September 8, 1894 – Dr. James W. Milliken joined the Mendocino Hospital Company as a consulting physician and surgical doctor. Dr. Milliken, an 1877 graduate of the New York Medical College, had arrived in Mendocino in 1883 and started a medical practice here the following year.

Historic Building surrounded by picket fence

Mendocino Hospital Building located at 10481 Howard Street, 1887-1910. A white picket fence surrounds the yard of this corner property. This building was constructed by A. F. Carmichael as a residence for restauranteur and hotel owner W. T. Wilson in 1883. After the hospital moved to Main Street, this structure was a private residence for several decades. Starting in 1970, it housed commercial enterprises, including The Victorian Complex and The Sea Change Inn. From 1974-1980, the building was again used for medicine as the McCornack Center for the Healing Arts. In 1980 it became a lodging place when the well-known Whitegate Inn opened, which later changed to the Blue Door Inn. The small white house on the left in the distance is known as the Bever-Hahn House, located on Clark Street and built about 1887 by carriage painter George Othmer. Visible in the background on the right side of the image is a light-colored water tower and windmill, once located on Evergreen Street and part of the Mendocino Bottling (Soda) Works (1882-1910).

Dr. William McCornack established the Mendocino Hospital Company, the first important medical facility in the community, in 1887. From 1887 to 1895, the hospital operated from a rented house on the southeast corner of Ukiah and Howard Streets in Mendocino (today’s Blue Door Inn). According to Herman Fayal, “He used to charge a dollar a year – everybody – all the working people. […] If you got hurt or was sick or anything you went in there and it didn’t cost you nothing.”

In 1895, the hospital moved to a building on Main Street (demolished in 1941) across from the Ford House. Two years later, Dr. McCornack relocated the hospital to Fort Bragg. Dr. Milliken remained in Mendocino, continuing his medical practice until 1909, when he passed away suddenly from a heart attack.

Don’t miss our summer exhibit, “Water Tower Wonderland” – Discover the beauty, ingenuity, and architecture of these iconic structures in the Kelley House Museum’s summer exhibit. Using historic photographs, original pieces from local artists, and small-scale models, the exhibit explores the majesty and functionality of many well-known water towers. On display are renderings of Mendocino water towers in several media, with serigraphs by Anne Kendall Foote and Bill Zacha, a quilt square by Dee Goodrich, and a linocut by Emmy Lou Packard. The exhibit also includes pastels and architectural models made by Mendocino High School students. 45007 Albion Street, Mendocino. Thursday-Monday, 11am – 3pm. Now until September 18.