Kelley House Museum Inc by jennyyingdi


									  Fall 2007
  Issue 74
                                  Kelley House Museum, Inc.

 Special Interest                            A Hist orical R esearch F acility
                               Collecting, Preserving,
 Chan ges i n                Protecting and Sharing the
  Lea ders hi p
                                 Rich History of the
 Wel com in g tw o               Mendocino Coast
  Ne w B oar d
  memb ers               Editor’s Note:
                               As with any volunteer organization, changes
 Au cti on N ew s
                         occur and leadership roles rotate. We have been
 Ap pl e Hal l          so fortunate to have had Bill Jacobson, our
                         Board president, serve his two-year term with
 Men do c ino           great panache and energy. Kelley House ran like        Board is a perfect fit for Mary’s many talents.
  Outla ws               a smooth clock under Bill’s watch. When Bill’s         You will often see her as a docent in the
                         term ended on July 1st, he decided that it was         house; she also lends her talents to Kelley
                         time for a break (and well-deserved rest). Bill        House’s exhibits and permanent displays.
                         has been a hardworking KH Board member for
                         over 7 years.
                               Bill will be sorely missed but has promised to   From t he Direct or’s Desk:
                         remain active on pet projects related to the
                                                                                By N ancy F ree ze
                         physical structure of the house; he is currently
                         working with the archives committee. We thank              I have been in my new position as
                         Bill for all his support and help and also thank his   Executive Director slightly over a month, but I
                         wife Gwen, a previous KH Board member, for             am already caught up in the spirit of this
                         her patience as well as her culinary skills.           place. I am supported by an energetic and
                                                                                dedicated group of volunteers who make
                             We want to now introduce our new                   coming to work each day a delight.
                         President of the Kelley House Board…Mary                   The Board and executive directors that
                         Travers. We asked Mary for some background             have come before me have established a solid
 Save the Dates:         information and found out some very interest-          foundation for our mission of “Collecting,
      A Sunda y          ing facts.                                             Preserving, Presenting, and Sharing the rich
 Aft er noon With …          Mary was born in Chicago and educated in           history of the Mendocino Coast.” As executive
      • Sunda y,         Denmark. After two years at the University of          director, it will be my challenge to guide the
       Sept . 24:        Copenhagen, she finished her degree at U.C.            organization in support of these goals.
 Faith Graha m; th e     Berkeley and the College of the Arts and               • Collecting – Many treasures have been
                         Crafts in Oakland.                                     donated to the museum over the years. I will
   Mac Kerric her
         famil y             While in San Francisco, Mary worked for            work with our archivist, Carolyn, to catalogue
                         Joseph Magnin as a window display coordina-            and display these items for others to enjoy.
 • Sunda y, Oct . 22:
                         tor. Mary married and lived in Piedmont Pines          • Preserving – As “keeper of the house,” it is
 Carl Peter son, t he
 Pet er son famil y of   for 20 years. She was on the Board and                 my intention to honor the property and
                         served as a docent for the new Oakland                 keepsakes that have been bestowed to the
     Com ptch e
                         Museum.                                                museum by keeping them safe and in good
                             In 1975 she and her husband bought                 working order.
  Events ta ke place
                         property adjacent to Van Damme State Park.             • Presenting – We already have a strong
    in the Esc ola
                         They built a charming home on the property;            docent program, which supports our museum
   Room at K elley
                         some of you may have seen it on the House              and walking tours. My challenge will be to
  Hous e Mus eu m at
                         Tour a few years back. Mary kept busy up on            increase attendance at our programs so that
      3:00 p.m.
                         the coast, managing the dining room at the             the greatest number of people will benefit
     Admission:                                                                 from these volunteer hours.
                         Mendocino Hotel for R.O. Peterson for 20
    Members $5                                                                  • Sharing - A major focus for the museum is
                         years. Now recently retired and having plenty
  Non Members $7         of time and energy to pursue her interest in           assisting people with research. Almost daily I
                         the history of the Coast, the Kelley House             receive research inquiries. In order to best
                                                                                                              (Continued on p. 2)

                                                                                    As with any new job, my first priority will
                                                                                be to learn the daily business and routines.
Kelley House Museum, Inc.                                                                                  Page 2 of 8

                             serve these customers, I must become comfort-           course, buildings. Working with the historic
   “Melody now enjoys        able and familiar with all the museum resources.        1861 Captain Lyons House (now the Alegria
  having time for Kelley          As with any new job, my first priority will be     Inn) has given him plenty of experience with
      House activities,      to learn the daily business and routines. But in        old Mendocino construction. You may see
   vegetable and flower      the coming months, I will use my skills to build        him around the Kelley House, clipboard,
 gardening, her two cats
                             and enhance the programs that have been esta-           flashlight, and screwdriver in hand.
      (Buster & Belzy),
genealogy research, and      blished in support of this valuable community                When not fixing things, Eric spends time
      vintage postcard       resource. I invite all of you to visit the office, or   volunteering at the Mendocino Grammar
  collecting. She spends     call me (937-5791) with any ideas you have.             School; he recently helped with the K-8
  time with her mother,                                                              redesign and bond effort. Elaine and Eric are
  who lives nearby, and                                                              both musicians and members of the
 still greets guests part-                                                           Redwood Chorus. Eric also sings with the
time at Blanchard House                  New Board Members:                          Acafellas men's group along with Kelley
  and Agate Cove Inn.”                   Spotlight on Melody                         House board member Dennis Freeze.
                                         Merriman and Eric                           Kelley House is very happy to welcome
                                         Hillesland                                  both Melody and Eric to the Kelley House
                                  Melody Merriman, one of the newest board           Board.
                             members, has been a resident of the Mendocino
                             Coast for over 30 years. Shortly after arriving in
                             Mendocino from Santa Barbara, she started a
                                                                                           SAVE THE DATES –
                             bakery enterprise specializing in cookies, cakes            OCT. 12-13 FOR PREVIEW
                             and desserts. They were sold from many                       NIGHT AND SILENT
                             locations along the coast and from the bakery
                             (formerly Strauss House Carriage House; now                        AUCTION
                             Headlands Inn) as well as a small retail shop
                             (formerly Mendosa’s lumberyard office, across
                             the street from Harvest at Mendosa’s).
                                  After selling the bakery business, Melody
                             was asked to manage an inn for an absentee
                             owner. After that inn sold, she went on to                   The 28th Annual Silent Auction, our
 The 28th Annual             manage two more inns that eventually sold, and          biggest fundraiser of the year is just around
 Silent Auction,             finally went to work for the Agate Cove Inn. She        the corner – October 12 & 13 at Crown
                                                                                     Hall in Mendocino. On Saturday, silent
   our biggest               has worked for four different owners there. Her
                             husband, John Merriman, was restoring the               bidding begins at 10 a.m. and closes at 2
fundraiser of the
                             picturesque Blanchard House in Little River as a        p.m. As always, lightly used items, valued
   year is just                                                                      collectibles and antiques, good quality
   around the                small guest lodge where they have been
                             greeting guests at this ocean front inn for the         furniture and merchandise and gift
     corner –                                                                        certificates will be on the block for your
                             past 15+ years.
October 12 & 13                                                                      bidding. There is no entry fee to the event;
                                  Melody now enjoys having time for Kelley
at Crown Hall in             House activities, vegetable and flower garden-          a bidding number will cost $2. The kitchen
   Mendocino.                ing, her two cats (Buster & Belzy), genealogy           “cash and carry” area will open an hour
                             research, and vintage postcard collecting. She          earlier at 10 a.m. to catch the avid garage
 DO YOU HAVE                 spends time with her mother, who lives nearby,          sale aficionados.
                                                                                          And we urge you to join us Friday,
  ITEMS TO                   and still greets guests part-time at Blanchard
                             House and Agate Cove Inn.                               October 12th at Preview Night for a fun
                                  Eric Hillesland came to Mendocino nine             evening which includes complimentary
 CALL KELLEY                                                                         wine and beverages, delicious hors d’
  HOUSE …                    years ago with his wife, Elaine, and their one-
                             year old daughter, Tavi. They own and operate           oeuvres, music and a chance to pur-
ARRANGEMENT                                                                          chase special items right then.
                             the Alegria Oceanfront Inn on Main Street. Eric
 FOR PICK UP                 has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has               Preview night attendees also get
WILL BE MADE!                always had an interest in history. He especially        first chance at the “cash and carry” section.
  937-5391                   likes old “stuff”: equipment, cars, pumps and, of       Best of all, you may place your opening bids
                                                                                                                (Continued on p. 3)
     Kelley House Museum, Inc.                                                                               Page 3 of 8

                                                                                                          Pond & Geese
on all items prior to the Saturday event and take       Missing KHM Reviews:
advantage of the opportunity to avoid bidding           The Kelley House receives requests for
                                                                                                      The Kelley House
on many items marked with the “Buy it Now”              copies of past Reviews, many of which
                                                                                                      geese, Mr. Waddles,
stickers.                                               are out of print. If you have old copies of
                                                                                                      Rett (aka Rita because
     So please save the date and plan to join us        Reviews that you no longer want, please
                                                                                                      we discovered she's a
Friday and/or Saturday for our biggest effort of        donate them back to the Kelley House
                                                                                                      he), and Betty are all
the year to support and maintain the Kelley             Museum. Specifically, we are looking for
                                                                                                      doing fine, despite the
House Museum. To donate items to the                    the Little River Review, Volume 5,
                                                                                                      lack of water in our
auction, please refer to article below.                 Issue 3, December 1979.
                                                                                                      pond. They have a
                                                                                                      private swimming pool
    Save Yo ur Stuff For The
     Save Your Stuff For The                            History Mystery:                              for drinking and taking
                                                        We are seeing the identity of these two       a refreshing dip when
     Kelley House Auctio nn
      Kelley House Auctio                               people: “The Lady in Black” and “Baby         needed.
                                                        Doe”. If you solve either of these
Remember to clean out that garage, closet or
 Remember to clean out that garage, closet or           mysteries, you’ll receive two free passes
attic for the annual Kelley House Auction Friday
 attic for the annual Kelley House Auction Friday       to one of our Saturday walking tours or
and Saturday, Oct. 12-13.
 and Saturday, Oct. 12-13.                              admission to A Sunday Afternoon With…
      • Collectibles and “above garage sale”
      • Collectibles and “above garage sale”
      quality items will be part of our giant
      quality items will be part of our giant
      silent auction on Sat.
      silent auction on Sat.                                                                           SILENT AUCTION
      • “Thrift shop” type items will be
      • “Thrift shop” type items will be                                                               RAFFLE TICKETS
      displayed in our “Cash and Carry”
      displayed in our “Cash and Carry”                                                                   ENCLOSED
      section for quick sale.
      section for quick sale.
      • Preview Night on Friday, Oct. 12th,, will
      • Preview Night on Friday, Oct. 12th will                                                       Another way in which
      feature fabulous food and drink.                                                                  you can help is by
      feature fabulous food and drink.
Can you donate a service? a weekend getaway?                                                          purchasing or selling
 Can you donate a service? a weekend                                                                     the raffle tickets
 an elegant dinner for 6? Let your Let your
getaway? an elegant dinner for 6?imagination
                                                                                                        enclosed with this
imagination run wild for this auction event.
 run wild for this auction event.                                                                       newsletter. Please
      You may drop off your items the week
      You may drop off your items the week                                                            send your raffle ticket
prior to the auction or call the Kelley
 prior to the auction or call the Kelley                                                               stubs and money to
House, 937-5791, and we’ll pick them up.
 House, 937-5791, and we’ll pick them up.
Have Neighbors moving? Ask them to give
 Have Neighbors moving? Ask them to                                                                       Kelley House
 us a call! If you you can us pick up
give us a call! If can help help us pick up                                                                 Museum
donated items and set up the auction
 donated items and set up the auction
during the week prior to the event, please                                                                 P.O. Box 922
 during the week prior to the event,
please call the House.House.                                                                             Mendocino, CA
 call the Kelley Kelley                                                                                        95460
*No clothing, electronic equipment, large
 *No clothing, electronic equipment, large                                                             or bring them to the
appliances, computers or exercise
 appliances, computers or exercise                                                                            auction.
equipment, please.
 equipment, please.                                                                                   Additional tickets will
                                                                                                       be available at the
                                                                                                           event. Prizes
  Littleriver Improvement Club                                                                         awarded throughout
                                                                                                      the day Saturday will
By Ronnie James                                                                                             inc lude gift
     The Littleriver Improvement Club, the last                                                         certificates to area
building in Little River with its full historic inte-                                                  restaurants, lodging
grity intact, is starting a fundraising campaign to                                                       and other great
put a new foundation on the building so it can                                                         merchandise. (You
be returned to public use. It is Little River's                                                         do not need to be
community center. Watch the newspaper for                                                                 present to win!)
information and updates. (picture circa 1885)
Kelley House Museum, Inc.                                                                      Page 4 of 8

                                                                               By July 13, 1912 the Beacon had
                                                                           news that a preliminary organization
                                                                           was formed for "...the building and
                                          Apple Hall                       maintenance of an exhibition hall to
                         By Ruth Sparks                                    house the annual apple fair. A lot 60’ X
                              All visitors to Kelley House Museum are      160 on the corner of Kasten and Little
                         intrigued by the upstairs/downstairs hallway      Lake Street was donated for the building
                         display of Perley Maxwell photos with             and subscriptions of coin, lumber, labor
                         matching "High School Photograph Project"         and teamwork have come in generously
  Apple Hall Parade      photos below. Visitors often comment on           and will permit the beginning of
   November, 1913        similarities and differences between the          construction work on the building at an
                         "then" and "now" photographs. One pair of         early date." If Perley Maxwell took the
                         photos that seems to "jump out" at the
                                                                           Apple Hall photo in 1912, the organi-
                         viewer and a pair that certainly stimulates a
                         lot of visitor questions is Apple Hall with its   aztion jumped into action and quickly
                         matching site photo of the "new" Mendocino        built the building.
                         Baptist Church.                                         Martha Wagner wrote a two-part news-
                              Searching both down in the Vault and on      letter article (spring & fall, 2006), that
  TREASURES                                                                stated: "The Apple Fair included competitive
                         the shelves of the Kelley House Museum
 AVAILABLE AT                                                              apple judgings. At the 1912 Fair, Mrs. Kelley
                         office, I needed to find out more about Apple
SILENT AUCTION           Hall to answer those questions from visitors.     exhibited apples from some of the first trees
                         Browsing that wonderful album on the table        grown in Mendocino". There was also
 A large collection of   in the Escola Room that tells about the           comment (MHR) that during the lifetime of
   old international     rescue by Emery Escola of our amazing             the Hall it was " to Apple Fairs with
 dolls, a Turkish rug,   collection of Perley Maxwell photographs was      Parades, Exhibits, Dances and Speeches
                         so interesting. And on the wall to the right of   enjoyed by Mendocino and nearby
 bentwood chairs, a
                         the Kelley House front door (the south facing     communities".
    collection of old
                         door), is an explanation of the 2001 "High              There is a question about who was
  bottles, an kitchen                                                      the donor of the property, but in the MHR
                         School Photograph Project."
  “sideboy” cabinet,                                                       publication (Autumn 1974) it states that
                              Juggling bits of information from all
older fabrics of value   these sources, let's find the story of Apple      " suspects that it was Auggie Heeser for
   to collectors and     Hall.                                             at the Apple Hall's demise some 10 or 12
   quilters, an 1858           According to Mendocino Historical           years later (1922 or 1924), he did own the
 Colton Map, Italian     Review, Vol. I, No. 4, Autumn 1974, p. 16,        Lot and the Hall". The "demise" of the
      pottery, and       "In 1911 the Mendocino Beacon of Oct. 21st        Farmers and Apple Growers' Association
     ceramics from       reported, about 15 men met and elected W.         was said to be "sketchy history - bad years,
                         B. Coombs chairman and A.A. Heeser                poor crops, the first war, the change in
  Mexico are among
                         secretary. These men represented the apple        commercial trends…”
the items donated to
                         growers of the area around Mendocino within             According to Eleanor F. Sverko who, on
 date for the annual                                                       Nov. 3, 1997 in describing the property,
                         a radius of approximately 12 miles and they
      Kelley House                                                         stated that: "Up until 1938, MUHS did not
                         formed the Farmers and Apple Grower's
     Museum Silent       Association (F. & A. G. A.) as the banners        have a gymnasium. This hall was utilized for
        Auction.         flying over Apple Hall proclaim."                 gym exercise and dance classes for many
                              The Historical Review publication            years". Historical Review noted that: "Apple
                         continues to explain that "...the organization    Hall survived neglect until the 1940's. The
                         moved fast for in a month they had planned        High School basketball team played there,
                         the first apple fair to show the lumber men       often on wet, slippery floors when the
                                                                           winter rains found their way through a leaky
                         that there were other important trees in
                         and around Mendocino besides the                        In the Mendocino Beacon of Aug. 23,
                         redwood".                                         1941, there was a notice of sale of the
                             The Apple Fair was a big success and          property for delinquent taxes…minimum bid
                         the farmers and community knew they               $150.00. In the Historical Review
                         had started an annual event.                                              (Continued on p. 5)
      Kelley House Museum, Inc.                                                                      Page 5 of 8

(Autumn 1974) it was stated that "Finally,                 Apple Hall - 1912
Auggie Heeser sold the old Hall to Lester                (photo by Perley Maxwell)
Helfer who in turn sold it to a man ‘over in                                                    "In 1973, two years
the valley’ who wanted the lumber".                                                        after Mendocino was
    Eleanor Sverko continued in her 1997                                                   listed in the National
property record: "Mendocino Beacon, High                                                   Register of Historic
School Notes, Nov. 28, 1942 notes that Mr.                                                 Places, our County Board
Helfer, owner of Apple Hall, donated its                                                   of Supervisors placed
use to the student body for moving                                                         Mendocino in an historical
pictures every two weeks." She also                                                        preservation district and set
                                                                                           up the Mendocino Historical
commented that: "In the early 1960s, as I
                                                                                           Review Board to preserve
recall, a new Baptist Church was built on                                                  the architecture and
the site." The "new" Mendocino Baptist                                                     character of the historical
Church is seen in the High School                                                          district."
Photograph Project matching site photo.
Mrs. Kelley's "old" Baptist Church is                   Life Memberships:
another story.
                                                 We thank o ur life m embers for
                                                    their genero us support !
        Did You Know?                                                                         Kelley House
By Ruth Sparks                                                                                Museum, Inc.
                                               Chatter & Jack Bishoff
     In the Kelley House Museum, Inc.
                                               Duane Brown
Winter 2004 newsletter, Chuck Bush wrote                                                        P.O. Box 922
                                               Tom Burnham
an article entitled "Thanksgiving". Chuck                                                     45007 Albion St.
                                               Marion & Chuck Bush
mentioned something in that article that                                                       Mendocino, CA
                                               Cammie Conlon
many people might be unaware of. He                                                                95460
                                               Patricia Evans
wrote, "In 1973, two years after                                                               707 937-5791
                                               Anabel Ford & Michael Glassow
Mendocino was listed in the National                                                          Fax #: 707-937-2156
                                               Librarian, Fort Bragg High School Library
Register of Historic Places, our County                                                            e-mail:
                                               Sue & Bill Gibson
Board of Supervisors placed Mendocino in                                           
                                               Jeanette Hansen
an historical preservation district and set                                                       Website:
                                               Ted & Anna Lee Hendershot
up the Mendocino Historical Review Board                                                    www.mendocinohistory.
                                               Faith Henderson
to preserve the architecture and character                                                           org
                                               Tower Lockwood
of the historical district."
                                               Rosemary Maulbetsch
     Mendocino - in The National                                                             MUSEUM HOURS
                                               Sandra & Bill McIver
Register of Historic Places? Well, for 36
                                               Mendocino High School
years that important fact has been mostly                                                   June-August: Open
                                               Mendocino Middle School
ignored, lost, and forgotten. When                                                            6 Days a Week
                                               Arlene & Jim Moorehead
planning festivities to celebrate the 1908                                                  (closed Wed.) 11-3
                                               Zoe Parker
founding of Mendocino Study Club next                                                        September-May:
                                               Loisjean & Bob Raymond
year, Centennial Committee members did                                                          Open Friday
                                               Joan & Paul Selchau
some investigating and decided that                                                          through Monday
                                               Martha Wagner
recognition of Mendocino as a                                                                      11-3
Historic District was needed.
                                                     MENDOCINO AND HEADLANDS
     Ladies of action, those Study Club
                                                          HISTORIC DISTRICT                  Rese arc h Off ic e
members found an answer. Now on the               ADDED TO NATIONAL REGISTER OF              Ope n T ue s. – Fr i.
fence as you enter to the Ford House on                HISTORIC PLACES IN 1971                      9-4
Main Street (Visitor Center and Museum for        U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR              Appointments for
the Mendocino Headlands State Park),               CELEBRATED BY THE MENDOCINO                      research
please note the fine bronze plaque that                  STUDY CLUB MAY 2007
   Ke lley H o use M use u m, I n c.                                                              Pag e 6 of 8

       New and Renewing Memberships:
                                                                when captured, was sick and exhausted; he
Thank you to all our renewing members as well
           Kelley House Museum, Inc.                            turned state’s evidence, fortunately, and          Page 6 of 7
as new members (since previous newsletter)                      confessed the following about Dr. Wheeler. It
                                                                seems that Wheeler had, years ago, served time
Rosa Aum                          Hildegarde Heidt              in San Quentin for a stage robbery. Three
Naoli Baker Chatter & Jack BishoffTavi Hillesland               months before the murders he had written to
Mitchel BarmettlerBrown
            Duane                 Sharon Hunter                 one of his old associates, John Billings, telling
Waylon Barmettler
            Tom Burnham           Jin Jackson                   him about his plan to acquire about $15,000 with
Sarah Birdsell
            Marion & Chuck Bush  Cathy & Jerry Karabensh        the help of “four good men.” Wheeler had
Brice Burdick
            Cammie Conlon         Celeste Kump                  already lined up a local man named H.E. Brown
Tibor Call Patricia Evans         Tucker Laurence               and Billings brought with him Samuel Carr. The
Ella Childs Anabel Ford & MichaelJudy Minkus
                                   Glassow                      fourth was a younger fellow named George
                                  Taylor Mize
Liam CollisLibrarian, Fort Bragg High School Library            Gaunce. The plan was to rob the sheriff, who
Kai daRosaSue Gibson Bill         Maya Newmeir                  was also tax collector, after he had collected all
Bruce Davis Jeanette Hansen       Elizabeth Nowell              the taxes.
James EisenbergLee & Ted Hendershot Nye
            Anna                                                     Although they got close to the remaining
Taylor Gordon Henderson
            Faith                 Kiera Poehlmann               three outlaws a few times, it was not until
Isaiah Graham Lockwood
            Tower                 Susie & Andy Plocher,         October 29th that one posse came upon them in
Eliza Green Rosemary Maulbetsch (Sea Rock B & B)                their camp, surprising both sides, and although
             School Library
Fort Bragg Sandra & Bill McIver Emily Reinhart                  shots were fired, the three escaped into dense
Steve & Judith Schenkofsky School
             Mendocino High       Fiona Scott                   brush. Through the month of November the
             Mendocino Middle School                            posses followed the sometimes hot, sometimes
            Arlene & Jim Moorehead                              cold, trail of the gang over six hundred zigzaggy
         Mendocino Outlaws
          Zoe Parker
                                                                miles, from Big River north to Blue Rock, all
                                                                around the Eel River, all around the Mad River,
By ChuckLoisjean & Bob Raymond
                                                                then the Trinity River, east around Red Bluff and
     The early days of Mendocino were not without a good
            Joan & Paul Selchau                                 Tehama, into the snowy and freezing cold Sierra
deal of drinking and brawling, with an occasional serious
            Martha Wagner                                       foothills, the Sacramento River Valley, to Williams
fight, but the records don’t seem to show too much out and      and back north to Red Bluff. Then the trail went
out lawlessness – that is, up to the time of the murder of      cold.
two esteemed citizens, Thomas Dollard and William Wright,            However, during that period there was some
on October 15, 1879.                                            unexpected action back at the Ukiah jail. When
     It seems that the local constable, William Host, found     the guard stepped out for a few moments during
evidence of a steer being killed under mysterious               the night of November 7th, Wheeler and another
circumstances and, upon investigation, the next day spied a     inmate broke out of jail, using a key they had
group of four men curing the beef. After going back to          made. They stole two horses and headed north,
swear out a warrant he, with seven others, returned to          but luckily both were soon recaptured near
arrest the thieves – but instead fell into an ambush where,     Calpella, a few miles north.
amid all the shooting, Dollard and Wright received fatal             Rumors of the whereabouts of the outlaws
wounds and another in the posse was injured.                    kept coming in to Moore and Standley. Soon they
     Well, of course, the whole town was in an uproar and,      heard that Brown had a brother-in-law living in
in short order, two large search parties were scouring the      Butte County near Whiskey Flat, not far from
countryside for the murderers. The first posse was headed       where the trail had been lost. Thus, on the
by Sheriff Moore and the other by his able assistant,           morning of December 5th, Sheriff Moore,
Jeremiah “Doc” Standley. It was soon discovered that some       Standley, C.A. White and another man crept up
of the utensils found where they had been camping had           to and surrounded the suspect cabin on Butte
been purchased by a Dr. J.F. Wheeler, a local dentist of        Creek; right away they saw Billings come out to
supposed good repute, who was thus arrested for                 chop some wood, told him he was covered, and
complicity in the affair. The first gang member to be           to put up his hands. Instead he darted back
captured was Samuel Carr, an old ex-convict who had             towards the cabin but, in so doing, was shot in
previously killed a man in a San Francisco saloon but,          the shoulder by White. Gaunce and Brown
because of the singular circumstances, was pardoned on          dashed out and fled into the brush without being
the basis that he never set foot in California again – but he   hit, but Billings came out again firing at White,
did.                                                            who shot and killed Billings; Gaunce had been
     After the shooting Carr had gone off on his own and,       seen to go down the creek and Brown up the
Kelley House Museum, Inc.                                                                       Page 7 of 8

creek. The sheriff left for Ukiah with the body, but           Gaunce was released from prison after ten
the others went right down stream after Gaunce,           years by Governor’s decree, as eventually was
finally losing his trail close by a small town at about   Brown, in 1910, when he was 79.
midnight, 24 hours after their full day had begun.             In the denouement of his book, “The
The next morning, Standley quickly discovered that a      Mendocino Outlaws,” John Keller mentions that an
local man had lost a blanket out of his buggy during      unusual rumor spread through Ukiah not long after
the night, and guessed that Gaunce had taken it and       the second trial was completed – John Wheeler had
must have slept nearby. The buggy was next to a           been seen with his wife in San Francisco. It was
vacant cabin and, inside, they captured an exhausted      said that his wife had taken the body home after
and hungry Gaunce. They took him in a buggy               he had been pronounced dead and had revived him
towards Chico where they intercepted Sheriff Moore        from a deep sleep induced not by lethal chloral
and turned Gaunce over to him; so the sheriff took        hydrate but by another drug he had swallowed in
both a dead Billings and a bedraggled Gaunce to           jail???
     Standley soon had clues as to the whereabouts
of Brown; he stayed with an Indian on the night of
                                                               Kelley House Museum, Inc.
the 7th up in the Sierras east of Oroville, was spied              Board of Directors
crossing the Yuba River and then at a place called               Mar y T rave rs          Pr esid ent
Bidwell’s Bar in Yuba County. Standley and White got             Deena Zarlin      Vi ce- Pr esi dent
there on the 10th where the local officer, Sheriff               Linda Wil son            Trea sur er
Sprague, joined them and spread the word that                    Joy S haw                Se cr etar y
Brown was nearby and dangerous. Later that day,                  Chu c k B ush     De nnis Fr e ez e
two local men, Ryan and Tatcher, captured Brown                  Eric Hilleslan d   R onni e Ja mes
and turned him over to Standley, ending two solid                Dee Lem os      Loretta M cC oa rd
months of tracking – the greatest man-hunting                            Mel od y Me rri man
expedition in California up to that time.                                Martin Si mp s on
     When Standley brought Brown in to Ukiah on
December 14th, a large welcoming crowd gave him                              Docents
an ovation. The trials for Wheeler, Brown and                               Judith Barr y
Gaunce didn’t start until April 1880, in Ukiah, with                         John Bau er
Carr the chief witness against them. Wheeler was                            Chu c k B ush
sentenced to be hanged on July 2nd, but on May 15th                     Kathle en Cam er on
committed suicide in his cell, using a small vial of                      Wallace C on roe
chloral hydrate that he had hidden in the lining of his                      Bob G er bi
coat. Both Brown and Gaunce were also convicted                         G ord on Gillingha m
and sentenced to be hanged, but both secured stays                        Don K ow alski
of execution pending appeals, which took some time.                        Robe rt K uhn
In September, an escape plot was uncovered just in                          Dee Lem os
time. In searching the jail, they found two chisels, a                   Martin Si mp s on
saw, a jackknife blade and seven door keys that                            Me gan Smit h
worked as well as those held by the jailer. In                             Ruth Spa r ks
addition, the prisoners knew the combination of                             Katy Tahja
every combination lock in the jail. Only because of                        Mar y T rave rs
fallout between two of the prisoners was the escape                     Board Support
prevented.                                                     Jon e Le m os          Legal C ouns el
     Lawyers for Gaunce and Brown were successful                Marth a Wagn er     Gard en Su p port
in securing retrials in Santa Rosa. Brown was again
sentenced to be hanged, but Gaunce’s sentence was                               Staff
reduced to life imprisonment. Sam Carr, the witness              Nan cy F re ez e  E xe cutive Dir ect or
against the others, was given his freedom by the                 Car olyn Z eitler      Vault M anag er
judge in May, 1882, when the second trial was finally
over. Before Brown was to be hanged, the Governor                Newsletter Editor        Joy S haw
commuted his sentence to life imprisonment.                      Board Minutes:         Wil ma Tu c ke r
Ke lley H o use M use u m, in c.      Pag e 8 of 8

          Kelley House Museum, Inc.             Page 8 of 8
          Kelley House Museum, Inc.             Page 8 of 8
          Kelley House Museum, Inc.             Page 8 of 8

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