Herman Fayal and the Ford Roadster

Man in hat standing behind miniature houses
Herman Fayal and His Miniature Houses, 1986. For years the Fayal family home on the corner of Calpella and Kelly streets, where Herman lived for over 80 years, was a showplace for his carpentry skills with a miniature scene of Mendocino’s old Main Street, doll houses, water towers, wind­ mills, flower boxes, and a series of miniatures showing the progression of lumber from the log to use in shipbuilding. Passers-by often stopped at the Fayal home to look at the miniatures that filled his yard.

August 17, 1927 – Herman Fayal “had an experience which he doesn’t care to repeat.” According to the Beacon, Herman was driving a Ford roadster belonging to fellow woodsman John Burgo on Comptche-Ukiah Road about 6pm. Herman was coming to town from camp, when he met a car traveling toward him “in a rather narrow place in the road and, as he swung his roadster out to the side of the road, he slammed on the brakes at the same time.”

“The light car skidded over the grade, hung quivering on the brink for an instant, in which brief space Herman tried his darndest to crawl out, but the glass side wings blocked his exit and before he could escape, the car over balanced, toppled over and away she went down the bank with Herman aboard. It rolled over three times and finally brought up against something solid about 50 feet below. Although the machine rolled over three times in its tumultuous descent, strange to say, beyond a few scratches and bruises the driver was unhurt.”

“The car, however, was a sight, the entire top was smashed flat as the proverbial pancake. The glass side wings were broken into fragments, the fenders looked like a broken-winged duck. The windshield had entirely disappeared and the right front wheel was crushed beyond repair. Herman crawled out of the wreck and up the bank and phoned to Mendocino for aid. Alf Lyons went out with his wrecker and towed the car to the S & E for repairs.” The S & E refers to the Sutherland & Escola Garage, located on Main Street where Schlafer’s Garage is today.

Don’t miss our current exhibit! The Kelley House pays tribute to legendary local ‘70s band Cat Mother with a collection of ephemera, albums, and artwork. Cat Mother was an eclectic rock band formed in Greenwich Village, New York in 1967. By 1970, Cat Mother was living on the Mendocino Coast inspiring locals with outdoor “Boogies” and sparking creativity and community on the coast. Museum Hours: Thurs – Sun, 11 AM – 3 PM.