In what’s becoming an annual tradition the Kelley House Museum in Mendocino is hosting a book sale of history books Saturday May 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the west porch. Book donations come from excess materials in the archives combined with books donated by local historians Bruce Levene, Thad Van Buren and Katy Tahja.
Having just finished the text for a new history of Mendocino County I speak from experience (and old age) in looking at a title on my bookshelves in my library and thinking “Will I ever need/use this again?” If the answer isn’t YES the item goes to the book sale. Looking through the donations boxes here are some of the things a visitor might discover.
First, I bless little old ladies who gathered local history decades ago and turned it into paperback books. “Caspar Note Book School Days” by Ann Connor, 1979, was typewriter text and old photos. From Mendocino Beacon issues 1896-1905 it is news of Caspar and it’s schools and then 57 photos of schools, teachers and students, identified, extending to 1959. The book is indexed by last name and is 140 pages long. Out-of-print for decades surely this is worth $20 to someone.
Along the same line is a volume for the Mendocino area of “What Became of the Little Red Schoolhouse?” by the Mendociono Coast Genealogical Society in 1986 it has facts and figures with tales and photos of every school in the area. Or how about “Lore of the Coast…fact or fiction?” published about 40 years ago by the Mendocino County Historical Society? Only 7 typewritten pages it has five great stories about local history including one about the singing fish in Big River.
Then there is “Henry’s Wonderful Model T 1908-1927” by Floyd Cramer. A hardcover published in 1955 It’s full of photos, cartoons, Ads, songs, jokes and text about this car of long ago. Perfect for history told through one automobile. “A Guide to Old American Houses 1700-1900” by Henry Williams in 1962 provides a reader with 200 years of American domestic building styles.
There exists a delightful series of books called the “Roadside History of…” and someone donated New Mexico and Utah to the sale. Spreading further afield is “Boldt Castle” by Roger Lucas celebrating a huge private mansion on Heart Island in the Thousand Islands chain of the St. Lawrence River in New York. “First Ladies of California" by Lynn Cook is shopworn but shares the stories of all the governor’s wives in the state’s history.
Some old textbooks were donated, but “Wildlife Communities” by Clarence Hylander in 1966 will take a reader from the tundra to the tropics. Some areas of knowledge leave old texts outdated and useless, but knowing that a mountain lion, cougar, puma, and catamount are all names for the same feline is useful.
A “Great Canadian Beer Guide” by Stephen Beaumont in 2001 will be for sale expanding the world of beer for some lucky buyer and a “Yankee in a Confederate Town” by Calvin Robinson in 202 finds the story of a native of Vermont transplanted to Jacksonville Florida during difficult times. Find all these treasures Saturday May 25 from 10a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Kelley House porch. Call 937-5791 for more info.