On Sunday, May 29th, the Kelley House Museum will host its annual book sale between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM. The sale is curated by retired librarian and docent, Katy Tahja, and focuses on history, travel, gardening and cooking.

Old books and magazines about Mendocino laying on a table

A small sample of the antiquarian treasures available at the Kelley House book sale.

Some real treasures were donated to the museum from the estate of the Malpas family. General Laws of the State of California 1909 is a worn leather-bound volume of 1,775 pages; to extend the regulatory theme, there is a soft-covered 1929 Boy Scout Handbook for Patrol Leaders with wonderful illustrations.

Mechanical Movements: Powers, Devices & Appliances, written by George Hiscox in 1899, should delight any mechanic. Even more archaic is the 1879 copy of Ropp’s Easy Calculator-for Mechanics, Farmers, Business Men & Laborers.

Woodworking techniques haven’t changed too much, so Charles King’s 1911 Elements of Woodworking will give you all the direction you need. The1925 Whale Ships and Whaling will transport you to the waters off New England with an image on nearly every page. We have serials too: a 915-page hardcover volume of all 1876 Scribner’s; or a 1894 Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine.

A box of Big River News, starting with Volume 1 Number1, is a cache of Mendocino history and thought from the 1970’s to 1990’s. More on the home front can be found in the autographed copy of Jacques Helfer’s 1970 Natural History of Mendocino. Mendocino County, California, a 70’s publication intended for tourism promotion, is accompanied by 33⅓ RPM record that will bring you both the “story and the sounds of Mendocino.” 

For another blast from the not-too-distant past, we have 25 copies of Conversations with Grandmother Redwood, by Bonnie Sanger, a Mendocino coast character. Starting in 1973, Bonnie and her daughter lived in a tent in Usal for four years; and from 1978 to 2005, Bonnie kept a journal of her conversations with a tree. The 40-page book was published shortly before Bonnie passed away in 2006, and the copies were donated by Patti DeMatteo.

The museum is also eliminating duplicate books in its collections, among which are some from Daisy MacCallum’s personal library. And Daisy had an impressive collection of books!

To improve your own collection, or just to enjoy the feel of leather-bound books, don’t miss the book sale on Sunday, May 29th at the Kelley House.

The Kelley House Museum is open Thursday–Sunday, 11 AM–3 PM at 45007 Albion St., Mendocino. 707-937-5791. To see the schedule for our regularly scheduled docent-led walking tours of the historic district, go to KelleyHouseMuseum.org/walking-tours.