In 1851 Jerome Ford made his way overland to the Mendocino headlands, looking for salvage from the shipwrecked Frolic, which had met its fate off nearby Pt. Cabrillo the previous spring. He found no booty — local Pomo indians had beaten him to it — but he did discover vast stands of coast redwoods instead, and soon partnered with an eastern entrepreneur to establish both the town of Mendocino and a booming mill yard. Jerome Ford and his wife Martha built a house on Main Street of the new town in 1854; today it stands as the Ford House Museum. It serves as the visitor center for the Mendocino Headlands State Park, offering both historic and current information about the Mendocino area. Open every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Ford House Museum exhibits models of 19th century oceanic vessels, logging tools, photographs, Native American relics and an elaborate model of the town of Mendocino in 1890. It also offers a wide selection of brochures, books and cards, as well as free seasonal lectures on area wildlife and changing seasonal exhibits in its gallery. History lovers will want to catch Heritage Days in May. Call for reservations for the Ford House Progressive Dinner held the first Friday in May, an annual benefit for the continued restoration of the Mendocino Headlands State Park’s historic visitor center and museum.