Making History Blog

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

Is A Ship Safe in Harbor?

Is A Ship Safe in Harbor?
by Tonia Hurst On a quiet morning in October of 1900, the steam schooner, Sunol, burned to the waterline while at anchor in Little River. Built in 1890 in Alameda by the Pacific Shipping Company of San Francisco, the Sunol was 132’ long with a 33’ beam and a carrying capacity of 258 tons—the equivalent of 375,000 board feet of timber. It took just 68 days to build her from the time her keel was laid to the day she rolled down[... see full page]

Recipes from the Past

Recipes from the Past
By Katy Tahja As the fall season returns, our thoughts may also turn to harvests, family meals and food shared with friends. In keeping with such thoughts, we’d like to draw your attention to the cookbook sitting on Eliza Kelly’s china cupboard in the kitchen of the Kelley House Museum. Published in 1892, it’s stamped as belonging to the private library of “Mrs. Alexander McCallum of Glen Blair,” Eliza’s daughter. This book is an eye opener! “Science in the Kitchen”, ha[... see full page]

Six Feet Under

Six Feet Under
We all have to die sometime.  If you’d like to see how some of your fellow representatives of humanity addressed this fact, and hear their stories, consider joining the Cemetery Tour, offered by the Kelley House Museum on Saturday, October 1st, beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Your tour guide at the cemetery will be none other than “J.D. Johnson.” Who was J.D. Johnson (note use of past tense, he died in Fort Bragg in 1927)?  He was that person to whom many[... see full page]

Seed Magic: Cherie Christiansen to Speak at the Kelley House

Seed Magic: Cherie Christiansen to Speak at the Kelley House
One of the experiences which should be common to all childhoods is the wonder of witnessing the sprouting of a seed.  Many of us recall the anticipation and fun of placing a dried bean between the glass wall of a jar and a damp paper towel, or similar material, and placing that jar in a space where light and air could reach it.  In a few days, miraculously we thought, rootlets began growing out of the bean, and then in[... see full page]

Who Doesn't Love a Picnic?

Who Doesn't Love a Picnic?
By Sarah Nathe If you went down in the woods some days starting in the 1880s, you would not find teddy bears having a picnic.  The picnickers were much more likely to be members of the well-off families from the communities along the coast.  People who didn’t actually have to work in the woods thought it was great fun to go out and eat in them. Although the French are credited with inventing the picnic (le piquenique was added to the French[... see full page]

The Appeal of Apples Part II

The Appeal of Apples Part II
By Martha Davis Wagner And, now on to Caspar; supposedly among the most historic apples in that area were those planted by the Canadian, John Simpson Ross who became well known as a traveling North Coast minister.  Reverend Ross served frequently in Eliza Kelley’s Baptist Church in Mendocino. He purchased acreage in Caspar in 1870 north of town on the west side of the then Coast Road.  After laborious land clearing, a family home was built and an orchard was planted.[... see full page]