These two images, taken about 135 years apart, show the Justin Packard House on the northeast corner of Main Street and Evergreen Street in Mendocino. Justin E. Packard married Emma Zella Young in 1879, and O. B. Ackerman built this home for the Packard family in 1882. Justin was a jeweler and watchmaker who owned a Main Street shop with his brother Charles O. Packard, who was a druggist.

Historic House

Justin Packard House and Water Tower, 1886-1887. (Gift of Emery Escola)


Historic House

Justin Packard House and Barn, August 2023. (Photographer: Robert Dominy)


In the 19th century photo, Justin, Emma, and their young daughter Elsie stand posed in front of the house. A man in a carriage drawn by two horses is in the side yard. Evergreen Street, originally called Packard Avenue, had not yet been built. At the rear of the home is an enclosed water tower, no longer standing, which provided the nine-room house with running water.

Justin and Emma divorced in 1890, and in 1891, businessman L. H. Bither took possession of this home following a complicated three-way property swap among Bither, Packard, and carpenter/undertaker J. D. Johnson, all of whom owned property in this part of town. Bither sold the Justin Packard House to Fred Perkins of Little River in 1903, who then sold it to Woods Superintendent Edward Boyle in 1906. Ed died in 1929, but the property was passed down through the Boyle-Ferrill family until it was sold in 2005. The house has been used as a real estate office since 1985, and currently houses Pamela Hudson Real Estate.

The barn seen at the back of the property in the 2023 photo was built by L. H. Bither in 1895. A print shop operated in this building from 1985 to 1990. Between 1991 and 2017, the structure housed Evergreen Barn, a veterinary practice and pet food shop.

If you would like to learn more about Mendocino’s historic structures, the Kelley House archives are open for research appointments Wednesday through Friday from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. To make an appointment, write to

The Kelley House Museum is open from 11AM to 3PM Thursday through Monday. If you have a question for the curator, please make an appointment with Walking tours of the historic district depart from the Kelley House regularly.