12-1christmasgatheringBy Anne Cooper

The Kelley House Museum will be the scene of holiday cheer and good vibes on Friday, December 2nd from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m..  We are offering our members, their guests and those who join at the door, a holiday gathering complete with libations and food.  The 1861 William and Eliza Kelley home will be decorated for the season in keeping with the Victorian era.  We will also offer optional single-malt scotch tastings again this year, five tastes for the price of $10.00, while supplies last.  Once again, entry to the party is free to members and we are more than happy to welcome new members that evening, too!  It will be an event to lift your spirits while you sip our spirits! Non-alcoholic beverages will also be available.

We know that the Kelley family celebrated Christmas, but it was undoubtedly a much more staid event in that household than it is in many today.  Given the wisdom imparted through the writings of authors such as Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” we can surmise that one thing common to the holidays — across time and space — is the gathering of families.

Here is a photograph for all those who plan to join their family members this holiday season.  In it, members of the Pullen, Gray and Perkins families have gathered at “Grayview,” the Fort Bragg residence of the Grays, located at 618 Fir Street.  It is Christmas Day, 1919.  Old and young, women, men and their offspring (dressed in tweed knickers and blazers or the obligatory sailor suit) are seated, standing or held on laps.  These are some of the people who were fortunate enough to do well on the Mendocino Coast.  Wilder and Etta Pullen, senior members on the far right in the photograph, surely had witnessed significant changes in their adopted home on the Pacific.  They had come here in the 1860s, from New England.  What will those who come after us say about this era?

Come join the “family” of members and supporters at the Kelley House. For those of you who are not members, the house will remain decorated throughout the holiday season and open Fridays to Mondays 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..  We will be so happy to welcome you to your historic home in Mendocino!