This small museum housed in the former home of Jerome Ford sits in Mendocino Village along the coastal cliffs. Inside, families can learn the history of Mendocino and how it came to be what it is today. There is a large diorama displayed that depicts what the village looked like in 1890, and families will notice much of the landscape has not changed. As Mendocino is one of only two historic California towns, the village has been preserved and any home or business owners must seek permission before altering any exteriors in the village.
The museum, which is also the Visitor’s Center, was the former home of Jerome Ford, who had the house built for his bride in 1854. Ford is credited as being the founder of the city since he was the first superintendent of the first sawmill in Mendocino. Ford oversaw the lumber industry on this land that was once covered in Redwood trees.
Inside the museum, families will find historic photos, tools, replicas and relics that tell the stories and dangers of the sawmill industry. Families could spend about an hour here.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
Things to Know/Bring
Be sure to chat with the guides inside the museum. Their knowledge and stories of Mendocino’s past really bring the museum to life. Families will also find brochures and other information on things to do in the surrounding area as this museum doubles as the Mendocino Visitor’s Center.
Free street parking surrounds the area, but it can be difficult to find a spot during peak season.