Making History Blog

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

Albion Bridge Completion in 1944

Albion Bridge Completion in 1944
Tom Wodetzki of the Albion Bridge Stewards recently gave the Kelley House Museum an interesting document. Its title is “Final Construction Report for the Construction of a Timber, Steel and Concrete Bridge Across the Albion River,” dated August 29, 1944. The Albion River and Albion River Bridge before the campground was established. View is looking west towards the ocean, c. 1945. Believe me, readers, this is mostly dry, statistical reading for 97 pages, ending with five pages of cool old photos, but[... see full page]

Talking With...Eleanor Atwood Smith in 2000

Talking With...Eleanor Atwood Smith in 2000
We are featuring here again excerpts from the oral history project that was created 20 years ago by the students of Ryan Olson Day’s Options Class at the Mendocino Middle School. With the help of Steven Jordan and a grant obtained by Deena Zarlin, they made audio recordings of their interviews with 12 “Old Timers,” who told these children what it was like in Mendocino during the first part of the 20th century. Student historians Shawn Spiller, Marina Almquist Zekley, and[... see full page]

Meat Markets on the South Side

Meat Markets on the South Side
As part of the Kelley House Museum’s current show, “South of Main,” featuring buildings and businesses that once existed on the south side of the street, let’s look at the evolution of our local meat market. The interior of Quaill’s City Meat Market on Main Street in Mendocino, c. 1920. Butchers are Tony and Joe Quaill. Children are Virginia and Harry Quaill. On the left is a chopping block made from a very large tree stump. The building that housed[... see full page]

View From Above

View From Above
aerial view, 1947 MAIN STREET FROM ABOVE. The South Of Main exhibit at the Kelley House Museum (through May 18th) offers some unusual photographic views as we rediscover what was on Mendocino’s Main Street before 1960, when the last of the buildings were torn down and the view from the Headlands was fully revealed. This 1947 photograph, obtained from the California Landmark Foundation, intrigues all who see it. Many recognizable buildings are on the north side, but what were those facing[... see full page]

Building Mendocino: Tin Roofs

Building Mendocino: Tin Roofs
Mendocino is a wooden place. No surprise there, since the town’s economy was founded on trees. The lumber mill provided plentiful building supplies for homes, stores and sidewalks. Kasten Street at Albion Street in Mendocino, c. 1912. The Bank House (now Trillium restaurant) is on the left, surrounded by a white picket fence. A Jarvis & Nichols storage barn is on the right, constructed in 1904 with corrugated iron siding and roof after a fire burned a previous storage building. The[... see full page]

New Exhibit, South of Main, Opens at Kelley House Museum

New Exhibit, South of Main, Opens at Kelley House Museum
 Lost Buildings of the Mendocino Headlands - The City Meat Market (left) and the Mendocino Lumber Company Office (right) on the south side of Main Street, in 1957. The inspiration for the latest exhibit at the Kelley House Museum, South of Main, came from a question we so frequently hear – what used to be there? The THERE refers to the south side of downtown Mendocino’s Main Street, where there are no buildings. Museum visitors, walking tour docents, residents - all[... see full page]