Making History Blog

Grammar School Bond

By |2024-03-02T12:23:20-08:00March 3, 2024|

March 3, 1930 - Mendocino School District voters approved a school bond of $18,500 to cover the cost of constructing a new grammar school on the northeast corner of School and Pine Streets. The first grammar school building on this property, built in 1885, had burned down just three months earlier. The vote required a two-thirds majority. There was little opposition, and the final vote was [...]

Even More from Nannie’s Binders

By |2024-02-28T16:30:39-08:00February 29, 2024|

Nannie Escola was a beloved school teacher in the community who was one of the local founding historians aiding the Kelley House Museum when it was created 50 years ago. The woman loved to read the Mendocino Beacon, then excerpt and index topics she was interested in. One of the topics she loved was railroads, and here are some of her tidbits from 10/6/1877 to 12/10/1938. [...]

Henry K. Gordon

By |2024-02-24T12:24:06-08:00February 25, 2024|

February 25, 1945 - Henry Gordon, pioneer Mendocino woodsman, died at the Redwood Coast Hospital in Fort Bragg from cancer of the esophagus at the age of 76. He had been receiving treatment in the hospital for about two months. Born in Canada in 1868, Henry was the fifth of eight children born to Archibald and Susanna Gordon. He immigrated to the United States when he [...]

Stranger in a Strange Land: Nathaniel Smith, the First Black Resident of Mendocino by Alexander Wood

By |2024-02-21T15:09:52-08:00February 22, 2024|

Nathaniel Smith, pioneer and stagecoach driver in Mendocino County, circa 1880-1900. (From the Miriam Matthews Photograph Collection, Open UCLA Collections) The Kelley House Museum’s upcoming exhibition—March 1st through May 27th— will illuminate the life and times of Nathaniel Smith. This exhibition was researched, and this article written by, Guest Curator, Alexander Wood. His work was made possible by a grant from California Humanities, a [...]

Joe Lawrence

By |2024-02-18T16:54:57-08:00February 19, 2024|

February 19, 1945 - Former Mendocino resident Joseph “Joe” Lawrence died in Oakland at the age of 50. Born in 1894 to Joseph and Mary (Farro) Lawrence, early-day residents of Mendocino, Joe grew up in his parents’ home on Ukiah Street and attended the local schools. Mendocino Grammar School Second Grade Class, c. 1900. They are posed on the steps of the first schoolhouse located [...]

Joe Recardo

By |2024-02-15T17:02:39-08:00February 16, 2024|

February 16, 1983 - Longtime Mendocino resident Joe Recardo died at the Ukiah Street home of his great-niece Joyce Corvin following a long illness. Joe was born in Santa Cruz, Island of Flores, Azore Islands on October 30, 1899, the son of Joao Jose Coelho and Conceicao Leonor Ramos. He immigrated in 1920, landing in Providence, Rhode Island and traveling by train to California. He worked [...]

Will You Be Our Valentine?

By |2024-02-11T11:27:27-08:00February 15, 2024|

Valentine card from the 1880s. (Photograph from the Library of Congress) Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Whether you enjoy the sentimental cards and red hearts everywhere, or you agree with the local reporter from 1898 that the holiday is “a nuisance,” have you ever wondered why we celebrate it each year? Everyone has heard the basic tale about St. Valentine; he was [...]

J. Albert Henderson

By |2024-02-12T16:03:33-08:00February 13, 2024|

Mineral water bottle, embossed with "G. M. Henderson's Bonanza Mineral Water Mendocino, Cal.” (Western Bottle News) February 13, 1938 - J. Albert Henderson died at his home on Little Lake Road following a stroke at the age of 72. He was born in New Brunswick, Canada in 1865, and after his mother’s death, he was sent to live with his aunt, Anna Jane Henderson [...]

James A. Severance

By |2024-02-07T13:27:51-08:00February 10, 2024|

February 10, 1883 - James A. Severance passed away at the Navarro Ridge Hotel following a stroke just 5 days before his 47th birthday. The hotel was owned by his eldest brother Haskett, and James lived there with his brother’s family. Buildings on Navarro Ridge, c. 1900. The Navarro Ridge Hotel is the two-story building on the right, and to its left is a short [...]

Return to the Source

By |2024-02-04T13:54:53-08:00February 8, 2024|

Ruth Bourns Marsan as a young woman, c. 1890. From the Marsan Family Collection. This article was originally published in the Mendocino Beacon on October 9th, 1975. We reprint it here to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kelley House. On October 6, Dr. and Mrs. Allen Marsan of Walnut Grove called at the Kelley House and left a large envelope of historic pictures. [...]


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