Making History Blog

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

Flaming Log Rafts!

Flaming Log Rafts!
Flaming log rafts? How does something already floating in the Pacific Ocean catch fire? Some true events in maritime shipping will always remain a mystery. For the last column in our series on log rafts comes this history tidbit from the August 9, 1941 Mendocino Beacon. Fort Bragg wharf on the left. Structure in the center is the slipway built to launch a log raft. “Radio on Friday morning announced a log raft en route from Puget Sound to San Diego to[... see full page]

Log Raft Accidents Happen

Log Raft Accidents Happen
In recent weeks, the Kelley House Calendar has focused on log rafts and the vessels pulling them. Log rafts were exactly what the term suggests, logs tied up with chains that were towed to a sawmill in a sunny location where sunshine could dry out fresh cut boards. Practiced from 1906 to 1942, rafts became the cheapest way to move a lot of logs 1,000 miles to the south of the Mendocino coast.  Broken Up Log Raft on Big River Beach,[... see full page]

Why Assemble Logs Into a Raft?

Why Assemble Logs Into a Raft?
This column is a further exploration into the history of log rafts on the Mendocino Coast and the topic will continue for the next few weeks. When a historian finds all kinds of interesting historical facts while researching, and it just won’t fit in one story, the topic becomes a series. Steam ship towing a log raft out of Noyo Harbor near Fort Bragg. (Virginia Lycan Estate, courtesy John Paschall, Sr., Kelley House Museum archives) So why assemble a raft of logs[... see full page]

Tugboats and Log Rafts

Tugboats and Log Rafts
One of the dilemmas I get into as a historian is that I start out with an idea for a Kelley House column… “I’m going to write about tugboats and log rafts…” then when researching I get side-tracked and diverted by other interesting facts. Pretty soon I’ve got more than enough research for three or four columns, all relevant to my original search. So, if readers notice a repetitive theme over the next few weeks it’s because this writer found[... see full page]

Ukiah's Senator Sanford and Women's Suffrage

Ukiah's Senator Sanford and Women's Suffrage
While a very few nice positive things could be said about state representative John B. Sanford of Ukiah 110 years ago… “He was a good businessman, a man of faith, he served his community as a teacher and principal”… the man had a colossal fault in his character. Sanford would turn livid at the suggestion that woman should get to vote. A 1914 anti-suffrage cartoon by Udo J. Keppler, "All together now! Stop her!.” Published in Puck Magazine by Puck Publishing[... see full page]

Onward the Broom Brigade

Onward the Broom Brigade
What in the world are the women in this photograph doing? Young women practicing their broom maneuvers. Pictured (not in order): Harriet “Hattie” Powell (Peggy Quaid’s great grandmother), Grace Monroe, Minnie Gates, Maggie Arthur, Marnie Conway, Mary Bowlin, Miss Reed, Sutie Howins, Anna Westover, Lily Kimball, Miss Sawyer, Estell Taylor, Rose Purcell. (Photo courtesy of Peggy Quaid, Kelley House Museum) This is one of four curious pictures presented to the Kelley House Museum by our good friend, Peggy Quaid. They preserve for[... see full page]