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Author: Heritage Community News Feed

HISTORIC SONOMA COUNTY NEWSPAPERS NOW ONLINE

Source:: I see by the Papers…

For everyone interested in Sonoma County history and genealogy, it's a fabulous day: The historic Santa Rosa and Petaluma newspapers are now online and searchable. This includes the Press Democrat (up to 1916), the Sonoma Democrat, The Argus-Courier and many Argus' (Argussess?) before that paper emerged. Together with the Healdsburg archive that's been available for awhile we finally have a pretty good picture of local doings all over the county.

To make it easy for you (and myself!) to search the Santa Rosa and Healdsburg archives I've created an Internet resources web page where queries can be entered for each paper. There are also links to the Petaluma papers - available through a newspapers.com subscription - as well as other county journals. The web page additionally includes sections with every online Sonoma county history, local maps, searchable books on state history, Luther Burbank, the 1906 earthquake and more.

That resource page is part of SantaRosaHistory.com which I've been developing over the last several months. It's a spin-off from the Comstock House web site with several important differences.

The house web site was designed 'way back in 2007 and integrates four blogs on house restoration, architecture, gardening and local history plus a few pages with precise layouts. It all looks fine on a desktop computer but today most people are using smartphones or tablets, and not being 100 percent "mobile friendly" is the kiss of death when it comes to the search engines. Non m.f. pages may rank lower in the display of search results or not be shown at all, which means the material effectively has disappeared from the Internet. That Google et. al. are putting thumbs on the scale to favor pages deemed to have a high quality "user experience" over high quality of content should concern you.

There are also technical issues with the "I See by the Papers…" blog, which started with modest ambitions to discuss newspaper items about the Oates and Comstock families. Now it has almost 600 articles containing a million words. The Blogger service (owned by Google) was state-of-the-art a decade ago but has been plagued with problems; as just one example, I can't correct a typo in an older item without being prepared for the Blogger editor to mess up parts of my page layout by "fixing" it without warning or asking permission. I have spent untold hours in the archives undoing these and other monkey-wrench changes made by Blogger.

Rather than redesign all the sections of the house web site and continuing to workaround Blogger's bugs and quirks, the easiest solution was to port "I See by the Papers…" to a more stable platform that was mobile-friendly from the start - hence SantaRosaHistory.com. I will continue to mirror the blog at both sites, with the difference that I'm no longer going to make major repairs to the original site the next time Blogger blows up.

Thanks to the WordPress platform, SantaRosaHistory.com is not only more stable but easier to customize; I was able to ...read more

Source:: I see by the Papers…

Sonoma women's club marks 100 years at center of civic life

Its unassuming clubhouse is located only a half-block off the Sonoma Plaza, overlooked by visitors drawn to nearby restaurants, the mission and historic adobes.But for … ...read more

Source:: PressDemo – Local News

A brief history of Russian River's Pliny the Younger

There was a time, before the Russian River Brewing Company settled into its present downtown Santa Rosa site in 2004, when local citizens walked Fourth … ...read more Source:: PressDemo – Top News

Eclectic history of Petaluma’s Willowbrook Ale House commemorated

Willowbrook Ale House

Willowbrook Ale House

Willowbrook Ale House, a two-story shingled building on the north end of Petaluma, has a history that belies its modest appearance. Almost 130 years old, … ...read more Source:: PressDemo – Local News

The fate of this historic house in Kenwood is still a mystery

The fate of this historic house in Kenwood is still a mystery ...read more Source:: Sonoma Valley Sun

Petaluma’s Historic Water Street Trestle

ArtistRendition of Petaluma TrestlePeggy Sebera
Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to support the Petaluma Trolley & Living History Museum in its effort to preserve and rehabilitate the Petaluma downtown trestle, which runs along side of Petaluma River from the Yacht Club to the Balshaw Bridge. Since I have been blogging about places and events in Our River Town that are of historical significance, I thought I should act in a way that matches my mouth. This local railroad trestle certainly qualifies as a structure of historical significance. It was constructed in 1922 and over the years, supported trains that transported passengers and goods from Petaluma to Read more

Historic Old Courthouse Square building for sale

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

‘Day of the Dead’ at Sonoma Barracks

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

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

E Clampus Vitus honors historical Cloverdale buildings

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
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