Welcome to Kelley House Museum!

About the Kelley House Museum

The mission of the Kelley House Museum is to collect, preserve and share the rich history of the Mendocino Coast. Founded in 1972, Kelley House Museum, Inc. maintains a beautiful house museum and gardens, as well as the Mendocino Coast’s only museum-quality storage facility and staffed research office. Our research archives represent over 150 years of Mendocino coastal history. Collections include historic photo collections, local genealogical data, research documents and publications. Over 3000 entries of maps, documents, books, photographs, oral histories and artifacts from our collection are searchable through our site.

The Kelley House Museum is an historic house museum in the heart of Mendocino, California, a picturesque town of 1,000 people. The home was built in 1861 by William Kelly (sp), one of Mendocino’s founding fathers, and now contains 19th Century furniture. The ocean-view home sits on an acre of gardens, with a pond and three resident geese. William had the pond built and stocked so that the neighborhood children could fish.

Did You Know?

We offer Walking Tours of the Mendocino National Historic Preservation District. Tours leave from the Kelley House Museum every Saturday and Sunday at 11 am, and last for 1 1/2 hours.

History Mystery

Mendocino Teenagers

Mendocino Teenagers

This photograph was taken around 1958. It belonged to a collection of photographs from Dee Lemos, who taught English at Mendocino High School for many years. It is probably the Art Department at the High School but who are these fellows?


Father Time and the Maiden Big River Logjam Racing on the Mendocino Headlands in the 1930s The J.M.Griffith in Mendocino Bay Kwan Tai Temple Loggers working a Tall Redwood Closeup of Loggers on a Redwood Point Cabrillo Lighthouse Wells Fargo Stage in Mendocino Logging Camp on Big River

Around the House
—Director’s Blog—

The Silent Auction is Coming!

September 3rd, 2014 by Staff



It’s the event bargain-seekers wait for all year: the annual Kelley House Museum Silent Auction and Raffle. This year will be a special edition, as we celebrate the 35th anniversary of our fundraiser, hosting the event at the Kelley House Museum instead of off-site. The event also has a new date and time: Saturday, September 27th, from 12pm-4pm.

Along with the usual silent auction items such as gift certificates, antiques, collectibles, housewares, jewelry, and fine wines, this year we’ll also have “super bargain” tables with items priced from $1-$10. Arrive early, there will be some spectacular bargains and it’s first come, first rewarded! Donations are gladly accepted for this event, supporting the important work done by the Kelley House Museum: preserving and sharing the rich cultural history of the Mendocino Coast.

Save the date, September 27th, 12pm-4pm, and we’ll see you at the Kelley House Museum for a great time!

“A Sunday Afternoon With”

August 11th, 2014 by Staff

It’s not often a tiny town on the Mendocino Coast becomes the focus of an anthropologist writing a Masters thesis…but that’s what happened in Comptche!



Hippies Sign


“Finding Common Ground” is Lisa Gruwell Spicer’s in depth look at the back-to-the-land hippie immigration into Comptche in the 1970’s and she will share her stories August 24 at 4 p.m. in the Kelley House Museum at “A Sunday Afternoon with Lisa Spicer.”.

In the early 70s, immigrants (hippies) brought conflict and new ideas to Comptche. How was a Finnish old timer to react when “we’d go down to our favorite swimming hole and there were a bunch of nudies down there?” But some of the ideas the newcomers brought, like consensus thinking, were useful.

Come and be fascinated at “A Sunday Afternoon With” on August 24th, with Lisa Gruwell Spicer at the Kelley House Museum. A seven dollar donation is requested.