View of businesses on the north side of Main Street in Mendocino, looking westward, c. 1883.
The two-story J. D. Murray Drug Store is the structure on the far left. To its right is the Chung Kow Wash House and Laundry, which was located on the northwest corner of Kasten and Main Streets. Both buildings have been demolished, with the Laundry being replaced by a bank building that would later be the home of the Out of This World store.
The two-story building with the upper bay windows houses two businesses: the Jarvis & Nichols Mercantile on the left and W. T. Wilson’s Oyster and Coffee Saloon on the right. The lower floor of this building would later be occupied by The Gallery Bookshop.
The next building is the home and barber shop of John A. Barry, who is standing in front next to the striped barber poles on either side of his doorway. A small child sits on the step next to him. In 1893, George Switzer would buy the Barry building and move it onto his lot on the corner of Howard and Albion streets. It would later become the Headlands Inn.
The next store is Marks & Cohen, General Merchandise, which would become Johnson Store, then the Brown & Gray store, then the Remedy Store, and more recently The Highlight Gallery. The photo shows how it looked before the decorative front was added in later years.
C. O. Packard’s Drug Store is indicated by the street sign. This space also included his brother J. E. Packard’s jewelry and watch repair shop – note watch sign hanging from the street sign. John Lindberg’s Saddlery is next door in the same building; harnesses are arranged on a rack on the sidewalk in front and a saddle is also displayed. Lindberg closed his shop around 1883-1884.
A smaller sign below the drugstore’s reads “Orders Cashed,” and refers to Elisha W. Blair’s office within Packard’s Drug Store in 1881 where he cashed mill orders at regular bank rates for the mill workers.
The last building is Sam Slick’s Saloon. William Gibbs conducted his bar in the front part, and he and his family lived in the rear.
Note the tall flagpoles attached to the Murray, Jarvis & Nichols, and Barry buildings. Mendocino was once known not only for its water towers and windmills, but also for its many tall “liberty poles,” some over 100 feet above the ground, that flew enormous American flags on all the holidays and for funerals.
Several people have been identified: Justin Packard, is leaning against the post of the drug store sign. John Peter Lindberg, harness maker, and Walter Ferral, attorney-at-law, are standing in the doorway of the Packard shop. (Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)
Walking Tours of Historic Mendocino – Join our expert docents for a stroll and lively commentary. You’ll pass by early pioneer homes, historic meeting places, and buildings that make up the the Mendocino Historic District.