“To inspire wonder, discovery, recreation and stewardship of our

natural and cultural treasures in Mendocino County’s State Parks”



45035 Main Street, Mendocino, CA., Mendocino Headlands State Park

11 am to 4 pm, Daily

Ford House is the Mushroom House in November.  Information below.

The Ford House Museum and Visitor Center is located in the Mendocino Headlands State Park that surrounds on three sides the picturesque town of Mendocino, listed on the National Historic Register.  The park sits on the rugged Mendocino County shoreline where the Big River empties into the Pacific.  Miles of trails wind along the cliffs, giving the casual explorer spectacular views of sea arches and hidden grottoes. Secluded beaches Day-use only. No camping.

Permanent exhibits at the Ford House reflect Mendocino's early settlement era. There is a display of artifacts from the Pomo; Native Americans who had lived in the area for over 8,000 years before the arrival of the first settlers. A visitor favorite is the scale model of the town as it was in 1890, created by the late local craftsman, Len Peterson. Throughout the house, old photographs, tools and relics illustrate the saga of the early mill town days, from the felling of the redwoods to the shipping of the lumber aboard the legendary doghole schooners. Also of note is the exhibit of Emmy Lou Packard prints. Packard, who was a friend and colleague of Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera in her early career, was responsible for starting the grass roots movement that led to the creation of Mendocino Headlands State Park, and, ultimately, the Mendocino Historic District in 1972.

The Ford House Museum, located on Main Street in Mendocino, is recognized by the Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce as the official Visitor Information Center for the town. Open daily, 11am to 4pm, the Ford House is the perfect place to start any visit to Mendocino. The circa 1854 home offers both historic and current information on the town and the area State Parks, including a broad selection of brochures, books, maps, cards, and gifts.  A number of videos are available upon request, with topics ranging from the steam whistle logging era of the early Twentieth Century to the amazing story of gray whale migration. Map

Seasonal exhibits showcase the local flora and fauna, including  Whales, Wildflowers, and Mushrooms. Whale Watching walks are scheduled in March.  See Events Calendar.

Weddings, group and school tours of the Museum, along with cultural and natural history walks and talks are available with advance notice.

For information, or if you are interested in being involved in the Ford House Docent Council, please contact Ford House Manager Jenny Heckeroth at 937-5397 or e-mail: fordhouse@mcn.org.  Mail: P.O. Box 1387, Mendocino, CA 95460



Ford House is the Mushroom House in November  

Mushrooms will be the focus at the Ford House with a month-long exhibit featuring mushroom natural history·      Nov. 8–Nov 9  Saturday and Sunday Fresh Mushroom Display: For this weekend only local mycologists will be carefully gathering, identifying, and labeling local mushrooms for display in the Ford House. Come view this ephemeral display and be amazed by the abundant variety of fungi that can be found locally. 
·      Nov. 8  ­ Saturday 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Second Saturday Reception for the fresh mushroom display and book signing for the new “Wild Mushroom Cookbook” by local mushroom aficionados  Alison Gardner and Merry Winslow. Come and enjoy some samples from the recipes in the book! Suggested $5 donation.
·      Nov. 8 and 9  Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.  Demonstration of Mushroom Dyes and Paper MakingNancy Denison, of the International Mushroom Dye Institute, will exhibit some of her work and do ongoing demonstrations of mushroom dying and mushroom paper making during the fresh mushroom display weekend at the Ford House.


45035 Main Street, Mendocinoopen daily 11am to 4pm | 707.937.5397 | www.mendoparks.org

Magnificent Chicken of the Woods (Mushroom)

Magnificent Chicken of the Woods (Mushroom)

About the Cook Book

The most comprehensive collection of wild mushroom recipes ever assembled in one book, from breakfast to dinner, appetizers to dessert.

It also describes the best uses for different mushrooms, mentions procedures useful in their preparation, and covers the best methods of preservation for different species. Full of ideas which may also be applied to store-bought mushrooms, this book will stimulate your imagination and guide your culinary adventures with mushrooms.


About the Authors

Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner was born in Santa Barbara, California, and moved north to the Mendocino coast with her family in 1969, at the age of 10. She learned her first mushrooms the next fall, from an “old-timer”, and has been an avid mushroom hunter and eater ever since. She has attended and teacher-aided for the local community college mushroom classes, as well as leading private mushroom tours.

She started cooking meals regularly for the family at age 13, learning from her mother, a cousin and a neighbor. She took a commercial cooking class in high school, and worked in two restaurants in her teens and early twenties. She has done some catering for weddings. She is also a botanist and potter, and still resides on the Mendocino coast.Th

Merry Winslow: 

Merry Winslow: 

Merry Winslow:

When I first moved onto this land in Mendocino I found signs tacked to the trees: “No Mushroom Hunting! Violators will be prosecuted after our dogs are through with them!” I found the signs disturbing because of the hostility they projected, so I took them down. I was inspired, though, by the good foraging that the signs promised. For the first few years I lived here, I sought the wild edibles. I took many walks looking for mushrooms but never finding any I could recognize.

Finally I took Teresa Scholars’ “Mushrooms of the North Coast” identification course at College of the Redwoods, and suddenly, I was SEEING mushrooms everywhere!

Since then, I have found great quantities of edible mushrooms within a few miles of home. During that fateful class at C/R, I met Alison, who was the teacher’s aide. Every week she would bring delicious dishes to class, which she had made with wild mushrooms. I convinced her that her artistry deserved a cookbook.

Hence this partnership was born, and she has provided us with so many excellent tasting experiences since then that writing this cookbook has been a culinary adventure of the finest sort.



A beautiful video pictorial of the Mendocino Coast - Videographer / Photographer: Randy Johnson - http://www.johnsonartworks.com/portfolio.htm

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