Main Street Courtyard, Mendocino – THEN and NOW

Color photo postcard of the entrance to the Fireside Shop on Main Street in Mendocino. Erma Gillespie operated her antiques store in this location from about 1966 to 1970, when she moved it upstairs above Dostal’s Clock Shop. To the right is a double-tank water tower that has serviced these buildings for many decades, and the studio below it constructed in 1964 by Bill Zacha, who also built the blue colored Mendocino Laundromat in 1961, seen on the right side of the image. (Gift of Karen McGrath, Karen McGrath Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

The Courtyard Walk is a space between two nineteenth century buildings that was created when the three-story building that once occupied this space was moved down Main Street to a new location on large wooden rollers. In 1893, George Switzer bought the old Barry building on this property and moved the house onto his lot on the corner of Howard and Albion streets (now the Headlands Inn).

March 2022

From the October 20, 1967 Beacon: “Erma Gillespie runs the widely-known ‘Fireside Shop’ in the quaint little Mendocino alley, just off Main Street, known as ‘Courtyard Walk.’ The ancient charm of the building is carried further by the fine collection of rare antique merchandise, many of the one-of-a-kind objects being real collector’s items. . . Besides all these tasty morsels, Erma also shows many fine pieces of old china and glass, as well as a group of homemade goodies including her own honey cinnamon bread.”

Coloring Mendocino by Streetcolor – This is a work of art and coloring book by the artist Streetcolor, widely known for her interactive drawing and coloring projects. She has drawn 28 historic or contemporary scenes, some featuring early settlers drawn from photographs. $17.