Mendocino County Museum (MCM) began in the 1960s as a project of the Mendocino County Historical Society. The original portion of MCM was built and paid for by the long, hard effort of the society’s membership. The City of Willits offered the East Commercial Street site on a very generous, long-term lease. In June 1972, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors accepted the new museum as a gift from MCHS on the condition that MCM would be a department of Mendocino County government. MCM remains to this day, a unique department, and continues to grow and expand its sphere of influence.
Original design plans included an option to expand the building toward the north. With the original lease amended in the 1980’s to include locating a Sheriff’s sub-station and Willits Branch Library on site, the Museum grounds began to change. By 1998, The Board of Supervisors and City of Willits had approved another amendment to the original lease providing 10+ acres adjacent to and east of the Museum for the Redwood Empire Railroad History Project.
Mendocino County Museum houses in excess of 100,000 artifacts, including local Pomo Basketry, 19th & 20th century domestic, mercantile, and business exhibits, and maritime history as represented by artifacts of the Frolic a Baltimore Clipper re-rigged as a Brigantine that sank off the Mendocino coast in 1850.
The museum has a substantial archive of documents and photographs, some now available to the general public by appointment. The MCM archive is growing rapidly and includes materials relative to the Northern California “Redwood Empire” counties, as well as oral histories by Mendocino Countians whose stories illuminate a rich and diverse history of the region.
Hours Open: Wednesday through Sunday 10:00 – 4:30; Large Classes & Groups by Appointment
Fees: Adults $5.00; Children over 5 and Students w/ID $1.00; Family Package (2 adults-2 children) $7.00; First Wednesday of every month FREE
For More Information, Contact:
Mendocino County Museum
400 East Commercial St., Willtis, CA 95490
707-459-2736 · fax 707-459-7836