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This Day in MendoHistory: July 21, 1917- ‘The Promise’ Screened at Kellieowen Hall Depicting Life in a Lumber Camp

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In collaboration with Mendocino’s Kelley House Museum, MendoFever will be publishing their “This Day in Mendocino History” Facebook posts. The Kelley House Museum works hard to document and curate Mendocino County’s rich history and can be visited in the seaside town of Mendocino.

Photo: The Maru and log raft at one of the Big River booms, 1916. This photograph was posed for the filming of The Promise. The Promise was filmed in Mendocino in 1916 and featured a number of coast residents and scenes, many taken on Big River. (Verda Wakerley Winney, Harry J. Wakerley Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

On this day in Mendocino history…

July 21, 1917 – Joe Nichols presented one of the first motion pictures filmed on the Mendocino Coast at his picture house inside Kellieowen Hall on the southwest corner of Ukiah and Lansing. “The Promise” featured a number of local coast residents including Mendocino Lumber Company woods boss, Ed Boyle. Scenes had been shot in several coast locations during December 1916.

This silent movie was partially set in a lumber camp, and the film included footage from the Boom, Boyle’s Camp, and other locations along Big River. During a dramatic river scene, the leading man, Harold Lockwood, was thrown from a log jam into the water after a dynamite explosion was set off by the villain.

Nichols had gone to considerable trouble and expense to get the film so quickly, but his efforts paid off – the following week, the Mendocino Beacon reported several families had come into town to see the movie.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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