Making History Blog

Jack T. and Chatter C. Bishoff Fund

By |2024-02-04T14:15:50-08:00February 6, 2024|

Chatter and Jack Bishoff Sometimes changes to the Kelley House Museum aren’t visible to the naked eye, but they affect our quality of life immensely. Thanks to a generous grant from the Jack T. and Chatter C. Bishoff Fund, administered by the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, we have made some long overdue improvements to the office and museum, including brand new electrical panels [...]

The First Acquisition

By |2024-01-26T14:50:00-08:00February 1, 2024|

Because the Kelley House is celebrating 50 years of preserving coastal history, we recently looked at the first item that was “saved” by the founders, Dorothy Bear and Beth Stebbins. The Great Register of 1894 is a reproduced copy of the official voters in Mendocino County at that time. A potential voter provided the following information: name, age, height, color of complexion, hair color, eye color, [...]

Sam Ware

By |2024-01-23T15:46:58-08:00January 27, 2024|

January 27, 1899 - Mendocino High School senior Sam Ware was swept to his death at the Mendocino Shipping Point by a large swell. He was by himself gathering mussels for fish bait on the rocks at the south end of the Point, when the wave suddenly rolled in carrying him out into deep water. Fernandez Lima, who was nearby, immediately threw a rope to the [...]

THEN and NOW Photos: Vieira House

By |2024-01-20T16:56:43-08:00January 25, 2024|

These two images, taken 75 years apart, show the Vieira House on the northeast corner of Ukiah and Williams streets. Constructed in 1908 by Constantine Silveira for his cousin Amelia Lemos and her soon-to-be husband Joe Vieira, this cottage served as their home for more than 20 years. Vieira House, 1948. (Gift of Patricia Harris Noyes) Vieira House, December 2023. (Photographer: Robert Dominy) [...]

Art Students Visit

By |2024-01-20T16:04:10-08:00January 23, 2024|

January 23, 1948 - A group of photographers from the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco (now the San Francisco Art Institute) visited Mendocino on a field trip. The nineteen art school students, 3 of them women, spent four days taking photos of Mendocino residents, buildings, and business interiors. The group stayed at the Lazy Eye Auto Court south of Little River (today’s Inn [...]

Memories of the Mill

By |2024-01-19T17:35:32-08:00January 20, 2024|

Excerpt of a letter from Merna Brown Scott of Palo Alto, printed in the Mendocino Beacon on January 20, 1945. This letter was published two weeks after the Beacon reported that the Mendocino Mill, which had not operated since 1938, would be dismantled. Born in 1911, Merna, whose father worked at the mill, was the only child of Frank and Vernie Brown and grew up in [...]

Oscar M. Stone

By |2024-01-14T15:58:47-08:00January 16, 2024|

January 16, 1924 - Mendocino pioneer Oscar M. Stone died at his home on Main Street at about 6 o’clock in the morning. Oscar was 81 years old and had been a resident of Mendocino for 60 years. Born in Mount Vernon, Maine, Oscar moved to the Mendocino Coast when he was 21 years old. For the final leg of his journey to Mendocino, he took [...]

Ralph Kent Electrocuted

By |2024-01-12T14:42:57-08:00January 13, 2024|

January 13, 1908 - Tragedy struck the Kent family on their 270-acre ranch in Little River. About 6am, 16-year-old Ralph Kent, second oldest son of rancher Nathaniel W. Kent, went into the family barn to complete his morning chores. A few minutes later, his father found Ralph unconscious on the barn floor, due to an electrical shock. A transformer on a nearby pole had malfunctioned, causing [...]

Gifts and Gardens of the Kelley House

By |2024-01-10T17:29:59-08:00January 11, 2024|

This article was originally published in the Mendocino Beacon on September 11, 1975. We reprint it here to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kelley House. To catch up on a few of the daily events in the life of Kelley House, the recent past has brought numbers of interesting and thoughtful donations. Where to begin? Artist Frank Wight, of Hayward, designed a bookplate for the [...]

Elevated View of Lansing and Albion Street Intersection, 1912-1922

By |2024-01-06T15:29:50-08:00January 7, 2024|

Elevated view of Mendocino buildings and the intersection of Lansing and Albion Streets, looking northeast. This photo was likely taken from the water tower at the Kelley House between 1912 and 1922.  The barn-like building on the far left, located on the northwest corner of the intersection, is the livery stable built by William H. Kelley, later owned by Switzer & Boyd, then by Boyd & [...]


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