Kelley House Cypress Trees

Mendocino Fourth of July Parade, 1902. Mendocino Fourth of July parade heading east on Main Street near the intersection with Lansing Street. Note the wooden sidewalks on both sides of the street. Brown & Gray’s second General Mercantile store is on the far right. The Kelley House is behind the large cypress trees. (Gift of Emery Escola, Emery Escola Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

October 8, 1892 – The Mendocino Beacon reported, “Great improvements are being made at the residence of W. H. Kelley. The cypress trees have been trimmed, which greatly adds to the fine appearance of the grounds.” The cypress trees had been planted in 1861 by a little girl and her father – Daisy and William Kelley – in the front lawn of their home between Main Street and Albion Street.

1892 wasn’t the last time that work on the Kelley House cypress trees made the news. In 1914, “the tree doctor [John Marcellino] has also operated on the cypress trees in the grounds of the Kelley estate on Main street and has done some very successful work on them.”

Main Street looking northwest near the intersection with Lansing Street, October 2021.

By 2003, age had taken its toll, and the Beacon reported sad news. The tree at the front of the Kelley House property near the pedestrian gate was dropping large branches, and an inspection by an arborist determined that the tree was dying and needed to be removed. The tree hung over walkways and parking areas and created a serious hazard for people and personal property. The tree felling crew was Tatanka Russell of Tonk’s Tree Service in Fort Bragg with David Lindstrom and Shane Welter of Big River Tree Service assisting.

Walking Tours of Historic Mendocino – Join our expert docents for a stroll and lively commentary. You’ll pass by early pioneer homes, historic meeting places, and buildings that make up the the Mendocino Historic District.