These two images, taken about 35 years apart, show the west and north sides of the Lansing House water tower located at 44900 Main Street in Mendocino.
The Lansing House was built by Captain David Lansing in 1855, with lumber milled in San Francisco and shipped to Mendocino. After Lansing’s death in 1877, the property went to his daughters, Julia and Helen. Oscar M. Stone, a Main Street watchmaker and jeweler, purchased the home in 1888 and made many improvements to the property, including the construction of this water tower behind the house in 1897.
The water tower originally sported a windmill and was not enclosed, with two tanks located at 30 feet and 40 feet off the ground. In 1922, Oscar deeded the property to his son, Albert Grindle “Bert” Stone. Bert had the water tower enclosed around 1930 and sold the property to the Mendosa Brothers in 1936. The Mendosas remodeled the main house into a duplex rental in 1938, and at some point, the water tower was also converted into a rental.
The Lansing property was sold in 2022. Although we don’t know the future plans for the water tower, the new owners also purchased the McCornack House (most recently Didjeridoo Dreamtime Inn) next door and are remodeling the inn.
If you would like to learn more about the Lansing House water tower, or research the history of your own home, the Kelley House Archives are open for research appointments Wednesdays 12pm – 3pm, and Fridays & Saturdays 11am – 3pm.
The Kelley House Museum is open from 11AM to 3PM Thursday through Monday. If you have a question for the curator, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment. Walking tours of the historic district depart from the Kelley House regularly.