August 11, 1913 – John Deromeri, a Mendocino Mill worker who lived in a cabin on Big River Flat, survived being run over by an automobile at the corner of Lansing and Main Streets. Cars were still a relatively new invention, and the Beacon reported that John had little use for autos. “He don’t like their looks, he don’t like their speed, and in fact he hates the cussed things like blazes.”

Intersection of two dirt roads. Man poses in center of intersection. Commercial building in background.

Corner of Lansing and Main Streets in Mendocino, 1914-1918. The building in the background was built about 1874 by William H. Kelley as his general merchandise store.

John had been saying goodnight to some friends just as Chester Barry was slowly driving down Lansing Street in his mother’s car. As Chester turned the corner onto Main Street, John stepped directly into the car’s path. The next thing John knew “his face was jammed into Main street, he was swallowing a mouthful of dust, and the front wheel of the car was slowly, very slowly, passing over his body. Before the rear wheel reached the prostrate man, the car was stopped and Deromeri hopped up, none the worse for the accident. That is he hadn’t suffered any physical mishap. But mad! My, but he was mad!”

John directed his anger towards the offending vehicle, unleashing a stream of curses in Italian. “After kicking the wheel to his heart’s content and giving it a good cussing, he straightened up and walked away, grumbling under his breath.”

“Meanwhile in the car, confusion reigned. Horror-stricken, the occupants of the car had seen the man walk directly into the path of the car which threw him to the ground and came to rest with the body between the front and rear wheels. Amazed, they saw the man spring to his feet and commence his furious assault upon the wheel.”

Chester, pale-faced and trembling, asked Clyde Jackson, one of his passengers, to drive the car home.

“Water Tower Wonderland” Discover the beauty, ingenuity, and architecture of these iconic structures in the Kelley House Museum’s summer exhibit. Using historic photographs, original pieces from local artists, and small-scale models, the exhibit explores the majesty and functionality of many well-known water towers. On display are renderings of Mendocino water towers in several media, with serigraphs by Anne Kendall Foote and Bill Zacha, a quilt square by Dee Goodrich, and a linocut by Emmy Lou Packard. The exhibit also includes pastels and architectural models made by Mendocino High School students. 45007 Albion Street, Mendocino. Thursday-Monday, 11am – 3pm. Now until September 18.