Making History Blog

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

New Director at Kelley House Museum

New Director at Kelley House Museum
The Kelley House welcomes Anne Semans as its new Director. Anne brings 30 years’ experience from the for-profit world, with a background in marketing, small business management, education, and hospitality. She is the author of four self-help books, and has written extensively on parenting, health, and travel. Before moving to Mendocino, Anne lived in San Francisco, where she worked with the groundbreaking, women-friendly, sex-positive, adult toy retailer, toys boutiques, and educators “Good Vibrations” and “Babeland.”   During her 15 years on[... see full page]

Playing Cards at Little River

Playing Cards at Little River
Stopping by to visit the Little River Improvement Club and Museum these days, visitors may not realize the small white structure was once the social center of town.  The ticket for a 1948 Little River Improvement Club card party that inspired this article. (Courtesy Vince Johnson Collection, in Kelley House Museum) The building itself, located 1.5 miles south of Mendocino on the east side of Highway 1, was built in 1885 for the Good Templars social improvement order. It served as the[... see full page]

Mendocino Medicine and Gazetteer

Mendocino Medicine and Gazetteer
Ever hear of the Mendocino Medicine and Gazetteer? It was created by Dr. Richard White, who practiced medicine on the coast 45 years ago. A man of many interests, White started it in 1976 as a journal of rural medicine, and it grew to encompass a world of topics. Hand-drawn map of the Mouth of the Albion River, by R. Kezuka from “Mendocino Medicine and Gazetteer” (1949) White’s intent was a publication that would serve as a means of communication between Mendocino[... see full page]

Paving Our Ways

Paving Our Ways

Concrete Sidewalks Come to Mendocino

by Karen McGrath and Carol Dominy This charming photograph, taken by our very own Mendocino photographer, Perley Maxwell, captures a group of friends, family, and neighbors on Christmas Day, 1906.  (Emery Escola Collection, Kelley House Museum) At the front, the smiling man on the left with beard and bowler is Dr. Frank Peirsol. Behind him stands Henry Jarvis, co-owner of the Jarvis & Nichols general store on the corner of Kasten and Main Streets (Gallery Bookstore today) and also[... see full page]

The Bad Oysters Incident

The Bad Oysters Incident
Vintage Can of Oysters (Polished Pebble) The facts of the case are mostly undisputed. The only question that remains unanswered is whether saloon owner J. W. Barton was intoxicated when he fired his gun at Joseph M. Garvin, missing his head “by the fraction of an inch.”Joe was the proprietor of “Mendocino’s Cheap Cash Store,” a general merchandise establishment on Lansing Street, located where GoodLife Café & Bakery is today. Between 1902 and 1909, his store carried a wide variety of[... see full page]

Schools with an Ocean View

Schools with an Ocean View
At the Kelley House we were given a photograph with no caption, showing a teacher standing in front of a one-room schoolhouse with her students. But where is this place? The background was open clear sky which led us to believe it was a coastal school on a bluff, but which one? And how many coastal view schools were there? Turns out there were close to 30 of them on our county coastline, and here they are, north to south. The[... see full page]