This article was originally published in the Mendocino Beacon on September 11, 1975. We reprint it here to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kelley House.
To catch up on a few of the daily events in the life of Kelley House, the recent past has brought numbers of interesting and thoughtful donations. Where to begin? Artist Frank Wight, of Hayward, designed a bookplate for the reference library memorial books, a charming sketch of the house which will go to the printer soon.
Anne and John Heider, just returned from England, bought the house a set of beautifully painted ceramic doorknobs. Aldine Gorman [descendent of the Conways of Cuffey’s Cove, she was also an esteemed Honorary Member of Mendocino Historical Research, Inc.] came to the door one day carrying a 2-1/2 by 4 inch glass paperweight and the picture embedded in it is the old C. E. Church at Albion.
Gordon Kelley [a son of Otis Kelley and Annie McGuire] sent an envelope containing pictures he had taken in Mendocino some 40 years ago. Very interesting to see how many of the buildings are now gone and yet how many of them remain.
Rene Borgna Tanner [daughter of the Borgnas who owned the Sempione Hotel (today’s Lisbon House on Ukiah Street) from 1906-1919] brought from San Luis Obispo a silk patchwork quilt and pictures. In the natural history department, the David Hartlews, of Millbrae, read the account of the growing goose and duck population and sent a check to help on the feed bills.
Skilly Russell [an amateur botanist and wildcrafter] drove in with sacks of redwood duff [likely from her 120-acre old-growth property just south of Mendocino]; this is to prepare the ground for the rhododendrons which will be planted after the first good fall rain.
The fuchsia show over the weekend was a great success. The Mendocino Coast Branch of the American Fuchsia Society put on a fine display of cascading fuchsias and fuchsia bonsai trees, identifying many varieties of the colorful plants. In some of her quieter moments, Barbara Schneider, who master minded the whole show, walked through the Kelley garden and found three varieties of fuchsias growing there. Next to the far west fence is a Carnea, unique and hard to find, at least 100 years old and an original species. Also in the west garden, toward the pond, is a Blue Boy, a hybrid about 60 or 65 years old, and a Nonpareil, a hybrid of about the same age, very hardy. Annabelle’s Fuchsia Gardens and Faye’s Nursery supplied the saleable plants and members of the society the displays.
Another member of the society, Alonzo Bell, identified the tree in the east yard near the pergola as the Australian Tea Tree (Leucadendron), also very old and very rare.
In addition, we learned how to spell FUCHSIA and won the door prize.
The Kelley House Museum is open from 11AM to 3PM Thursday through Monday. If you have a question for the curator, reach out to email@example.com to make an appointment. Walking tours of the historic district depart from the Kelley House regularly.