Making History Blog

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

China Towns of California

China Towns of California
Mendocino’s “Chinatown,” located on the south side of West Main Street, as shown on the 1890 Sanborn-Perris map. This land is now a part of the Mendocino Headlands State Park. The Chinese laundry seen here at the corner of Main and Kasten Streets was replaced with a bank building in 1908, and is now the “Out of This World” store. For the current exhibition concerning Chinese on the Mendocino Coast, the Kelley House Museum has set out in a glass display[... see full page]

Kids Nowadays!

Kids Nowadays!
Hunter Fields hard at work in the Kelley House Museum When I met with Hunter Fields last week in the Kelley House Office, he was organizing two file boxes of CDs with old-timer interviews.  Hunter is a high school student who volunteers with Kelley House a few hours per week in order to fulfill his community service requirement.  He is going to graduate from dear old Mendocino High tomorrow, so congratulations are in order, but we don’t want him to move[... see full page]

“Tiny Houses” in the Redwoods a Century Ago

“Tiny Houses” in the Redwoods a Century Ago
Moving buildings from one logging camp to another near Big River. (William Ferrill Collection, Kelley House Museum archives) If you want to see three words together that might clash with each other, try “logging camp” and “cute.” But I don't care what anyone says, if you look at logging camp cabins being transported on railroad flat cars they are CUTE. When logging operations a century ago were miles from mills or towns in roadless areas only accessible by logging railroad, getting loggers[... see full page]

Bette Marie Duke

Bette Marie Duke
January 5, 1942 - March 21, 2019 Bette Duke on the beach in 2008 Creative, quirky, passionate and adventurous, Bette Duke of Little River passed away last month on the vernal equinox, March 21, 2019, as if she had planned the day. She was a long-time volunteer at the Kelley House, which allowed her to feed her passion of genealogy, history and artistic design all at the same time. Her work at the Kelley House will long outlive her time there. Bette was[... see full page]

The Wye Becomes the Triangle

The Wye Becomes the Triangle
The Michael James Hill Memorial Triangle at the intersection of Lansing and Main Streets in Mendocino, 2019. A few weeks ago, this column presented photographs of the Wye in Mendocino, circa 1957. This intersection of Main and Lansing Streets was then a non-descript wayside that lay between three strips of pavement, decorated by a couple of stop signs and a native pine tree planted by the late and beloved Dr. Russell Preston before he died in 1954. As the town came out[... see full page]

Common Grounds

Common Grounds
by Christina Aranguren with Carol Dominy View of Brown and Davis houses on Pine Street between 1914 and 1921. The H.H.Brown house is the two-story near the bottom of the photo with the water tower. Their daughter's bungalow is behind on the left. The large building on the left hill with the tall water tower is the original high school, replaced in 1949 with the one we know today. The arrival of neighbors new to any corner of the[... see full page]