Making Bricks in Mendocino County

Historians undertake to date a building’s construction and sometimes they turn to the common brick used in it. Believe it or not we’ve had history professors visit the county who make tracing the origin of bricks their specialty. In 1984 Professor Margaret Henry of San Francisco State had fun dating bricks discovered around the Kelley […]

Ukiah’s Rock House

Did you ever look at a building along the side of the road and think, “Boy, there’s got to be an interesting story there.” That’s the way I was about the structure standing a 722 S. State Street in Ukiah and delving into historical resources told me some of its story.  In 2019 we see […]

Yesteryear’s Medical Mayhem

Putting away research materials now that my new book “An Eclectic History of Mendocino County” is done I got to thinking about how I came to be writing local history themed newspaper columns and books. It all started with Mendocino’s Dr. Preston in 2006. Docent at any museum and you’ll find its archives being presented […]

Lessons Learned

While people pontificate about what should or shouldn’t happen to PG&E after this recent potential disaster and power shut off, it was a good wake-up call for small rural communities on emergency disaster planning. Comptche is a quintessential small town with a store with one gas pump, post office, school, church, and a volunteer fire […]

Burning Man Pyrotechnics

Pyrotechnics: the art, craft and science of fireworks. Want to see it done incredibly? Go to Burning Man where people LOVE to blow up things. So first, some background on fireworks. This is where your memory of high school chemistry comes in handy. Be it a sparkler or a fireworks display over a stadium the […]

An Oldie but Goodie

I’m sure readers everywhere pick up a book they remember reading a decade ago, are interested enough to read it again, and remain firm in their belief that it’s STILL a great read. For example “The Last Days of the Late, Great State of California” by Curt Gentry written in 1968. Combining the history and […]

Searching for Limb Casts

“What’s a Limb Cast?” Any geologist or rockhound can tell you. If you bury any or all of a tree in hot volcanic ash the wood will burn away but leave a cast, or impression, that then fills in over the ages with agate. The agate can come in a variety of colors and the […]

Going to See the Planners

While not falling into the “Lost Cause” category, attending a County Planning Commission meeting when you KNOW your side is going to lose, eats up a day and leaves you disappointed. I have nothing but respect for the commissioners who sit through day after day of pleading and cajoling over whose side is right. Word […]

Book Sale for History Lovers

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 […]

Governor’s First Ladies in History

While praise and glory has been heaped on California governors and biographies written about them, standing behind almost every one of them was a First Lady supporting that man.  I picked up a self-published book recently called “The First Ladies of California” written by Lynn Cook and Janet LaDue, who were docents at the state […]

Winter Rail Escapade for 5,000 Miles

Every few years my husband and I save enough to go on a tour with our favorite travel group, Mountain Outin’. The tour director finds unusual and wonderful places to visit with rail travel to get you there and back. This year the Winter Rail Escapade was to Wisconsin. Wisconsin? In the snowiest winter that […]

1 2 3 6