2015 Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon – March 22nd


Join us Sunday, March 22nd, 2015, at the Flamingo Hotel, 4th Street & Farmer’s Lane in Santa Rosa
11am: No Host Bar, History Student Presentations, Raffle Fundraiser, & Great Conversation!
12 Noon: Luncheon, Annual Awards, & Guest Speaker

Download Reservation Form

Author Laura Ackley, an architectural  historian who has spent many years delving into the joys and mysteries of the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, will be the guest speaker at the annual awards banquet of Sonoma County Historical Society Sunday, Mar.22, at the Flamingo Hotel at Fourth St. and Farmers Lane in Santa Rosa.

Doors open at 11 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon. Cost is $40 per person. The SCHS also would appreciate donations to sponsor luncheon tickets at $40 each for History Day students who attend.

The menu: Entrée Choices:  Mediterranean Pasta (Vegan Option), Grilled Chicken Rustica, or Atlantic Salmon with Mango Pico de Gallo sauce; Caesar salad, herb roasted Yukon potatoes and vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup.

There will be exhibits related to the Expo and also exhibits by History Day students. There will also be a business meeting, awards presentations and a fundraiser raffle.

Ackley, a resident of Marin County, first became interested in the PPIE while at UC, Berkeley, and has done further research, with a major emphasis on architecture. Her book, San Francisco’s Jewel City, The Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915, was recently published by Heyday Press.

Sonoma County played a major role in supporting the Expo and gloried in the historic meeting of three of America’s most famous men in Santa Rosa in October, 1915 when Thomas Edison and Henry Ford dropped in to visit with the resident plant wizard, Luther Burbank.

Please use the reservation form and make checks payable to: Sonoma County Historical Society.

Mail reservation and check no later than Tuesday, Mar. 17 to Marjorie Torliatt, 2535 Tachevah Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95405, ph. 707-545-7507.

2015 Banquet
Image courtesy of SCHS

2015 History Walk Celebrates The 100 year PPIE Anniversary

2015, 25 Mile Walk, Announcement, San Francisco

The Sonoma County Historical Society is sponsoring its 11th 20-25 mile historical walk and its 6th through San Francisco Saturday, June 6, 2015 for history and physical fitness buffs.  The purpose of the walk is threefold: to increase health through walking, to learn about San Francisco’s unique history, and to promote Sonoma County.
This year we will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Pan-Pacific International Exposition

Download the Enrollment form


Download enrollment form

Image courtesy of

Don Clausen, known for many achievements, perhaps most for Lake Sonoma

2010, Sonoma County Historical Society, Sonoma Historian
Sonoma Historian 2010 #3

Sonoma Historian 2010 #3

We have pulled this 2010 story, The Battle of the Dam,
from the Sonoma Historian Archives about Lake Sonoma
and the battle to get it built.

Image courtesy of Sean Bressie | Sonoma County Historical Society

Historic Old Courthouse Square building for sale

2014, Architecture, Historic Landmark, Historic Site, In The News, Press Democrat, Santa Rosa

Empire Building – Photo © Sean Bressie

Change is coming to the historic, clock-capped Empire Building on Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square. It is up for sale and its primary tenant — …

…read more

Source:: PressDemo – Local News

Image courtesy of Sean Bressie ©

‘Day of the Dead’ at Sonoma Barracks

2014, In The News

California State Parks, in cooperation with Sonoma/Petaluma State Historic Parks Association, proudly announces, Dia De Los Muertos, Day of the Dead, on Saturday, November 1 from noon to 4 pm. Come to Mission San Francisco Solano to help celebrate Dia De Los Muertos, the historic holiday of Mexico, Latin America, and Spain. This celebration is designed to honor the dead who, it is believed, return to their earthly homes on the evening of October 31. In recognition of this holiday, the Mission will have an altar in the Chapel honoring General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo and his wife Benicia. The altar … …read more

Source:: Sonoma Valley Sun

Lest We Forget – Samuel Cassiday

2014, In The News, Petaluma, Petaluma Argus-Courier

Samuel Cassiday – c1880

The lead sentence states that, “Petaluma owes a debt to Argus Editor Sam Cassiday that has never been paid. Only his gravestone in Cypress Hill Cemetery commemorates his name. The forgetful city long ago should have done the right thing by at least naming a street in his honor.” His collection of newspaper files dating back to 1855 is one of the most complete and “priceless” collections in the West. They may be found in the public library. He also authored a book about Sonoma County history, “An Illustrated History of Sonoma County, 1889.” An article in his file stated that, “he received the bitterest blow when the Chicago publisher of his history failed to credit him as author.”

Cassiday was born near Reedsburgh, Wayne County, Ohio in 1830, and spent most of his boyhood near the Sac and Fox Indian hunting grounds of the Iowa Territory. Over time, he worked on a farm nine months out of the year and also learned the printers trade, as well as serving as an assistant teacher in a private academy. Cassiday came overland in 1850 to Sacramento and got involved with various mining operations in Nevada and Yuba counties. He moved to Sonoma County in 1854 and farmed until 1860. He spent a brief period of time publishing the Petaluma Republican before becoming one of the owners and editors of the Argus in 1861. After he sold the Argus in 1869, he moved to Monterey County where he studied law and was admitted to the bar. Later, when offered a United State consulship, he declined. This article closes with, “A few men gave to their community more than they received in return. Petaluma could change the name of Main Street to Cassiday Avenue and still not come out even.”

Cassiday married Cynthia Francis Denman in 1864 and they had five children. His funeral was held April 6, 1904 with E.S. Lippitt, H.L. Weston, G.W. Lamoreaux, C. Temple, C. Poehlmann and Charles Dillion serving as pallbearers.

Source:: Petaluma – Our River Town

Related Links:
California Biographies – RootsWeb
1898 Sonoma County Atlas – Rumsey Collection
History of Sonoma County – Google Books
Find a Grave

Image courtesy of USGenWeb

Charlie Siebenthal presents expanded talk on the Sonoma Valley Railroad

Announcement, Days of Yesteryear, Glen Ellen, Lectures, Northwestern Pacific Railroad Historical Society, Railroads, Santa Rosa, Sonoma


The next program will be on Monday October 27, 2014

NWPRRHS President Charlie Siebenthal will present a much expanded talk on the Sonoma Valley Railroad, its successor as the Sonoma Valley Branch of the NWP and the Sonoma Valley Branch of the Southern Pacific. Field work plus recently discovered maps and newspaper articles will be used to answer the many questions asked during his first talk on the railroads of Sonoma Valley.

Monroe Hall, 1400 West College Avenue, Santa Rosa. Parking in the rear of the building.
Take 101 to the College Avenue exit. Turn west onto College Avenue. Monroe Hall is on the left just past the G&G Shopping Center.
For further information please contact Charlie Siebenthal at 707-838-8882 or vandtrr@cs.com
Please mark this date on your calendars.
If you wish to receive an email reminder of each program please send an email entitled “WN list” to Charlie Siebenthal at vandtrr@cs.com your email address will be held confidential.

Image courtesy of Elmore Powell

Windsor barn preserved by Strawn instead of burned for practice

2014, In The News, Preservation, Relocate, Windsor

Milo Strawn, a carpenter and millwright by trade, was not one to discard the old or broken for the new and different. He was from the generation that never threw anything away. When it broke, you fixed it.

So when the Windsor Volunteer Fire Department decided  to use a 100-year-old, open dairy barn in east Windsor for training burns,  Milo, the Fire Chief,  offered to take it apart instead. He bought it for $1 in 1985 from a contractor, who planned to develop the land where the Mattie Washburn School and Pleasant Oak Park now stand.   …read more

Source: Press Democrat

The little engine that could, just can’t anymore – Support the Howarth Park Train

2014, Announcement, Fundraiser, Preservation, Santa Rosa

Howarth Park Train

Help Keep the Howarth Park Train in Motion

Santa Rosa Parks Foundation’s 1st annual Family Fun Night is on October 10th at Howarth Park from 5-9pm. All proceeds from the night will go towards the purchase of a new ADA compliant Howarth Park Train.

This event will include live musical performances by Pat Jordan Band, Bear’s Belly and Midnight Sun Massive, along with delicious provisions provided by The Wurst, Island Ice and Third Street Aleworks. Santa Rosa High School’s agricultural department is supplying pumpkins for a children’s pumpkin decorating booth and rides will run until sundown.

The train has been a part of the Santa Rosa community for 44 years, and as stated in a previous article by the Press Democrat, “The little engine that could, just can’t anymore.” Currently, the C.P. Huntington costs the city of Santa Rosa $30,000 a year in maintenance and sadly due to its datedness, the 1863 replica steam engine is broken down 1/3 of the time. We ask the community to come together for this special event so that the future generations of our city can enjoy 50 more years of wonderful memories. Tickets will be sold at the venue or you can purchase them now at http://tinyurl.com/n58fxep. Prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children: adult entry fees include an adult beverage and children entry fees include a train ride.

Image courtesy of http://www.srparksfoundation.com

E Clampus Vitus honors historical Cloverdale buildings

2014, Announcement, Cloverdale, Cloverdale Historical Society, Historic Landmark, In The News

Cloverdale, Shaw House Plaque, c2014

Plaques presented to Owl Cafe, Gould Shaw House

On Saturday, Sept. 13, E Clampus Vitus, came to Cloverdale and commemorated the placement of two plaques. Known to be a fun loving group of men with prankster-type antics, they are also known for researching and honoring places of historical significance. Two locations were commemorated. One plaque was placed in a large rock in front of the Owl Café. It was presented by the Yerba Buena Chapter 1. The other was placed at the Gould Shaw House, now the site of the Cloverdale Museum, by the Sam Brannan Chapter 1004. “Clampers” from both chapters were on hand to participate in the ceremonies. Wearing their red t-shirts, they were observed all over Cloverdale from Thursday through Saturday.

Source:: Cloverdale Reveille

Image courtesy of Sean Bressie | Sonoma County Historical Society