Mendocino Presbyterian Manse

Mendocino Presbyterian Church, 1935-1940. View of the Mendocino Presbyterian Church looking north between 1935 and 1940. To the right of the church is the Manse, which was the residence of pastors and their families. It is also known as Eidsath House, in honor of the Reverend S. Martin Eidsath. Behind the Church is the David F. Lansing House on Main Street. On the left is a part of the William Norton residence, which would later be demolished and replaced by a gas station on Main Street. (Gift of Dot Johnson, The Everett Racine Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

January 21, 1909 – A house warming party was held for Reverend and Mrs. James Melville Fisher at their home, located just east of the Mendocino Presbyterian Church. The ladies of the church invited the members and friends of the congregation to welcome the couple as they moved into the recently constructed parsonage. “A large number of people gathered, each one carrying a pound of something useful to help fill the larder and to gladden the hearts of the preacher and his wife.”

Known today as the Eidsath House, the Mendocino Presbyterian Manse was constructed in 1908, following the loss of the previous parsonage. That home, built by Jerome B. Ford before 1862, was located on the south side of Main Street, west of the Ford House, and burned to the ground in 1901.

E. C. Williams, president of the Mendocino Lumber Company, donated lumber to the church for the purpose of building the manse. Work began in August 1908, when the trustees of the church constructed the frame for the two-story building. In November, the Beacon reported, “Contractor A. W. Biggers, of Fort Bragg, has taken hold of the uncompleted manse and with Joe Nowdesha and Billy Rasmussen as assistants will rush the work to completion.”

Reverend Fisher served as pastor for the next 7 years, leaving “for Gilroy to assume the ministry of the Presbyterian church at that place. During their residence here, both Mr. and Mrs. Fisher have occupied a prominent place in the community life and have secured for themselves the warm friendship of the people of Mendocino. The deep regret felt by their many friends on the occasion of their departure, is accompanied by the sincerest wishes for their future happiness and success in life.”

The manse continued to house the church’s pastors and their families for many years. From 1978 to 1987, the Mendocino Community Library operated here. Today, the Eidsath House is the home of administrative offices and meeting rooms.

On display until January 31! See the elaborate gown worn by Jennie Blair in 1887 when she was presented at the Court of Saint James in England. Museum hours: Thursday through Sunday, 11 am to 3 pm. The Museum is located at 45007 Albion Street in Mendocino.