Making History Blog

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

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]

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]