Making History Blog

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

The Great Flu of 1918 in Mendocino County

The Great Flu of 1918 in Mendocino County
[first published in May 2015] Postcard photograph of the Domestic Steam Laundry’s delivery automobile piled high with bags of laundry, c. 1918 in Fort Bragg. An unidentified man stands next to the car. The laundry offered free washes during the influenza epidemic in 1918 for those who were too sick to do it. (Jeanette Mendosa Hansen Collection, Kelley House Museum) For fascinating reading or listening there is “The Great Influenza” by John Barry. It’s available from the County Library and provides hours[... see full page]

Plot to Steal the County Seat

Plot to Steal the County Seat
On the 16th of February 1871, a group of Mendocino VIPs launched a determined effort to steal the county seat away from Ukiah. Portrait of William Heeser in the regalia of the Masonic Order of Knights Templar, c. 1900. (from the Biage Quattrocchi Collection, Kelley House Museum) Beacon newspaperman William Heeser was among those present and may even have called the meeting. We don’t know who else was on hand, since files of the Beacon’s predecessor, the Independent Dispatch, are incomplete and[... see full page]

Lost Homes of the Mendocino Headlands

Lost Homes of the Mendocino Headlands
Residence of Mr. Freundt, City of Mendocino (1863), looking north-northeast. This is a copy of a Carleton Watkins image found in the Bancroft Library. Not long after Mendocino was founded, the men who built and owned the Big River sawmill went back east to New England and brought their families here to live. While many of the merchants in town resided above their stores, the people associated with running the mill constructed their houses on the south side of Main Street[... see full page]

Carol Dominy

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Ian Roth

Ian Roth
"When my wife and I purchased the Seagull Inn Bed and Breakfast in July 2018, one of the first things we did was to visit the Kelley House Museum to learn about the history of the Switzer House that was built in 1883 originally as a residence. We were greeted with open arms, a wealth of information and tools to research on our own. After our first meeting, we immediately joined as a Business Member. A few months later, [... see full page]

Mimi Figlin

Mimi Figlin
Mimi is the Kelley House Museum Outreach and Membership Manager. This is a special place, helping to connect the dots of many families who are looking for a clue to their connection to the Mendocino Coast. Finding a lost loved one, a beloved home, or exactly where the well was located takes a certain kind of passion that we here at the Kelley House Museum are proud to provide. [... see full page]