Percy Colby Almost Drowned

On the way to hunting camp, 1902-1906. (Steve and Sue Sanor, Gray – Nielson – Sanor Family Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

July 23, 1911 – Percy Colby, an assistant in John Chambers’ blacksmith shop, had a close call with death while crossing Big River on horseback. He was on a hunting trip near the Mendocino Lumber Company’s Lower Ranch when his horse became mired in quicksand.

The horse panicked and began flailing about, landing in a 20-foot deep hole, but Colby was able to dismount and swim ashore. Unfortunately, the horse didn’t seem to be able to swim, so Colby went back in to save him. His companions thought that they would both drown as the animal continued to struggle, but Colby finally succeeded in getting the horse to the shore.

Don’t miss our summer exhibit, “Quilted Iconic Buildings of Mendocino” – 26 iconic buildings, including the Temple of Kwan Tai, the Presbyterian Church, the MacCallum House, the Mendocino Hotel, and the Kelley House Water Tower, brought to life on 18” x 18” quilt squares by members of the Ocean Wave Quilters. The Museum is open 11am-3pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.