The Stage is Set at Ely

Thanks to many in the community, the permanent stage is set for the first outdoor music venue to be held at the Ely Stage Stop & Country Museum. On Saturday, May 21, the Ely Stage Stop will host the Lake County Fire Recovery Blues Benefit #2, an outdoor music festival from 3 to 7 pm with local crafts, food, beer & wine, info booths and raffles. This is the second Blues Benefit produced by Spotlight On Productions to support fire recovery in Lake County.  Blues Benefit #2 will raise funds for Hope City, aka Hope Crisis Response Network (HCRN), a member of Team Lake County, to rebuild homes lost in the Valley Fire.

Providing a permanent stage has been a long-term dream of the docents and volunteers at the Stage Stop. Over the last few weeks, that dream has become a reality. The Mendocino College Construction Fundamentals Class, taught by Lake County contractor Glenn Mueller, took on the stage-building project giving students experience in working with concrete, building forms and pouring and finishing the cement.

The team of students working on the project comprise the first Construction Fundamentals Class offered at the Lake County Mendocino College Center in Lakeport. After last year’s wild fires the college responded to the increased need for building skills in the county. Students no longer need to travel out of county to develop safe construction skills and methods. Mueller said the next class is scheduled to begin June 16. Visit for information.

Dennis Woodland, a local contractor with special expertise in concrete, assisted on the project. Clear Lake Redi-Mix gave a discount on the purchase of the concrete used to complete the stage. Dennis Grove Concrete Pumping of Hidden Valley Lake gave a partial donation of services.

Complementing the permanent stage, is a “barn trail” newly constructed between the main house and the red barn on the museum property. The trail construction was undertaken by Kennedy Gaulden, a member of Boy Scout Troop 45, to fulfill his Eagle Scout Project. The Troop Scoutmaster is Austin Mueller, son of Glenn Mueller.

These types of community partnership allow the museum goals to be further realized since the stage and path will remain intact for future events. Come enjoy the blues event and share in our community pride. Tickets are $15 at the gate. Kids 12 and under are free.

The Lake County Historical Society’s Ely Stage Stop & Country Museum is located at 9921 State Hwy 281 (Soda Bay Road) in Kelseyville, near Clearlake Riviera, just north of Hwy 29-Kit’s Corner.  Current hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.  Living History events are held on the fourth Saturday of each month from noon until 2 p.m. Fiddlers’ Jams occur the first Sunday of every month, again, from noon until 2 p.m. Private tours and/or public events can be arranged by appointment.

Visit or, check out the stage stop on Facebook at, or call the museum at 707-533-9990.

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The Construction Fundamentals and Green Building class from the Mendocino College Lake Center campus pictured in front of the new permanent stage at the Ely Stage Stop & Country Museum. From left to right: Marilyn Saderland, Joe Lundergreen, Glenn Mueller, Dan Brosnan, Greg Dills (Museum Director), Rob Sansom, Bob Stack, Jack Hewlitt. Kneeling from left to right: Charlene Daniel, Levi Hageman, Dennis Woodland (expert consultant), Buddy the dog. Not pictured but participating: Tamra Furlani, Elaine Jolin, and Sean Morgan. Photo by Greg Blinn.