Making History Blog

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

A Whole Lot of Shaking

A Whole Lot of Shaking
  Because we mark the 110th anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake this week, I decided to spend a little time sifting through our seismic past.  Though named after one city, the April 18, 1906 quake roared along a 290-mile rupture of the San Andreas fault from San Juan Bautista to Shelter Cove.  Accounts in the Kelley House archives reveal that, from Manchester to Usal, landslides shook loose from hillsides, sand boils erupted along river banks, “redwoods swayed to and fro[... see full page]

Mendocino Grammar School History Mystery

Mendocino Grammar School History Mystery
Mini-Reunions over Mendocino Grammar School ‘History Mystery’ A few weeks ago (Thursday, March 31st), the Beacon published another Kelley House Calendar ‘History Mystery’ which had the result of bringing together some of the area’s long-term citizens. The first to contact us after publication was Jeanette Hansen.  She had a plan to gather with her cousin, Alvin Mendosa, and friends, Henry and Florence Dahl, at the Senior Center.  They pulled out our photograph and identified several of those pictured here.  Jeanette called the[... see full page]

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]