Navy Dirigible, Shenandoah

October 17, 1924 – The big Navy dirigible, Shenandoah, sailed majestically over Mendocino at an altitude of 500 feet. The airship had left San Diego at 9 am the day before and was admired by thousands as she flew north along the California coast to Camp Lewis near Tacoma, Washington. In addition to a flight crew of 44, a newspaper correspondent and a motion picture camera man were on board. The ship passed over San Francisco at night, and Point learn more…

Accident at the Shipping Point, 1883

October 16, 1883 – Peter Byron was seriously injured in an accident at the Shipping Point. Peter was the clapperman, responsible for stopping the lumber as it slid down the apron chute from the lumberyard to the ships waiting to be loaded. The brake, called a clapper, was positioned near the end of the chute. The clapperman would put his weight on the clapper handle, stopping the lumber with their ends sticking out over the vessel so the men on learn more…

Three Mendocino Water Towers, 1948

Photograph of three Mendocino water towers, 1948. This photo was taken near the southeast corner of Ford and Calpella streets, looking northeast. The water tower on the left was built by engineer and millwright Gebhard Hegenmeyer in 1884 on the south side of Calpella Street between Ford and Lansing Streets. This 60-foot-tall tower, possibly the tallest in Mendocino, housed two redwood tanks. Because of its height, the water pressure coming out of its pipes helped greatly with fire suppression. It learn more…

Main Street, Mendocino, 1886

Photograph of Main Street, Mendocino in 1886, looking east. The three-story Central House is visible on the left. Originally built in 1878 and operated by the Bever brothers until their retirement in 1901, the Central House would be renamed the Central Hotel, and finally, the Hotel Mendocino in 1927. It has decorative sawn balusters with heart shapes on the balcony, later replaced by cross rails. Further east on Main Street is the Alhambra Hotel with an arched canopy and an learn more…

Ethel Silvera

October 12, 1919 – Two automobiles collided near the intersection of Main and Lansing streets in what may have been the first car accident in town. Miss Ethel Silvera was driving a Dodge when she hit Archie Cameron of Albion. No one was injured, but the fenders of both vehicles were badly bent, and the steering gear in Archie’s car was jammed. Ethel, who had just graduated from Mendocino High School the previous June, was working as an operator for learn more…

“When Mendocino’s Wires Went Away” by Katy Tahja

When were the utility lines put underground in Mendocino? This question was recently asked at the Kelley House. A few long-term residents guessed it was more than 25 years ago. The accurate records are in our vault, of course, so that’s where we went to get the answer. When the idea originated, utility companies and local government agencies projected the work would take about two years, but this proved to be too optimistic. There was community input. One person expressed learn more…

Front of Mendosa’s Warehouse Lost in Storm

October 10, 1962 – The front of Mendosa’s Warehouse was lost during a fierce storm. A crew of men worked hard to prevent greater damage, and the roof and the rest of the walls were preserved. This property, located on the northwest corner of Lansing and Calpella streets, was once home to the Mansion House, a three-story hotel and livery barn, which was destroyed in July 1899 by one of Mendocino’s worst fires. Nels Peter Anderson purchased the lot the learn more…

Cattle Invade S & E Garage

October 9, 1928 – A band of 60 dairy cows were driven through Mendocino by Joe Quaill’s vaqueros. The cattle had been sold and were being herded from the south coast to Fort Bragg for shipment by rail to their destination. While passing the S & E Garage, the cows spied the big open doors, and evidently mistaking the garage for a barn, the entire herd rushed in. The milling, bawling band of bovines crowded into the showroom display of learn more…

Kelley House Cypress Trees

October 8, 1892 – The Mendocino Beacon reported, “Great improvements are being made at the residence of W. H. Kelley. The cypress trees have been trimmed, which greatly adds to the fine appearance of the grounds.” The cypress trees had been planted in 1861 by a little girl and her father – Daisy and William Kelley – in the front lawn of their home between Main Street and Albion Street. 1892 wasn’t the last time that work on the Kelley learn more…

Mendocino Beacon Debuts

October 6, 1877 – The first issue of the Mendocino Beacon was published. William Heeser bought out the West Coast Star and all of its equipment from M. J. C. Galvin and hired W. H. Meachem as the first Beacon editor. Subscription rates were $3 per year. Meachem explained the newspaper’s name in his first editorial, “The Beacon by its friendly light warns the mariner of the dangers of the coast, and serves to guide him safely into a harbor; learn more…