Men in suits standing outside a building with a large light on a column in front

Eight men posing in front of the Alhambra Hotel next to a large gaslight, purportedly the first in town, c. 1887. H.B. Seavey, the owner, is standing third from the left wearing a beard and vest without a coat. A tall flagpole, attached to the eave of the false front, sits on the second-story balcony. The balcony is constructed with crossed rails. A hitching post is attached to the board sidewalk along the street. (Gift of Nannie Escola, Nannie Escola Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

November 6, 1899 – Hiram Brooks Seavey passed away at the Alhambra Hotel from cancer of the throat. Despite several trips to San Francisco for medical care and multiple surgeries, the disease had progressed in a matter of months.

Born in Maine in the mid-1840s, Seavey came to California as a young man and was a Mendocino resident for many years. He began his career in Mendocino as a stage coach driver, but in 1883, Seavey and his business partner, Cy Galbraith, purchased Duncan Walker’s Saloon and Restaurant on Main Street, after Walker died suddenly of tuberculosis. In October 1884, Seavey bought out Galbraith’s 1/2 interest in the business for $1,200 in gold coin.

Seavey renovated the building, adding a foundation and a fresh coat of paint, and transformed the restaurant into a successful hotel. At the Alhambra Hotel, sometimes called Seavey’s Hotel, he offered modern innovations for the comfort of his guests. He was the first person in Mendocino to put down a concrete sidewalk in front of his business. The first telephone in town was located here, and the hotel was the first place to install gas lighting in Mendocino. Seavey also introduced the town’s first gas street light in front of the Alhambra in 1887.

His hotel was so successful that Seavey added more rooms in an adjacent building in 1891, and later constructed an 18’x22’ addition to the hotel building. In 1893, he rented the house next door to expand the hotel further. The Beacon reported that Seavey was “enterprising” and “a first-class caterer” and recognized the Alhambra as “the home for the commercial traveling public who call at Mendocino.”

Seavey was survived by his widow, Kate, and daughter Daisie. He was buried in Evergreen Cemetery with Rev. J. S. Ross officiating.

Coloring Mendocino by Streetcolor – This is a work of art and coloring book by the artist Streetcolor, widely known for her interactive drawing and coloring projects. She has drawn 28 historic or contemporary scenes, some featuring early settlers drawn from photographs. $17.