Welcome to Kelley House Museum!

The Pond


The Kelley House Museum is working with the Mendocino Volunteer Fire Department to repair the Kelley House Pond. The Fire Department will use the pond as a ready source of emergency firefighting water. Because of changes made to the town sewer system, the pond can no longer hold a steady water level. A new liner must be installed, and landscaping added to restore a natural appearance. All of this work will be expensive, and we need substantial community support to get it done. Please contribute now, by clicking the “Donate” button.

If you would prefer to use a credit card instead of PayPal, click the Donate button and follow the instructions under: Don’t have a Paypal account.

Kelley House Museum, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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 House was Rocking

October 13th, 2014 by Staff

Our opening reception on “Second Saturday” for the new exhibit “James Dean, East of Eden, The Local Connection” was a huge success. We had an overflow crowd, with lots of great wine, wonderful food, and definite fascination for dozens of rare James Dean and “East of Eden” photographs. The exhibit runs until November 22, so we’ll see you at The Kelley House Museum!


Author Bruce Levene and his book “James Dean in Mendocino”


Sandra Drinkwater Booth (original “extra” from the film) and Kelley House Archivist Carolyn Zeitler


Just one of the spectacular buffet tables


James Dean East of Eden

October 6th, 2014 by Staff

James Dean Poster V7

Opening on Oct. 11

 The Kelley House Museum

A Special Exhibit of Photographs from a Private Collection

Reception from 4-7 pm

Don’t miss this chance to see rare images of James Dean and Mendocino locals taken during the production of one of Hollywood’s greatest films. This exhibit will run through November 22, in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the filming of East of Eden. This is a joint presentation in collaboration with the Mendocino Art Center and the Mendocino Film Festival.