Main Street, Mendocino, 1886

Photograph of Main Street, Mendocino in 1886, looking east. The three-story Central House is visible on the left. Originally built in 1878 and operated by the Bever brothers until their retirement in 1901, the Central House would be renamed the Central Hotel, and finally, the Hotel Mendocino in 1927. It has decorative sawn balusters with heart shapes on the balcony, later replaced by cross rails. Further east on Main Street is the Alhambra Hotel with an arched canopy and an over-sized gas light on the street in front, the first in Mendocino. The building to its right is the former Bella Union Saloon, purchased by Mrs. Murray for her store. Next, a row of young cypress trees line the Main Street frontage of the Kelley House. On the right side of the image, a large watch-like timepiece hangs from a sign post in front of Stone’s Watch and Jewelry Store.

Notice the dark running horse figure in the sky. This is the finial atop the Alhambra Hotel’s flagpole. Down the street to the right is another flagpole at the Kelly & McCallum store that is 100 feet tall. There is also a flagpole in front of the Central House. Flagpoles and the enormous flags that flew from them were a popular town ornament in the 1880s and 1890s. (Ira C. Perry Studio, Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

How Mendocino Evolved by Chuck Bush – A Kelley House Museum publication covering the history of Mendocino and coastal growth during the logging years. $15.