|Live Theatre||Movie Theatre||Museums (local)||Museums (County)||Tours|
|Willits Community Theatre Playhouse
37 W. Van Ln., Willits, CA 95490
The theatre has over a thirty-year history of producing exceptional plays, melodramas, poetry readings and specialty acts.
|Willits Shakespeare Company
1195 S. Main St., Willits, CA 95490
The Willits Shakespeare Company began in 1998 and have continued to explore William Shakespeare's work throughout the years. The season begins with a Summer Youth Camp (Youth ages 8-18) June to Mid July which coincides with the annual Fundraiser, Willits Shakespeare Company's Bard-B-Q and Tomato Toss.
|Willits Young Actors Theatre
30 E. San Francisco Ave., Willits, CA 95490
Children are taught art, music, dance, anthropology, creative writing and all aspects of theater. As they experience culture, they also learn about their families' heritage.
57 E. Commercial St., Willits, CA 95490
The theatre was recently refurbished and now offers three theatres with Dolby Digital Sound. Open daily. Call for current movie schedule.
|Mendocino County Museum
400 E. Commercial St., Willits, CA 95490
The Museum preserves some aspects of the rich and diverse history of the County of Mendocino with its extensive collection of artifacts, archives, and publications. Long-term exhibits include the artistry and utilitarian work of the Pomo people who inhabited the region prior to the current era. 19th century, frontier California is represented by a collection of horse-drawn vehicles including an unrestored, "Star Route" stagecoach that once connected the interior valleys with mail and passengers and the California State Legislature has appointed Mendocino County Museum the official depository for artifacts from the 1850 Shipwreck Frolic with its rich history involving local Indians with the lumber industry, and modern archaeological findings. The 20th century is portrayed by several significant exhibitions. Life as travelers knew it before the advent of fast-food chain eateries, is represented by the entire interior of Willits Creamery which was a favorite with locals as well as travelers along the remarkable Redwood Highway. A complete dentist's office circa 1950, and a general store from the coastal town of Manchester provide two unique views of daily life. Other exhibits on Ridgewood Ranch: Home of Seabiscuit explaining the relationship of the famous racehorse with the local ranch where he is buried, is complimented with a 1960s Hippie Van which gives a glimpse into significant cultural changes over the past two centuries.
In 2003, a new wing of the museum was completed featuring galleries for presenting the history of regional transportation, and an Engine House with two railroad sidings that allow for the display and demonstration of historic trains and logging equipment inside the museum. Roots of Motive Power, Inc., a volunteer organization associated with the museum, collects, preserves, and demonstrates a fine collection of railroad and timber equipment in a space adjacent to the east side of the museum including a "loop track" nearly three-quarters of a mile long, and much more machinery.
Academically, Mendocino County Museum houses an extensive research archival collection including a fine library of early California history, Albion Lumber Company documents, School Records back to the 1860s, the papers of Enid Hilton an early social worker of Mendocino County and friend of D.H. Lawrence. Students, writers, and history researchers may make appointments to access collections that have been made accessible by professional indexing and archiving. A comprehensive Book & Gift Store, featuring works of local history published by Grassroots History Publications, the publishing branch of the museum, and items related to the museum's exhibits are available.
Open: Mendocino County Museum is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 to 4:30, and welcomes visitors. Located in easy walking distance east of the famed "Skunk" train depot in Willits, the Museum is a key player in the East Commercial Street Cultural Complex. We look forward to your visit.
Admission: 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; Friends of the Museum FREE; Mendocino County Historical Society Members w/ID FREE; Roots of Motive Power Members w/ID FREE; Student Classes by arrangement: Call 707-459-2736.
|Roots of Motive Power-Antique Steam Logging Equipment Display
400 E. Commercial St., Willits, CA 95490
Located next to the museum. This is an outdoor display of authentic, working antique steam-powered logging equipment. Members of this volunteer organization work tirelessly throughout the year to preserve part of our history. During special events the equipment is "steamed-up" and the public can see how the equipment was used during the 1800's. The Roots of Motive Power Festival is held in September each year. Visitors are treated to an actual working demonstration of the equipment.
Museums in the County
|Anderson Valley Historical Museum
Highway 128, Boonville, CA 95415
The museum is located about one mile north of Boonville in Anderson Valley. The museum consists of the one-room Con Creek School (1891) and three added structures, including a model sheep shearing shed. Exhibits represent aspects of Valley home life, schools, agriculture and lumbering, with some special attention to "Boontling," the Valley's unique folk language. All artifacts displayed, including the exhibit of Pomo Indian basketry and stone tools, have been found or used in Anderson Valley.
|Ford House Museum and Visitor Center
736 Main St., Mendocino, CA 95460
Ford House was built by Jerome Bursley Ford, a co-owner of the Mendocino Lumber Company, one of the first Mendocino coast saw mills.The Ford House is a visitor center for the Mendocino Headlands State Park. Inside the museum is a miniature model of the Village of Mendocino as it existed in 1890. Pomo Indian artifacts, natural history and changing exhibits are all housed in this facility.
|Grace Hudson Museum and The Sun House
431 S. Main St., Ukiah, CA 95482
The museum, Sun House and Hudson-Carpenter Park, occupies 4.5 landscaped acres in Ukiah. The museum houses exhibits of Grace Hudson's sensitive portraits of native Pomo, Native American art and ethnography, local history, and, periodically , the work of Mendocino County's best living artists. The Sun House is an impressive Craftsman bungalow built for the Hudsons (1911) by architect-artist George Wilcox. The Sun House is a national Register property and California Historical landmark #926.
|Greenwood State Beach Visitor Center & Museum
5980 S. Highway 1, Elk, CA
This small history center, which was once the office of the Goodyear Lumber Company, tells the story of the village of Elk / Greenwood from its founding in the late 1800s through its history as a booming lumber town. A large mural depicts the loading of lumber from the local wharf onto the ships waiting offshore. The museum also features historic photographs, archives, artifacts and a story rail tracing the history of the local lumber industry.
|The Guest House Museum and Fort Building
Fort Bragg-Mendocino Coast Historical Society
343 N. Main St., Fort Bragg, CA 95437
The Guest House Museum is a three-story Victorian (1892) built for C.R. Johnson, Union Lumber Company's founder and first mayor of Fort Bragg. Artifacts, equipment and photographs depicting local history are on display. Exterior displays include steam donkeys and railroad locomotives. The Fort Building is the only remaining structure of the 1857-1864 military post. The building contains pictures and narrative reports of post history and a model of the fort.
|Held Poage Memorial Home and Research Library
603 West Perkins St., Ukiah, CA 95482
The Mendocino County Historical Society's headquarters and library occupy a house built in 1903 for Judge William D. I. Held and his wife, Ethel Poage. The Society's mission is the collection and preservation of Mendocino and surrounding counties history. The library holds more than 5,000 volumes, thousands of historical photographic negatives, microfilms, documents, maps, scrapbooks and genealogical references. A small collection of Pomo Indian basketry is also on exhibit.
|Kelley House Museum
45007 Albion St., Mendocino, CA 95460
The museum was the original home of William Kelley (1861). It offers exhibits on the cultural heritage of the Mendocino Coast. There is an extensive collection of historical photographs, local genealogical data, publications and research materials. The facility is enhanced by a pond and gardens planted in native and historic species.
|Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum
45500 Lighthouse Road, Point Arena, CA 95468
(877) 725-4448 or (707) 882-2777
One of the tallest lighthouses in California, the historic 115 foot tall Point Arena Lighthouse (1908) and the nearby Fog Signal Building (1869) are open to the public for guided tours. Visitors can climb to the top of the light as keepers have done for over 100 years. The lighthouse point is one of the best places to view migrating whales, endangered bird species, and rare coastal wildflowers. Three historic keeper’s homes are available for vacation rental.
|Point Cabrillo Lighthouse
13800 Point Cabrillo Dr., Mendocino, CA 95460
On the windswept bluffs of the 300 acre nature preserve, the Point Cabrillo Light Station (1909), with its operating 3rd Order Fresnel lens, is one of the very few intact stations remaining on the west coast. Exhibits feature the area's maritime history, including a display of artifacts from the wreck of the Frolic, the Gold Rush era vessel that changed the north coast forever. Learn a little intertidal ecology at the Preserve's mini marine science center and saltwater aquarium, located in the historic blacksmith shop. The Lighthouse Gift Shop features collectibles and the work of local artists and photographers.
|Temple of Kwan Tai
45160 Albion St., Mendocino, CA 95460
The oldest original Taoist temple on California’s North Coast, the Temple of Kwan Tai offers living evidence of Mendocino’s 19th Century Chinese community. Four generations of its founders’ descendants have preserved the temple, a site now recognized as California Registered Historic Landmark No. 927. Rededicated in October 2001, the Temple of Kwan Tai has been officially praised at both the state and national level for its restoration.
|Ridgewood Ranch - Home of Seabiscuit
The Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation
c/o Ridgewood Ranch, 16200 Highway 101, Willits, CA 95460
Docent led tours on select Saturdays May - October (reservations required.) Drop-in tours available. Visit link above for details.