Making History Blog

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

Talking with . . . Alvin Mendosa in 2000

Talking with . . . Alvin Mendosa in 2000
Way back at the turn of the present century, an oral history project was undertaken by a group of two dozen Mendocino Middle School children. This group of youngsters, now twenty years older, has left us a valuable record of twelve “Old Timers” and their experiences here on the coast. The project, led by Deena Zarlin, past Kelley House board member and active in the educational community at that time, had the these student interviewers and interviewees:

Protecting the Vault

Protecting the Vault
Vault Shed Before 1990 There is a popular exhibit on the walls of the Kelley House Museum called “Then and Now.” Visitors are offered the opportunity to compare two framed photos of the same place, taken about one hundred years apart. You can see the bay-windowed Jarvis-Nichols general store on the corner of Main and Kasten Streets bedecked with patriotic bunting for the July 4th parade circa 1900, juxtaposed with the contemporary view of that building, now occupied by the Gallery[... see full page]

Making History

Making History
One of the most fun things about the Kelley House is that you never know who or what might come in the door next. A couple of weeks ago an elderly couple from Lakeport stopped by to give the Kelley House a photo of his great-grandparents wedding portrait and a copy of their marriage license. Wed on December 7, 1895, Emil Kynell and Sofie Johnson were both natives of Finland and lived in Albion. The Bradleys took the time to[... see full page]

Ghost Towns of Mendocino County

Ghost Towns of Mendocino County
Ghost Towns Working in the archives of the Kelley House Museum is fascinating because you are always finding tidbits of history that leave you going "Wow! I didn't know that!" Like ghost towns . . . What?? We have ghost towns in our county? You bet we do. Railroads gave us a lot of them. L.E. White's lumber company railroad went out to a split in the tracks and they named it Salsig, or Manzanita. Now within Mendocino Redwood Lumber Company holdings,[... see full page]

All the News That's Printed Fits

All the News That's Printed Fits
Phil Carnahan at his scanner.  The boxes under his window contain all the microfilm he’s using for his project, and there are more on the way.  History and genealogy buffs in Mendocino County have recently been given a great resource by Phil Carnahan, a tech-savvy buff himself who has undertaken to scan and make searchable documents of all the microfilm from the newspapers published in the county from their beginnings to the present time.  Phil began that project in 2015 and,[... see full page]

Fire in Your Backyard

Fire in Your Backyard
Northern California Fires from space, July 6, 2008 NASA image Someone recently contacted the Kelley House Museum to ask if there had been any major wildfires right along the Mendocino Coast. Docents checked resources and talked to old-timers and all we could come up with was the 1931 Comptche Fire, about 15 miles inland, and the 2008 Mendocino Lightning Complex Fire that burnt from the Elk Coast to Covelo, starting 129 fires that consumed 54,817 acres countywide. Native peoples used controlled burning to[... see full page]