Making History Blog

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

May 17–July 22 Kelley House Museum Spring Exhibit

May 17–July 22  Kelley House Museum Spring Exhibit

The Look Tin Eli Story: Exclusion & Citizenship on the Mendocino Coast

This is one exhibit you won’t want to miss! Funded by the California State Library’s Civil Liberties Public Education Program, “The Story of Look Tin Eli: Exclusion & Citizenship on the Mendocino Coast” examines local historic ties to a topic that is still very much with us today. Mendocino-born businessman Look Tin Eli led the reconstruction of San Francisco’s Chinatown after the earthquake of 1906. Mr. Look hired American architects[... see full page]

Ghost Towns of Mendocino County

Ghost Towns of Mendocino County
Ghost Towns Working in the archives of the Kelley House Museum is fascinating because you are always finding tidbits of history that leave you going "Wow! I didn't know that!" Like ghost towns . . . What?? We have ghost towns in our county? You bet we do. Railroads gave us a lot of them. L.E. White's lumber company railroad went out to a split in the tracks and they named it Salsig, or Manzanita. Now within Mendocino Redwood Lumber Company holdings,[... see full page]

All the News That's Printed Fits

All the News That's Printed Fits
Phil Carnahan at his scanner.  The boxes under his window contain all the microfilm he’s using for his project, and there are more on the way.  History and genealogy buffs in Mendocino County have recently been given a great resource by Phil Carnahan, a tech-savvy buff himself who has undertaken to scan and make searchable documents of all the microfilm from the newspapers published in the county from their beginnings to the present time.  Phil began that project in 2015 and,[... see full page]

Fire in Your Backyard

Fire in Your Backyard
Northern California Fires from space, July 6, 2008 NASA image Someone recently contacted the Kelley House Museum to ask if there had been any major wildfires right along the Mendocino Coast. Docents checked resources and talked to old-timers and all we could come up with was the 1931 Comptche Fire, about 15 miles inland, and the 2008 Mendocino Lightning Complex Fire that burnt from the Elk Coast to Covelo, starting 129 fires that consumed 54,817 acres countywide. Native peoples used controlled burning to[... see full page]

Talking About the Weather

Talking About the Weather
The Preston house and property with snow. The small building to the right ofthe unidentified man is the Preston carriage house, which became the ArtCenter gallery. 1932 Everyone likes to talk about the weather and the archives of the Kelley House include a fat folder labeled "Weather."  Here we look at storms and rain, though there is enough material to write a whole article JUST on the 1964 floods.  A huge storm in 1865 produced the following news. "Old Boreas, with his[... see full page]

Love, Not War

Love, Not War
One hundred years ago today, on February 14, 1919, the Mendocino Study Club held a special evening meeting to celebrate both the triumph of Cupid and the end of World War I. The armistice with Germany had been signed November 11, 1918, and the Paris Peace Conference had begun on January 18, 1919, so the Study Club event was timely. Almost three million American men had served in World War I -- including a number from little Mendocino -- and[... see full page]