Thomas Dollard

August 4, 1879 – Thomas Dollard, Superintendent of the Woods, received a telegram from J. B. Ford of the Mendocino Lumber Company, instructing him not to start work in the Big River woods until he received further orders. Dollard had been preparing to begin work that very morning, hiring men and obtaining provisions to open the logging camps. As woods superintendent, he was in charge of all logging operations. In “Big River was Dammed,” Francis Jackson tells us that, “Dollard learn more…

Alhambra Hotel

The Alhambra Hotel, also known as Seavey’s Hotel, was located on the north side of Main Street, where the building that houses Prentice Gallery sits today. Hiram Brooks Seavey and Cy Galbraith purchased Duncan Walker’s Saloon and Restaurant, a two-story building on this site, after Walker died suddenly of tuberculosis in 1883. In October 1884, Seavey bought out Galbraith’s 1/2 interest in the business for $1,200 in gold coin. In 1887, the Alhambra Hotel became the first establishment in Mendocino learn more…

The Lisbon House

August 1, 1881 – Antone Fernandez Luiz purchased a lot on the south side of Ukiah Street, west of Kasten Street. Later that year, J. D. Johnson built a hotel on the site, and Luis began operating the Lisbon House. This hotel catered primarily to immigrants from Portugal, who were beginning to arrive in Mendocino. In 1906, Luiz sold his hotel to Lawrence Gaspari and Joseph Borgna. The new owners were of Italian heritage and changed the name to Sempione learn more…

Freundt House

The Freundt house sat on the Mendocino bluffs, on the south side of Main Street, overlooking Mendocino Bay. This house was built around 1855-56 by the Mendocino Lumber Company, and John Freundt lived there while keeping the company records. “Mr. Freundt, a Frenchman and early partner . . . had a fine house handsomely furnished, a beautiful set of dishes, and kept a French couple, the woman to cook and the man for a gardener. The garden was a delight. learn more…

Liquor Sales Banned

July 27, 1909 – Mendocino voted to ban all alcohol sales within the town limits by a 27-vote margin. The vote was held at the second Odd Fellows Hall (torn down in the 1950s) on the northeast corner of Kasten and Ukiah streets. The early part of the 20th Century had seen a steep rise in calls by the Temperance Movement to ban the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Although consumption of liquor was not outlawed until National Prohibition learn more…

Bowman & Tyrrell Garage

July 26, 1924 – The Mendocino Beacon reported that the Bowman & Tyrrell garage had been painted a gorgeous yellow and red. The Shell Oil Company was painting all the local garages that sold their products in the company’s vivid colors. The previous year, George Daniels tore down the original livery stable on the site to make way for an automobile garage. This structure was one of the largest garages on the coast, measuring 98 feet along Albion Street with 86 feet learn more…

The Wreck of the Frolic

July 25, 1850 – The sailing brig Frolic ran aground on the Mendocino Coast just north of where the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse now stands. The Boston-owned Baltimore clipper was returning from China when the crew sailed too close to the shore and struck a submerged reef. The ship was bound for San Francisco where the Gold Rush had created a thriving market for the cargo of silk, porcelain plates, and other goods she carried. The captain and crew abandoned the ship and learn more…

Carlson’s City Hotel

July 24, 1859 – John Edward Carlson married Elizabeth Kupp Broderick. Elizabeth, a widow, was born in County Cork, Ireland and had a 6-year-old son. They had four more children together and operated a successful hotel. John was born in Sweden on June 20, 1827. He came to California in 1849 as a seaman and arrived in Mendocino in 1852 on the ship Ontario. He was one of the original members of the California Lumber Manufacturing Company along with William learn more…

Percy Colby Almost Drowned

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 learn more…

Silent Movie, “The Promise”

July 21, 1917 – Joe Nichols presented one of the first motion pictures filmed on the Mendocino Coast at his picture house inside Kellieowen Hall on the southwest corner of Ukiah and Lansing. “The Promise” featured a number of local coast residents including Mendocino Lumber Company woods boss, Ed Boyle. Scenes had been shot in several coast locations during December 1916. This silent movie was partially set in a lumber camp, and the film included footage from the Boom, Boyle’s learn more…