Conference of California Historical Societies holds its 2014 Fall Symposium in Sonoma County

2014, Announcement, Fort Ross, History Symposium, Japanese Buddhist Temple, Luther Burbank Experimental Farm, Sebastopol, Western Sonoma County Historical Society

2014 Symposium

The Fall Symposium will include sites that the Conference of California Historical Societies has never visited!  Program highlights include a tour of the Japanese Buddhist Temple to gain a better understanding of the life of Japanese farmers before and after World War II, Western Sonoma County history honoring the Pomo Indians, and our first ever trip to Fort Ross. Activities include visits to the Luther Burbank Experimental Farm and Local History at the Western Sonoma County Museum

October 23 – 25, 2014


Image courtesy of

Sonoma County Historical Society’s Annual Picnic at Georgetown Sept 28th

2014, Announcement, Graton, Sonoma County Historical Society, Summer Picnic

The Sonoma County Historical Society’s Annual Picnic will be held at Georgetown from noon to 3pm on Sunday 28 September 2014.

Guy Smith will do tours of Georgetown, including a 1912 truck used to ferry passengers from Glen Ellen railroad stations and Luther Burbank’s last automobile. Georgetown is at 4015 Frei Road, just east of Sebastopol. It is a beautiful place and it borders the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

There is no charge for the picnic and you don’t have to be a member to participate. SCHS will supply barbecued hot dogs, sausages, buns, and soft drinks. Please bring a dish to share. You may bring wine or beer for yourself and your friends if you wish.

Please call Marj Torliatt (707-545-7507) or Joann Mitchell (707-545-5094) with the number of people in your group, so we know how many hot dogs to buy. Consider carpooling to reduce space needed for parking.

Jeremy Nichols, President
Sonoma County Historical Society

The Sages of Petaluma – Oral History Project

2014, Collections, In The News, Oral History, Petaluma, Petaluma Argus-Courier

Recently, my blogs have focused on promoting our Petaluma Historical Museum and Research Library as a local “Treasure Chest” that contains many “Golden Nuggets” that enrich the legacy of “Our River Town.”

A discussion group of Petalumans, who were either born here or have lived in Petaluma for several years, has been meeting monthly at the Museum and sharing their personal memories of growing up, going to school, playing, working and living here. They’re known as “The Sages of Petaluma.”

A few years ago, an oral history project was initiated by students at Kenilworth Jr. High School. They interviewed several Sages, using a video camera. To date, seven of these interviews, plus DVDs featuring “The Petalumans of Yesteryear” (Capt. Tom Baylis, Isaac Wickersham, William Howard Pepper) and a talk about Fred Wiseman’s first air mail flight from Petaluma to Santa Rosa in 1911, have been given to the Museum and will be available for viewing by the public.

The Sages who have been interviewed include: Dick Dunbar, Jim Giovando, Growling Bear, Lily Krulevich, Shep Shepard, Tim Talamantes, and Don Waite. Hopefully, additional interviews will take place over the coming months and added to this collection of “Golden Nuggets” in our community’s “Treasure Chest.” Stay Tuned.

Source: Petaluma – Our River Town

Sebastopol’s landmark feed store plans comeback

2014, In The News, Preservation, Press Democrat, Sebastopol
Frizelle Enos Feed Store, Sebastopol, c1979

Before last year’s fire, Frizelle Enos feed store, a link to the region’s agricultural roots, had been in continuous operation since its founding as a feed mill in 1939, serving the west county and its commercial hub, Sebastopol. It has borne the Frizelle Enos label since two proprietors with those names assumed the business in 1946.

Operated out of a concrete-block retail building that shared the lot with a corrugated metal warehouse, the roughly 16,000-square-foot emporium offered livestock feeds and products, pet foods, ranchwear and related items, as well as what Stacey Renati called “little pluses and extras you wouldn’t expect,” like distinctive socks, soaps and lotions that sold surprisingly well.

The vintage red-and-white checkerboard pattern around the exterior walls, familiar to patrons and passers-by alike, will remain, as well as  its eclectic mix of merchandise, and even some of the personnel. ….Read more

Source: Press Democrat

It all started here

In The News, It started here, Petaluma, Petaluma Argus-Courier

Although his name is well known in “Our River Town,” how much do current Petalumans really know about Lyman Byce? Most readers will respond, “he built the first incubator.” However, are there other tidbits of information we should be aware of?

This strange looking device was exhibited at several regional fairs. It was reported that a 400 egg Byce incubator hatched 95% of the eggs it cooked on a 200 mile trip by boat, train, and wagon. Christopher Nisson, a local Danish farmer, purchased several of these incubators and became the world’s first commercial hatchery on his 100 acre farm near Two Rock.   …read more

Source: Petaluma – Our River Town

St. Dorothy’s Rest in Camp Meeker traces its history back 113 years

Announcement, In The News, Press Democrat

“Once you enter through the gate, the air is different… There’s a timelessness about it.” St. Dorothy’s Rest is the oldest continuously operated camp in California. Founded in 1901 with a 1-acre gift from lumber baron Melvin Meeker, the camp was the brainchild of Nellie Lincoln and her husband, the Rev. James Lincoln.   …Read more

Source: Press Democrat

Prune Packers ball team bring old-time memories

Days of Yesteryear, Healdsburg, In The News, Press Democrat

Ever since its owner willed the Prune Packers into existence 2-1/2 years ago, this small-town baseball club has honored history.

The team name is a throwback to the minor-league Prune Packers who competed here in the 1920s, and again the 1950s. They still play at Rec Park, the quaint ballpark a few blocks east of central Healdsburg that was home to those earlier incarnations  …read more

Source: PressDemo – Top News

Santa Rosa Junior College discovery

Discovery, In The News, Santa Rosa, Time Capsule
Paul Bielen, Director of Facilities Operations, showing the sealed ball.

A mystery and a piece of #SRJC history are coming to life! This morning, while supervising the removal of our old, nonfunctional flag pole on Analy lawn, Facilities Operations staff members were looking for what they thought would be a “time capsule” on top of the pole. Paul Bielen, Director of Facilities Operations, said that they found a sealed ball, as well as what appears to be a weather-damaged piece of paper, inside the tube holding the ball. Does the paper carry a message to us from previous generations? Library technician Amy Malaise is going to study the sheet and let us all know.

via Santa Rosa Junior College.

Cloverdale Cemetery Wall Project needs your help

Cloverdale, Cloverdale Historical Society, Fundraiser, Preservation
Falling wall in Cloverdale Cemetery

A group of local volunteers, have dedicated many hours to repairing damaged headstones and maintaining civilian and veteran grave sites. Soon after the collapse, we approached the City of Cloverdale and informed them of the collapse of the retaining wall and severe damage caused to several gravesites. The Cloverdale Cemetery is owned by the City of Cloverdale who has already funded the engineering and soil analysis costs, however, the hard facts are that they have no additional funds for maintenance or to conduct any repairs to the wall….

Read more…    Cloverdale Cemetery Wall Project by Gort Klaatu – GoFundMe.

Sonoma history comes to life

In The News, Sonoma, Sonoma Valley Sun

Period-clad actors will recreate the days of General Vallejo and Count Haraszthy at the inaugural Living History Extravaganza on Saturday, July 12, at Buena Vista Winery. The day will be filled with “Living History Performances” by re-enactors wandering the grounds telling stories and giving tours of the historic stone winery buildings and wine caves, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition, there will be performances of “The Story of Buena Vista,” “Medicine Man Show” and, at 2 p.m., “The Bear Flag Revolt” presented by the Bear Flag Revolt Acting Troupe, featuring Jean-Charles Boisset as Victor Proudhon. The day’s characters … …read more

Source: Sonoma Valley Sun