Making History Blog

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

Mendocino's Brass Band

Mendocino's Brass Band
Brass Bands were huge back in the day.  It was a matter of town pride to have at least one, if not more.  At one time, Mendocino could boast of a Brass Band and a Ladies’ Brass Band, as well as an orchestra.  Our photograph was taken on May 29, 1898, presumably in Mendocino. The men in this photograph were not just band mates.  They knew each other from other contexts too.  The photograph belonged to one of the band members,[... see full page]

Loaded for Bear

Loaded for Bear
  “A rough and tumble with a grizzly,” watercolor by H. Bullock Webster, 1878, from the University of British Columbia collection. Whether or not Cuffey’s Cove got its name from the grizzlies in the area (Mendocino Beacon, Kelley House Calendar, February 18, 2016), bears were abundant there—at least until the European settlers started shooting them in the early 1850s.  Among the first documented Cuffey’s Cove bear hunters were Francisco Faria (Portugee Frank), Captain Charles Fletcher (of Navarro-by-the Sea), and James Kenny, who[... see full page]

“Impact of the Frolic” Film at Kelley House March 20, 2016

“Impact of the Frolic” Film at Kelley House March 20, 2016
By Katy Tahja We are pleased to announce that Matthew Ritenour, creator of the film on Mendocino’s most famous shipwreck, “Impact of the Frolic” will be speaking at a “Sunday Afternoon With . . .” at the Kelley House Museum, Sunday, March 20 at 4 p.m. as the finale to the exhibit “A Dark & Stormy Night: Mendocino Coast Shipwrecks.” Ritenour has produced a visually stunning exploration of events around the 1850 shipwreck of the ship which carried Chinese trade goods headed[... see full page]

Need a Shine?

Need a Shine?
This image recently surfaced at the Kelley House Museum’s archives and carried a note which stated that it was taken in Fort Bragg. Does anyone remember this? Where would this have been? Could it have been located in the California Western Depot or in a hotel lobby? Was it on Main Street or some other well-traveled part of town? The estimated date of the photograph is “c. 1930.” There is siding behind the stand, and three frames are visible in[... see full page]

Spring Into History

Spring Into History
By Anne Pierce Cooper Here’s a treasure from the vault of the Kelley House Museum! There’s also a lesson in its survival for everyone who considers whether or not they can afford to be a ‘pack rat.’ Someone, possibly Minnie Olsen’s mother, Julia, made the decision to keep the March 1872 issue of ‘Demorest’s Illustrated.’ Perhaps it was the colored illustrations (as the periodical’s name implies) of the fashions for women and children, which grace the pages of this magazine; the[... see full page]

Wreck of the "Frolic" Subject of Sunday Talk

Wreck of the "Frolic" Subject of Sunday Talk
By Katy Tahja “A Dark & Stormy Night: Mendocino Coast Shipwrecks…” the current exhibit at the Kelley House, includes information on the first wreck known to have occurred only a few miles north. We refer, of course to the Frolic. To learn much more, plan to come to the Museum February 28 at 4 p.m. to spend a ‘Sunday Afternoon With . . . ‘ Robert Becker. Becker is a veteran docent at the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse and will talk about what[... see full page]