kelley House. With it under my arm I went to Bruce Sloan to have it gilded, at the same time I ordered a 22” x 24” plaque for the dedication of the pole in Barbara’s memory and her father’s flag in his memory.

Four uniformed men firing rifles

Flagpole Dedication at the Kelley House, July 4, 1979. American Legion firing the gun salute. Clint Freeman, Harold Reep, and Don Carpenter are three of the American Legion riflemen. (Photographer: Bill Comer)

The pole was finally painted by Karen Lowell, its halyards attached by Charlie Lambie and with much pulling and pushing it was ready for the flag on July 4th, 1979. With Jack Bishoff making the dedication speech, Don Carpenter raising the flag, the American Legion firing the gun salute, and cameras popping all around the scene, Barbara’s flagpole and her father’s flag were a high point of the day. The only disappointment was for the young Boy Scout who just could not bring his lips and bugle to work compatibly and after several tries he had to give up.

Celebrate the Fourth of July on the Kelley House lawn, offering the best parade viewing spots directly across from the judges’ platform on Main Street! Enjoy dance music with DJ Dylan, munchies, margaritas, wine, and beer from North Coast Brewing Company, plus non-alcoholic options. Bring a picnic basket or pick up a hot dog at Rotary Park just down the street, and bring it back to enjoy with your drinks. Thank you to our generous sponsors: North Coast Brewing Company, Old Gold Jewelry, and Harvest Market. 11am-3pm. 45007 Albion Street, Mendocino. Admission is FREE, though we appreciate all donations!