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!
“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.
August 5th, 2014 by Staff
One of the common remarks from visitors coming to the Kelley House Museum is “This whole town is a scene from the past. It’s like nothing has changed from the old days.” While it’s true that much has been preserved, it could hardly be less accurate that nothing has changed. Our entire economy, the routines of daily life, and especially the ways we communicate have all been dramatically transformed in the last several decades. Great effort has been made to conserve our historic homes and buildings, and as a result we retain that charming atmosphere of a bygone era. That is a part of our history, yet history itself is a record of constant revision, evolution and adaptation.
If you browse through the extensive vintage photo collection in the Kelley House Museum archives, you will see stately buildings where now there are none, houses now moved or altered (some radically, as in adding a second story) and once-muddy roads and fields, today replaced by neat sidewalks and paved parking lots. The constant hum of our electrified and “networked” world (which we barely notice) was totally absent not so long ago. When the sun went down at the end of a day, the soft glow of lamps and candlelight appeared in windows. Fires were lit to warm the house and cook meals, and books were read or conversations held to wind down the evening. If our ancestors could see us today, they would likely be puzzled to see so many people walking the streets, heads down, intent on small, luminescent screens in their hands. How amazed they would be to learn that the screens connect us to nearly all of the information in libraries around the world, provide the latest news within seconds, amuse us, link us instantaneously to our friends wherever they are, and on and on.
While history is yesterday and may seem distant to some, it remains relevant in that it reminds us of the road we’ve traveled. It reflects the good and the bad: the great ideas, and the mistakes. It informs and instructs us. It is well worth preserving.
The Kelley House Museum is unique in this region as a trusted custodian of the stories, images, and artifacts unique to the Mendocino Coast. As we move forward, we at the Kelley House are planning exciting changes, with the full awareness that we must continue to honor the traditions and sensibilities so distinguishing of this marvelous place.