The Kelley House Museum just made learning about Mendocino’s history a whole lot easier if you have a smart phone or tablet. Go to the App Store appropriate for your device and search for “Kelley House Tours.” You’ll find the KH icon and several narrated, self-guided walking tours of historic Mendocino.

Three people standing on a street and looking at a water tower

Visitors can learn about the historic Lansing Water Tower with the new Kelley House Tours app.

For years, our trained guides have led walking tours of the historic district, taking visitors on a pleasant stroll while telling the stories of people and places encountered along the way. Our walking tours have been described as “fun, informative, and engaging” by visitors, and are so popular that we created the app as a way to further the Kelley House’s mission to share Mendocino’s rich history. 

During the pandemic, there was increased interest in the outdoor tours, but the Kelley House is short on volunteers to offer daily walking tours. We continue to lead the live tours regularly (check our web site for the current schedule), but the new self-guided tours make the information accessible at any time. 

There are a number of tours on the KH app. “A Taste of Mendocino” is a free tour that gives a broad overview of Mendocino’s history in four stops, along with recommended food to try along your route. Our signature tour, “Mendocino’s Historic Main Street,” costs $9.99 and features 18 stops. It covers Mendocino’s first indigenous residents, the logging years, the architecture, stories of the people who lived here in the 19th and 20th centuries, and the artists who helped preserve the town you see today. 

Because visitors to Mendocino are always curious about our water towers, cemeteries, and the movies filmed here, we are adding specialty tours on these subjects. The “Water Tower Tour” ($9.99) visits 15 remaining water towers and relates the fascinating history of these structures. The windmills that once powered the water pumps came in colors and were sold under brand names like Dandy and Climax. On every self-guided tour, stops are accompanied by historic photos and a map. Each tour offers the option to have the tour read aloud.

This informative project was made possible in part thanks to a grant from the Judy Pruden Historical Preservation Fund of the Community Foundation of Mendocino County. 

Download the Kelley House Tours app from your App Store or visit for more information and a current schedule of live walking tours. The Kelley House Museum is open Thursday–Sunday, 11 AM–3 PM at 45007 Albion St., Mendocino. 707-937-5791.