Wednesday, December 6, 2023

This Day in MendoHistory: October 17, 1924- A Navy Dirigible Sails Above Mendocino


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 Navy dirigible, Shenandoah, over Mendocino Bay, 1924. The Shipping Point can be seen in the background. (Gift of Emery Escola, Emery Escola Collection, Kelley House Photographs)

On this day in Mendocino history…

October 17, 1924 – The big Navy dirigible, Shenandoah, sailed majestically over Mendocino at an altitude of 500 feet. The airship had left San Diego at 9 am the day before and was admired by thousands as she flew north along the California coast to Camp Lewis near Tacoma, Washington. In addition to a flight crew of 44, a newspaper correspondent and a motion picture camera man were on board.

The ship passed over San Francisco at night, and Point Arena reported her overhead about 10:30 in the morning. All other activity in Mendocino “was dropped to watch for the flying monster of the air.” About 11, she could be seen far down the coast with binoculars, but then disappeared because she was flying so low that the view was obscured by the hills. In a short time, she became visible just south of Kent Ranch.

Hundreds gathered to watch as the Shenandoah passed over town. The ship was 680 feet long, with 3 motors running. “In the distance, she resembled a huge bologna sausage covered with tin foil, but as she gradually came nearer winging her way slowly and deliberately along she showed up in all her majesty and power. The eager watcher could plainly see every detail with the naked eye. The subdued, steady murmur of the giant motors conveyed a sense of great power and very different from the sharp staccato bark of the ordinary flying machine. She passed almost overhead at 11:40 am and with a glass, passengers could be observed in her cabins located forward and under the body of the craft.”

𝘞𝘢𝘭𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘛𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘏𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘤 𝘔𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘰 – 𝘑𝘰𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘺. 𝘠𝘰𝘶’𝘭𝘭 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴 𝘣𝘺 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘺 𝘱𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴, 𝘩𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘤 𝘮𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘶𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘰 𝘏𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘤 𝘋𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘵. https://tinyurl.com/KHMAirbnb

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. 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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