Making History Blog

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

Floral Tributes and Funeral Cards

Floral Tributes and Funeral Cards
So, I walk into the Comptche Store and owner Belinda Pollack hands me a sheet of paper with a list of names and says, ”Look what someone gave me! And who was Amanda Newman?” Another local history exploration begins. Belinda and my husband are both multi-generational descendants of old-time Comptche families, so we knew the names on the list. It was titled, “Comptche Friends Floral Tribute to the Memory of Mrs. Amanda Newman,” but there was no date. Of the forty-four[... see full page]

Little Free Libraries

Little Free Libraries
It’s not surprising that many of the Mendocino coastal communities have embraced the concept of little free libraries. On roadsides, street corners, and front yards from Fort Bragg to Gualala, pretty wooden boxes on posts offer books for the taking. Some of the book houses are registered by their builders and sponsors with the Little Free Library organization and some are not, but all operate on the serve-yourself/take-a-book/leave-a-book/enjoy! principle. Elk’s Little Free Library, established by the Greenwood Civic Club A concept that[... see full page]

Discovering Albion’s Seashells

Discovering Albion’s Seashells
Did you know you can find more than 50 different kinds of seashells on the Mendocino Coast? Thanks to the late Dr. Richard White’s publication, “Mendocino Medicine and Gazetteer,” his interest in seashells can be shared 30 years later. Jane Russell’s hand-drawn illustration that appears on the cover of the report, “Seashells of Albion; The Gastropods, 1992.” “Seashells of Albion: The Gastropods” was a fascicle (printed installment) in “Coastal Life of Albion.” These were from Dr. White’s personal research, and the collected[... see full page]

Talking with Dolly Efishoff in 2001

Talking with Dolly Efishoff in 2001
Dolly Efishoff in 2001 with Middle School Interviewers Kyle Houghton, Charlie Carter, and Travis Bell. “Today is Friday, February 2, 2001 and I’m Charlie Carter. And I’m Kyle Houghton from the Mendocino Middle School Oral History Project. Our technical recorder is Travis Bell. Okay, we’re talking today with Eugenie Efishoff also known as Dolly, and her niece Carol Rallinshomes on Cummings Lane about a mile east of Mendocino. Joining in this conversation is Steve Jordan, a community member who is assisting us[... see full page]

Become a Kelley House Museum Docent

Become a Kelley House Museum Docent
With the world re-opening after difficult times, the Kelley House Museum is making its own plans to open its doors again…but we could use some help. The doors can’t be open if a friendly docent isn’t available to answer questions. Could this person be you? Veteran docent Judy Chapman greets visitors at the Kelley House Museum. First response to this question we usually hear is, “Oh, I couldn’t volunteer to do that. I don’t know enough about local history.” Let us reassure[... see full page]

Schools Contribute Historic Trivia

Schools Contribute Historic Trivia
Fire destroys the Mendocino Grammar School, Tuesday, December 3, 1929. The tall structure left standing in the center is the bell tower. The school was replaced the following year with the building that currently houses the Mendocino Community Center. (Original photos from Kelley House Museum Archives and the Nannie Escola Collection) “What Became of the Little Red Schoolhouse” is a five-volume compilation of information on more than 200 schools that once existed in Mendocino County. Sponsored by the now long-gone Mendocino[... see full page]