MENDOCINO Co., 4/27/18 — This week, CalTrans began the process of refurbishing Willits’ Main Street to return control of the avenue to the City of Willits after years of bypass construction. Once this change is complete, Main Street will undergo a historic shift back to local control — and there are big plans in the works to improve the historic downtown core with added landscaping, new streetlamps, bike lanes, and better signage for local attractions. Despite the shuttering of many business along Main Street over the past year, many hope that this transition will both attract new visitors, and create a better sense of community in downtown Willits.
In a timely exhibit, the Mendocino County Museum — one of Willits attractions that would benefit from better signage — has been displaying “Main Street: Then and Now,” which showcases Willits’ Main Street of yesteryear and will close this weekend. If you’re curious to see decades worth of changes on Main Street have looked like, now’s your chance! The exhibit consists of large scale photographs, oral histories of long-time residents, and other historical materials, drawing on the museum’s archives and from oral histories. You can check out what parts of Main Street still look familiar through the decades, and what has been transformed by exploring the history displayed. More information can be found here.
More information about the exhibit can be found on the Mendocino County Museum’s website. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10a.m. – 4:30p.m at 400 East Commercial Street in Willits. Admission is $4 for adults, $1 for students and children under six get in free.
Not above the passage of time itself, the museum is facing also possible transition, as supervisors are currently considering whether to consolidate it into a shared department with the county’s parks and libraries. We’ll keep you updated on these developments and upcoming exhibits as well.