Making History Blog

Many of these articles have been published in the Mendocino Beacon’s Kelley House Calendar.

“Tiny Houses” in the Redwoods a Century Ago

“Tiny Houses” in the Redwoods a Century Ago
Moving buildings from one logging camp to another near Big River. (William Ferrill Collection, Kelley House Museum archives) If you want to see three words together that might clash with each other, try “logging camp” and “cute.” But I don't care what anyone says, if you look at logging camp cabins being transported on railroad flat cars they are CUTE. When logging operations a century ago were miles from mills or towns in roadless areas only accessible by logging railroad, getting loggers[... see full page]

Bette Marie Duke

Bette Marie Duke
January 5, 1942 - March 21, 2019 Bette Duke on the beach in 2008 Creative, quirky, passionate and adventurous, Bette Duke of Little River passed away last month on the vernal equinox, March 21, 2019, as if she had planned the day. She was a long-time volunteer at the Kelley House, which allowed her to feed her passion of genealogy, history and artistic design all at the same time. Her work at the Kelley House will long outlive her time there. Bette was[... see full page]

The Wye Becomes the Triangle

The Wye Becomes the Triangle
The Michael James Hill Memorial Triangle at the intersection of Lansing and Main Streets in Mendocino, 2019. A few weeks ago, this column presented photographs of the Wye in Mendocino, circa 1957. This intersection of Main and Lansing Streets was then a non-descript wayside that lay between three strips of pavement, decorated by a couple of stop signs and a native pine tree planted by the late and beloved Dr. Russell Preston before he died in 1954. As the town came out[... see full page]

Common Grounds

Common Grounds
by Christina Aranguren with Carol Dominy View of Brown and Davis houses on Pine Street between 1914 and 1921. The H.H.Brown house is the two-story near the bottom of the photo with the water tower. Their daughter's bungalow is behind on the left. The large building on the left hill with the tall water tower is the original high school, replaced in 1949 with the one we know today. The arrival of neighbors new to any corner of the[... see full page]

The Wye

The Wye
The Wye intersection at Main and Lansing in Mendocino, 1957. Courtesy of Bette Duke. For about a hundred years, Highway 1 came right through the town of Mendocino. Not around it as it does today. It wasn’t until the 1960s that today’s wide pavement was built, zipping cars at 55 miles per hour around the east side of downtown. Before then, your southbound highway journey would have been slower, because Lansing Street was the highway. From Agate Cove, the two-lane road[... see full page]

Talking with . . . Alvin Mendosa in 2000

Talking with . . . Alvin Mendosa in 2000
Way back at the turn of the present century, an oral history project was undertaken by a group of two dozen Mendocino Middle School children. This group of youngsters, now twenty years older, has left us a valuable record of twelve “Old Timers” and their experiences here on the coast. The project, led by Deena Zarlin, past Kelley House board member and active in the educational community at that time, had the these student interviewers and interviewees: