Making History Blog

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

Abalone Love, Part II

Abalone Love, Part II
by Tonia Hurst If you visit the Kelley House Museum Archives and go down the short flight of stairs into the chilly vault, it’s not hard to imagine you are diving for knowledge—especially where abalone are concerned. Should you chance to don a pair of white gloves and take a look through the old, bound copies of The Beacon, the public’s concerns over the misuse of local natural resources quickly become evident. By 1913, despite prior actions by the Mendocino County[... see full page]

Abalone Love, Part I

Abalone Love, Part I
by Tonia Hurst What do people and sea otters have in common? Well, for one thing, the love of a particular single-shelled mollusk more commonly known as the abalone. What many people don’t realize is how Mendocino became a premier location for abalone fishing, nor do they realize how lucky we are that our wise predecessors conserved this resource for us—their future generation. Delicious and desirable, abalone grew wherever kelp was available. Pomo people collected and ate it and used the iridescent shells[... see full page]

Flying Monster in the Sky

Flying Monster in the Sky
by Tonia Hurst Living on the coast has its advantages and such was the case on the morning of October 17, 1924, when the mighty USS Shenandoah flew over Mendocino en route to Fort Lewis, Washington. The first of four U.S. Navy rigid airships, the Shenandoah was built between 1922 and 1923 in Lakehurst, New Jersey, and modeled after the Zeppelin L-49. Her infrastructure was built of Duralumin, a copper and aluminum alloy. The first airship to use helium as its lifting gas,[... see full page]

The Perfect Holiday Gift

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A membership to the Kelley House Museum is a wonderful holiday gift. Memberships start at $35.00/year for the whole family. Put someone you care about on the path to learning our local history. Click here for a membership form. We’ll send you or the recipient (whichever you prefer) a lovely card letting them know of your gift.[... see full page]

"Eat Mendocino" To Be topic at Kelley House

"Eat Mendocino" To Be topic at Kelley House
Patrons of the Kelley House Museum’s speakers series, “A Sunday Afternoon With . . .” will have the opportunity of hearing Sarah Bodnar and Gowan Batist, speak on their year of eating locally.  Their experiment, although it took place in 2013, fit so well with our current exhibit on the history of procuring food for work and families of the North Coast; that we invited them to share their experiences of that year with the community once again.  The Kelley[... see full page]

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]