William and Laura Heeser House

The William and Laura Heeser house located on Albion and Kasten streets in Mendocino. At the time this photo was taken, the house did not have the western entry porch and room above it, which was added between 1894 and 1898. (Kelley House Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

On August 29, 1855, William H. Kelley returned to Mendocino with his bride, the former Eliza Lee Owen of Prince Edward Island. They arrived on the schooner Mansfield and stayed with Mr. and Mrs. Jerome B. Ford for two days before moving into this house, their first home at 45080 Albion Street.

This home was the first frame house built in Mendocino, constructed in 1852 for William Kasten, reportedly the lone survivor of a ship wrecked off the Mendocino coast in 1850. The lumber company offered Kasten the first run of redwood sawed at the mill in exchange for his claim to the headland where the first mill was located. Kasten left the area in 1854, selling this house and the remainder of his holdings to William Kelley. The Kelley family lived in this home until 1861 when construction of the Kelley House was completed.

In 1858, William Heeser acquired the house when he bought much of the town of Mendocino from Kelley. Members of the Heeser family lived in this home from 1861 until 1966, when Auggie Heeser died. The house is now part of the Mendocino Hotel.

Last Day! “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.