Making History Blog

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

"Framing History: Worth a Thousand Words" Opening May 26

"Framing History: Worth a Thousand Words" Opening May 26
by Anne Cooper, Curator As time machines go, the camera is a good one. Early photographers on the Mendocino Coast, as was true of the men and women engaged in photography everywhere, documented the world around them and the people in it. Their images and the lives they led as photographers -- along with A. O. Carpenter’s equipment as examples of the tools of the trade -- are the subjects of our new exhibit, “Framing History: Worth a Thousand Words,” opening[... see full page]

Mendocino County and the Great White Plague

Mendocino County and the Great White Plague
by Tonia Hurst, Kelley House Museum volunteer “Only four things are necessary in the treatment of this disease: sunlight, fresh air, good food, and rest,” according to Dr. Thomas Darlington, Commissioner of Health, speaking at a conference on Consumption in New York in 1904. In reality, consumption—better known as tuberculosis—remained incurable until the mid 1940s. Before then, 50% of people who contracted the disease eventually would die of it. Tuberculosis spread quickly among the poor and in crowded, urban conditions. It would[... see full page]

Turbans in the Trees

Turbans in the Trees
by Tonia Hurst, Kelley House volunteer About eleven miles from Mendocino, along the Comptche-Ukiah Road, you can spot the remains of what was once Albion Lumber Company’s Camp 10. How would you know you were in the right place? By the presence of the non-native eucalyptus trees. Eucalyptus was not the only distant transplant to arrive here in those years. In the late 19th century, at a time when Eastern philosophy, spirituality, music and literature were popular and the University of California,[... see full page]

Seasons of Volunteering

Seasons of Volunteering
by Anne Cooper, Curator As we all know, there are seasons to life. We cycle through times of feast and famine. In many ways, the life and experiences of a single person mirror those of a community. Beginning in the mid-1970s and continuing until fairly recently, the Kelley House Museum experienced a bounty of volunteers. What is difficult to know is the underlying cause of these cyclic manifestations. Was it the particular mystique of the Kelley House at its beginning that drew[... see full page]

Fast Cars, Loose…Clothing

Fast Cars, Loose…Clothing
by Tonia Hurst, Kelley House Museum volunteer A typical way to date unmarked photos is by studying the people or objects in an image.  Hairstyles, hats and even clothing are all accurate markers of period and time. The Kelley House archives abound with examples of austere families, their children trussed up in their Sunday best, their expressions suggesting that life was ever a dull moment. Given the adventurous lives of local kids, it’s hard to imagine how they enjoyed freedom when children’s[... see full page]

Water Works

Water Works
By Tonia Hurst, Kelley House Museum volunteer One of the best things about working at the Kelley House Museum is the chance to share a love of history with others, to learn from them, and collectively enrich our knowledge of local lore. Such was the case a few weeks ago when reader David Larkin, Jr. donated a twelve-foot-long section of machine-banded redwood water pipe to the Kelley House in response to our piece, Pipe Dreams, published here in the Beacon. The[... see full page]