Making History Blog

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

Mendocino's Community Library

Mendocino's Community Library
The latest chapter in the library history of Mendocino began back in 1974, when the Mendocino Study Club, keeper of the community’s lending library, was faced once again with the task of finding a new home for its club rooms, and also for its ever-growing collection of books. As we covered in an earlier column, the Club rooms in the much loved Kellieowen Hall, on the corner of Lansing and Ukiah Street, had to be vacated when Daisy MacCallum’s heirs sold[... see full page]

The Study Club Library

The Study Club Library
Our previous column bookmarked the story of Mendocino’s many libraries at the part where the venerable Mendocino Study Club has become the patron for the town’s bibliophiles.  Daisy Kelley MacCallum in 1952, the year before she died, sitting on the sun porch of her home on Albion Street in Mendocino. In 1938, the Club unexpectedly needed another place to hold their meetings. Since 1924, they had convened for business and pleasure on the second floor of the old Templar’s Hall – coincidentally[... see full page]

The Girl Scout Library

The Girl Scout Library
It is the 1930s, the Great Depression has started, and we begin another chapter in the story of libraries.  Girl Scout Intermediate Bookbinding Badge from the 1930s, showing an open book. Our two previous articles recounted earlier reading rooms and libraries on Mendocino’s Main Street, and then in the building on the corner of Ukiah and Lansing Street. Since its construction by W. H. Kelley in 1887, this structure went by a different name with each succeeding generation – Skating Rink Hall,[... see full page]

The Library at Skating Rink Hall

The Library at Skating Rink Hall
This is the second segment in a series of articles about the libraries in Mendocino. The previous column took us from 1883, when the first library opened in the Good Templars’ Hall on south Main Street, to 1909. That year the county went “dry” and the libraries sponsored by these temperance organizations had completed their mission. The Public Library and Reading Room in the early 1900s was located behind Joe Nichols’ pool rooms in Skating Rink Hall (later called Kellieowen Hall).[... see full page]

Mendocino's Temperance Libraries

Mendocino's Temperance Libraries
Main Street in Mendocino looking east in the mid 1930s. Templars Hall, site of the first library, is the building on the right just in front of the fire hall with the bell tower. It was demolished in 1938. Mendocino’s first public library must have had an enviable ocean view. Called the Free Reading Room, it opened in April of 1883 on the second floor of the Templar’s Hall, one of the now-gone buildings owned by the Mendocino Lumber Company on[... see full page]

Coastal Libraries, Part Three

Coastal Libraries, Part Three

Fort Bragg's Library History

The Kelley House Museum has been researching the growth and development of library services on the Mendocino Coast. This week the city of Fort Bragg gets the attention. An early view of the 1913 Fort Bragg Library on Main Street near Laurel Avenue. The building to the right was the Fort Bragg Commercial Bank, and is today’s “Town Hall.” (Courtesy Fort Bragg-Mendocino Coast Historical Society) As mentioned in previous segments of this series, “reading rooms” played a big part in[... see full page]