David Lansing

November 14, 1877 – Captain David F. Lansing died in Mendocino. Born in Albany, New York in 1809, Lansing came to the California coast in 1849 with his wife and two oldest children. He sailed on several successful whaling voyages, and then, in 1852, Captain Lansing arrived in Mendocino in command of the brig Ontario, which brought the first sawmill to Big River. Unlike the other pioneers who settled Mendocino, Lansing already had a wife and daughters living in San learn more…

Jennie’s Court Dress

Jennie Blair, Daisy (Kelley) MacCallum’s San Francisco socialite cousin, wore this elaborate gown when she was presented to the Court of Saint James in England. The gown features ivory silk with lace, fine embroidery, and ribbon-work wrought into flowers, baskets, and scrolls. The slashed appearance of the fabric is an unfortunate byproduct of the practice of soaking silk fabric in mineral salts to increase its heft and stiffness. Over time the crystals work their way through the fabric creating the learn more…

The MacCallum House, Mendocino, c. 1920.

The original house, built by J. D. Johnson in 1881, was smaller and located farther north on the lot. After her husband, Alexander MacCallum, died in 1908, Daisy Kelley MacCallum returned to Mendocino from San Francisco, where they had been living. In 1908, she had the house moved to the center of the lot and had Alexander Carmichael build a large addition on the north side. The pagoda-roofed playhouse on the far left was constructed at this time, too. In learn more…

Steam Schooner Brooklyn Sinks

November 8, 1930 – The wooden steam schooner Brooklyn sank while crossing the Humboldt bar at the entrance to Humboldt Bay. Seventeen crew members were lost; only the first mate survived. The Beacon reported, “The sea was extremely rough as the vessel attempted to cross the bar and the steamer suddenly turned over when hit by a huge wave and went down very shortly. The foundering of the vessel was witnessed from a distance by members of the Coast Guard learn more…

Gus Johnson Installs Concrete Sidewalks

November 7, 1907 – August “Gus” Johnson was installing concrete sidewalks around town. The Beacon reported that a 9-foot-wide sidewalk was being put down in front of the Jarvis & Nichols Store (today’s Gallery Bookshop) on Main Street. This strip of concrete stretched 300 feet from the corner of Main and Kasten Streets eastward to Dr. Peirsol’s drugstore. During the same week, Johnson also laid concrete sidewalks in front of the residences of John Silvia and C. O. Packard, and learn more…

H. B Seavey Dies

November 6, 1899 – Hiram Brooks Seavey passed away at the Alhambra Hotel from cancer of the throat. Despite several trips to San Francisco for medical care and multiple surgeries, the disease had progressed in a matter of months. Born in Maine in the mid-1840s, Seavey came to California as a young man and was a Mendocino resident for many years. He began his career in Mendocino as a stage coach driver, but in 1883, Seavey and his business partner, learn more…

Nannie Flood Votes for President

November 5, 1912 – Miss Nannie Flood was the first woman in Mendocino to cast a vote for President of the United States. She marked her ballot a few minutes after 6 am, stopping at the polls on her way to teach at the Little River school. Although the 19th Amendment – which guaranteed voting rights for women nationally – wasn’t ratified until 1920, California became the sixth state where women could vote when Proposition 4 passed by just 3,587 learn more…

Mendocino Lumber Company Clock

November 3, 1913 – Clocks at the mill were set ahead 20 minutes. This practice was carried out annually during the early days to allow employees a longer period of daylight for their work, since the oil lanterns needed to light the mill in the dark were a constant fire danger. Life in town revolved around the local mill time. When the mill office clock showed the appointed time, someone in the office went into the plant and pulled the learn more…

Lansing Street Between Albion and Ukiah Streets

Buildings along Lansing Street between Albion and Ukiah Streets, Mendocino, looking northeast, c. 1912-1923. This photo was likely taken from the water tower at the Kelley House.  The barn-like building on the left, on the northwest corner of Lansing and Albion Streets, is the livery stable first built by William H. Kelley, later owned by Switzer & Boyd, and then by Boyd & Daniels until it was demolished in 1923.  To the right, the building across Lansing Street with a learn more…

Mendocino-Fort Bragg Football Game of 1930

November 1, 1930 – Businesses in town closed their doors for two hours in support of the Mendocino High School football team. The Mendocino Cardinals met the Fort Bragg Timberwolves for what promised to be the hardest fought game of the season for both teams. The game began at 2pm on the Mendocino High School gridiron. Just the year before, Fort Bragg had trounced Mendocino 54-0. Despite that, the Beacon reported that the Mendocino team and their rooters would not learn more…