July 21, 1937 – Mae Bishop died at a hospital in Berkeley, just 5 days after her 20th birthday. Dr. Preston had recommended that her parents, Chet and Elizabeth Bishop, take her there when she became ill a few days before. “Despite good medical care, she did not improve and developed pneumonia. Already weakened, she did not have the strength to withstand this, and soon succumbed.”

Elevated view of people walking down a street in a parade

High School Circus Parade, 1933. High School Circus Parade down Kasten Street on Friday, November 10, 1933. Later that evening, a 20-act performance was staged at Apple Hall, and Helen Lemos was crowned Queen of the Circus.  Mae Bishop is the Lion.

Mae was born in Point Arena in 1917, and when she was 7, the Bishop family moved to Mendocino, where she attended the local schools. “She was a lover of nature, and exceedingly fond of all sports and outdoor games. Was exceptionally good at tennis, swimming and archery.”

Following her graduation from Mendocino High School in 1935, Mae majored in Physical Education at Stockton Junior College. While there, she was the manager of the women’s basketball team, wrote a women’s sports column for the paper, and led a Girl Scout troop. She also received blue ribbon awards for intercollegiate swimming and archery. In May 1937, Mae became engaged to Ollie Peterson of Albion, and the following month she graduated from junior college, planning to take additional courses in Physical Education at the University of California in the Fall.

“Her life so far, had been full of action and accomplishment, and the future promised much. She was such a happy and friendly girl that she was loved by everyone.”

Funeral services were held in the Mendocino Presbyterian Church. Hymns were sung by Mrs. George Soeth and Mrs. Nettie Nichols, accompanied by Mrs. Alice Elliott on the organ. The pall bearers were high school friends: Oliver Harmon, Frank Baroni, Ed Mathews, Reginald Gomes, George Valador, and Kenneth Maxwell. Interment was in the family plot in the Manchester cemetery.

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.