In collaboration with Mendocino’s Kelley House Museum, MendoFever will be publishing their Facebook posts exploring the history of Mendocino. 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.
Michael J. Byrnes was born in Boston in 1840. While a young man he traveled extensively, spending time in Europe and South America. He came to Mendocino County in the early 1860s, and after working in the woods for a while he volunteered for the U.S. Army. After leaving the military, he settled in Humboldt County where he was a farmer.
In 1876, he married Mary Hite, who had moved to Humboldt County from Virginia as a young girl. Three years later, the Byrnes family moved to Little River. They purchased a 10-acre parcel on LIttle Lake Road in Mendocino in 1883 and completed their home the following year.
The Byrnes House featured an orchard with several varieties of fruit trees, a berry patch, and a big vegetable garden. In July 1891, the Beacon reported, ”We took a walk through the berry patch of M. J. Byrnes this week and tested the quality of the raspberries, improved with cream and sugar. Mr. Byrnes has an excellent home, and raises some of the best fruit it has been our pleasure to test in a long time. Mike entertains his company in splendid style this season of the year.” Michael and Mary raised 5 children here.
Michael served as constable and as a deputy sheriff of the county for twenty years. He died at the family home in 1902. He was described as a voracious reader and a man with many friends, who had a wonderful memory for what he read as well as for names and faces.
Mary continued to live in this house, surrounded by the flowers, shrubs, and trees she had so attractively arranged. It was a very real home to which her sons and daughters returned at every opportunity to enjoy her companionship. In 1941, she, too, passed away at the house she loved so dearly and was laid to rest beside her husband in the family plot at Little River Cemetery.
𝘕𝘦𝘸 𝘌𝘹𝘩𝘪𝘣𝘪𝘵! 𝘑𝘦𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘳𝘺 𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘋𝘰𝘰𝘳𝘴 – 𝘝𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘋𝘰𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘣𝘴 𝘍𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘚𝘢𝘸𝘺𝘦𝘳 & 𝘏𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘵 𝘉𝘺𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘴𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘰𝘰𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘓𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘺 𝘚𝘢𝘸𝘺𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘏𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘵 𝘉𝘺𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘴 𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘸 𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘈𝘭𝘣𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘋𝘰𝘰𝘳𝘴 & 𝘞𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘴. 𝘊𝘰𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭, 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘺𝘦𝘵 𝘧𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭, 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘭𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘢 𝘱𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘰𝘣𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘴 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘦𝘳 𝘥𝘢𝘺𝘴. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘹𝘩𝘪𝘣𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘳𝘶𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘛𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘥𝘢𝘺, 𝘚𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 2𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭 𝘚𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘺, 𝘖𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘣𝘦𝘳 31, 2021. 𝘔𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘶𝘮 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴: 𝘛𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘥𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘚𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘺𝘴, 11 𝘢𝘮 𝘵𝘰 3 𝘱𝘮. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘶𝘮 𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘵 45007 𝘈𝘭𝘣𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘚𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘔𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘰. 𝘎𝘰 𝘵𝘰 KelleyHouseMuseum.org 𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘤𝘵 𝘶𝘴 𝘢𝘵 (707) 937-5791, 𝘰𝘳 𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘪𝘭 firstname.lastname@example.org 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯.