Making History Blog

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

What's in a Name - Cuffey's Cove?

What's in a Name - Cuffey's Cove?
By Martin Simpson “What's in a name?” as the saying goes. Well there’s a lot to learn from a name, especially with regard to geographical locations. The name of cities, towns or “villages” gives the people that live there a sense of place. Even if you’re just passing through, names speak to those locations and their place in time. In the area now occupied by the town of Greenwood/Elk was the once thriving town of Cuffey’s Cove or as it first appears[... see full page]

Avast, Ye Lovers!

Avast, Ye Lovers!
By Sarah Nathe Long before 'Pirates of the Caribbean' splashed across the silver screen, another bunch of swashbucklers captured the imagination of Mendocino: Hawaiian love pirates. Staged by Mendocino High School’s Glee Club in March of 1929, “Love Pirates of Hawaii” was an operetta in two acts set in the garden of a girls’ seminary school in Hawaii. It featured alluring young women, U.S. Navy officers disguised as pirates in order to visit them, and—just to liven things up—real pirates bent[... see full page]

The Bossy Groom's Ring

The Bossy Groom's Ring
This story was the winning entry in the student category Short Story Contest: "Diamond in the Drink -or- How Did the Wedding Ring End up in the Kelley Pond?" Aftan is a 5th grade student. by Aftan Ashford Fifty years ago in Mendocino town a beautiful young lady was getting married. Two big white, strong, gorgeous horses were pulling the special carriage they had hired. Thump, thump, thump was the sound that the hooves made on the road. “Are we moving? Because I[... see full page]

Lao and Me

Lao and Me
This story was the winning entry in the adult category Short Story Contest: "Diamond in the Drink -or- How Did the Wedding Ring End up in the Kelley Pond?" By Barry Bryan I heard about the wedding ring found in the Kelley pond and the contest for best story about how it got there. Sometimes the best story is the truth. It is my ring. I put it there forty-two years ago and prefer that it stay there. This story began at the[... see full page]

Big Timber, Big Party, and Too Many Pigeons

Big Timber, Big Party, and Too Many Pigeons
By Katy Tahja To make a historian’s heart go “pitty-pat” hand her a 104-year-old book called “History of Mendocino and Lake Counties, California with Biographical Sketches.” Written by A.O. Carpenter and P.H. Millberry, it comprises 156 pages of history and 887 pages of biographies of 600 citizens who paid to have their stories included. While every man, and a few women, thought they were the most important citizens of their county, the bios today seem rather ho-hum unless one or two of[... see full page]

Was 1914 an El Nino Winter?

Was 1914 an El Nino Winter?
By Anne Cooper, curator According to the website “weather-warehouse.com” which provides historic weather data, the total precipitation for 1914 in Fort Bragg was 17.91 inches. During that year, the maximum precipitation in a single 24 hour period was 2.51 inches. The weather station from which these data were derived is noted as “Fort Bragg 5 N”. That information seems odd, however, because according to a very reliable local historian, Denise Stanley Stenberg, that would mean half of the total rainfall that year[... see full page]