Making History Blog

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

Finding Heeser's Math Book

Finding Heeser's Math Book
The staff at the Kelley House Museum never cease to be amazed by the material the public presents to us as gifts. Take Auggie Heeser’s book, “First Lessons in Arithmetic” by William J. Milne, Ph. D., LL D. given to us by former Mendocino resident Deborah White. A twelve-year old Auggie Heeser in 1889 and his math textbook. (Kelley House Museum, from the collection of Robert J. Lee, Ukiah, CA) As a former College of the Redwoods math instructor, somebody bought it[... see full page]

A Christmas of Longing

A Christmas of Longing
Christmas is going to be different this year. 2020 has been a difficult year of anxiety, separation, and loss and with the holidays, we should be looking forward to getting together with friends and loved ones to celebrate the season.  Tintype image of Richard T. Bourns, a civil war soldier, dressed in a Union Army uniform posing against a painted backdrop of a Civil War camp, c1865.  Instead of gathering, we will be isolating as we are reminded of the pandemic that[... see full page]

South Coast Libraries

South Coast Libraries
Over the past few weeks or so the history of libraries on the Mendocino Coast has been explored in this Kelley House column. Here is the last segment on library growth on the South Coast. How do you move a Library? One book at a time in a human chain from one location to another in Pt. Arena as the Coast Community Library book collection moved into its new home. (Courtesy of Coast Community Library) Given that there were reading rooms before[... see full page]

Mendocino's Community Library

Mendocino's Community Library
The latest chapter in the library history of Mendocino began back in 1974, when the Mendocino Study Club, keeper of the community’s lending library, was faced once again with the task of finding a new home for its club rooms, and also for its ever-growing collection of books. As we covered in an earlier column, the Club rooms in the much loved Kellieowen Hall, on the corner of Lansing and Ukiah Street, had to be vacated when Daisy MacCallum’s heirs sold[... see full page]

The Study Club Library

The Study Club Library
Our previous column bookmarked the story of Mendocino’s many libraries at the part where the venerable Mendocino Study Club has become the patron for the town’s bibliophiles.  Daisy Kelley MacCallum in 1952, the year before she died, sitting on the sun porch of her home on Albion Street in Mendocino. In 1938, the Club unexpectedly needed another place to hold their meetings. Since 1924, they had convened for business and pleasure on the second floor of the old Templar’s Hall – coincidentally[... see full page]

The Girl Scout Library

The Girl Scout Library
It is the 1930s, the Great Depression has started, and we begin another chapter in the story of libraries.  Girl Scout Intermediate Bookbinding Badge from the 1930s, showing an open book. Our two previous articles recounted earlier reading rooms and libraries on Mendocino’s Main Street, and then in the building on the corner of Ukiah and Lansing Street. Since its construction by W. H. Kelley in 1887, this structure went by a different name with each succeeding generation – Skating Rink Hall,[... see full page]