Making History Blog

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

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]

Kelley House, and the Coast, Lose Two Champions

Kelley House, and the Coast, Lose Two Champions
Within ten days of each other, two people fundamental to the traditions and support of the Kelley House passed away.  Chuck Bush and Martha Wagner both gave of themselves, their time and their treasure to help establish the Kelley House Museum and make it what it is today.  This is not meant to serve as an obituary for either of these benefactors, but rather a remembrance of some of their contributions to Mendocino through the Kelley House and a tribute[... see full page]

A Shipping Point Mystery

A Shipping Point Mystery
Between Tuesday, March 7th and Saturday, March 11th, some rather low tides occurred.  They are printed in red on the tide table booklet made available by the Mendocino Area Parks Association and are noted at the back of that booklet as “minus tide days.”  On the afternoon of March 7th, a Mendocino resident came by the Kelley House to let us know that he had spotted something of potential interest at the bottom of the “blow hole” out at Shipping[... see full page]

The Mean Streets of Mendocino

The Mean Streets of Mendocino
by Tonia Hurst, Kelley House Museum volunteer The Mendocino downtown of old was a wild and wooly place -- literally. Today, if you browse the narrow alleys and shops around town, or if you are driving a truck on Albion Street between the Kelley House and the MacCallum House, you can’t help but notice the narrow confines produced by on-street parking, two-way traffic, and eager tourists savoring Mendocino’s unquestionable charms. With that picture in mind, add one more thing to your[... see full page]