Telephone Operator Receives Electrical Shock

Interior of a Telephone Switchboard, possibly related to Fort Bragg and the Union Lumber Company. (Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

On August 27, 1923, Coast residents were treated to a thunderstorm that got most people out of bed in a hurry. There were heavy peals of thunder and numerous vivid flashes of lightning, which were followed by a brief but heavy shower of rain. The lightning struck several trees, but no real damage was done.

Laura Freeman, the popular telephone operator, suffered an electrical shock during the thunderstorm. Her headset was torn off of her head when a bolt of lightning struck a wire. Fortunately, she was uninjured and continued at her post.

Last chance to see 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.