Shipwrecks Exhibit

by AVA News Service, March 5, 2016

[ends Apr 11] What could be more timely and appropriate for a stormy El Niño winter than the new exhibit at the Kelley House Museum which opened Friday, January 8: “A Dark and Stormy Night: Mendocino Coast Shipwrecks”?

Since 1850, more than 160 vessels have met their fate along Mendocino’s rugged coastline while the shouts of drowning sailors and passengers have been heard above the roar of the surf. It is not hard to imagine on a dark and stormy day. It becomes even more vivid while viewing the new exhibit.

Curated by former archivist Carolyn Zeitler and volunteer Bette Duke, the exhibit covers prominent area captains — from a former school teacher to a ruthless man who replied to his crew, reporting a man overboard: “Never mind the man overboard. Keep loading. Perhaps he can swim.”

But most astonishing are the photos of the shipping points. Some like Little River, had rails that led directly to the ship. Others, like a slide chute located between Gualala and Point Area, was named “Nip and Tuck,” due to the difficulty for a ship to enter, load and leave. Most wrecks did not occur out at sea, but close to land, due to the precarious nature of the landing points.

The Kelley House’s first exhibit for 2016 opened January 8 and is located at 45007 Albion St., Mendocino.

  • Exhibit continues through April 11
  • The museum is open Friday through Monday, 11AM-3PM

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