Kelley House Museum ~ Themed Collections

We have several themed collections available to assist with your research. Materials in our archives can be easily accessed online by clicking on any of the topics below.

Mendocino and the Movies

movie actor

From 1916 to 1994, Hollywood studios filmed 58 films (17 silent and 41 sound) on the Mendocino Coast, including East of Eden starring James Dean. Local resident and author Bruce Levene donated his collection of movie posters, from The Island of the Blue Dolphins to Pontiac Moon. Twenty nine movie and television scripts are also included in this collection. This topic is also covered extensively in Bruce Levene’s book Mendocino and the Movies, available for purchase from our bookstore.

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Mendocino Headlands State Park

headlands state park

Organizational papers, letters and news clippings documenting the movement to create the Mendocino Headlands State Park from 1968 –1972, led by Emmy Lou Packard and others.

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Big River Conservation Project

big river

News articles, letters, documents, videos and publicity materials, donated by Steve Antler, documenting the process and acquisition of Big River estuary from Campbell Hawthorne Timber Management Company in 1999 and the creation of Big River State Park in 2000.

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Caspar Lumber Company Collection

casper lumber on big river

Photographs, administrative papers, employment records and ledgers pertaining to the operations of the Caspar Lumber Company (1861 to 1956) and the company town of Caspar, some of which are still in existence.

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Point Cabrillo Light Station Collection

Point Cabrillo Light Station Collection

Architectural drawings, photos, maps and correspondence related to the construction and maintenance of Point Cabrillo Light Station, from the records of the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association (PCLK). The history of Point Cabrillo Light Station is also available as a book, Point Cabrillo, available from the bookstore.

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Mendocino Whale War

Whale Wars

Did you know that the Mendocino Whale Festival began as a protest and a boycott? This collection includes letters, posters, flyers, and news clippings on the efforts of Byrd Baker and others to stop the killing of whales off the Mendocino Coast from 1974-1977.

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Mendocino Incorporation Papers

Mendocino Incorporation Papers

This collection includes transcripts of the Land Agency Formation Committee (LAFCO) hearings, boundary maps, feasibility studies, general information and a scrapbook of news clippings of the efforts to incorporate Mendocino into a city in 1988.

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Nannie Escola Collection

Nannie Escola Collection

Nannie Escola, together with her son Emery, collected hundreds of handwritten notes and newspaper clippings about ships and logging on the Mendocino Coast. Included are historical photographs of people who worked here, lumber camps and mills, and other related events and commerce.

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Perley Maxwell Collection

Perley Maxwell Collection

Glass negatives created by Mendocino photographer Perley Maxwell in the early 1900s, as well as approximately 250 other historical photographs taken on the Mendocino Coast. There are charming scenes of early Mendocino life, social occasions and the people who lived here. Maxwell also photographed ships, rivers, and the Point Cabrillo Light Station. Also available as a book, Perley Maxwell’s Mendocino, available for purchase in our bookstore.

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Leonard Cirino Collection

Leonard Cirino Collection

The Leonard Cirino Poetry Collection donated to the Kelley House Museum by Ava Hayes, represents a nearly complete collection of poetry by Albion resident, Leonard Cirino, 1943 – 2012. Cirino lived on the Mendocino Coast from the late 1970s until the late 1990s. He was the author of 20 chapbooks and 16 full-length collections of poetry. While in residence, he established Pygmy Forest Press, which published his own work and that of his contemporaries.

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Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps

Created in 1890 for William Heeser, the Sanborn Map Collection lays out the commercial, industrial, and residential sections of Mendocino. The maps were designed by surveyor D.A. Sanborn to assist fire insurance agents in determining the degree of hazard associated with each particular property.

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Bookstore

bookstore

For a closer look at many other areas of Mendocino’s fascinating history, from the volunteer fire departments to life during the depression, check out the dozens of titles in our bookstore.

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