Forgot Password? / Help

Author: Sean Bressie

Heritage Network Meeting Minutes - July 14, 2012

Western Sonoma County Historical Society - Evelyn McClure The West County Museum has a current exhibit on the Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railroad, next January they will install an exhibit of Earl Carrillo's collections. The Society will have a booth at the Grav Fair. Aug. 11-12. The Burbank Experiment Farm will hold a Fall open house & plant sale. The Society will present its 10th Annual Cemetery Walk with a program of women¹s stories on Oct. 12-13. The vignettes from all ten years have now been published in a book, available at the West County Museum. (Maybe you saw the Press Democrat story in Chris Smith's column about Burbank dictionaries that were left outside at the Museum as a donation and disappeared before the docent arrived for the day.) On a personal note, Ms. McClure talked about the recently published book on Bennett Valley "Beneath the Mountain of the Burning Bird, Bennett Valley History and Memories" She is co-author, the project was sponsored by John Talbot whose great-grandfather, Coleman Talbot settled in Bennett Valley in 1852. Ms. McClure will talk about the book to the Bennett Valley Homeowners Assn. on Thur. July 19, 7 pm at the Bennett Valley Grange. Sonoma County Records Commission -Dan Markwyn No Peterson prize will be awarded this year. There were ten high school level submissions but none met the requirements. Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library - Jo Markwyn Katherine Rinehardt is collecting the history of the Counties libraries. If you have any information, contact Katherine. Santa Rosa¹s 150th Anniversary Celebration-Gaye LeBaron Gaye met with the Santa Rosa City Manager who asked if there was any historical society that represented Santa Rosa and could give input on the upcoming anniversary event (2017). Gaye asked anyone in the Heritage Network that was interested in this project to contact her. Glen Ellen Historical Society - Jim Shere - Maria Shere Their recent Town Hall meeting went well. They have been contacted by many descendants due to being on Facebook. They expect to collaborate with the Sonoma Developmental Center on compiling their history. Maria reported on their website which she designed and asked us to check it for links and let her know if your group would like to be linked. Russian River Historical Society - John Schubert Their new home in the old Monte Rio post office building will be open on Thursdays. The Bohemian Club show will be soon, to benefit the Monte Rio Fire Dept, School, etal. The Marshall House, now senior center was dedicated. The RRHS conducted a  history "Walkabout" for Monte Rio students. They will do a daytime cemetery tour. Having done previous themes of Civil War veterans and pioneers, John asked for theme ideas. Cotati Historical Society - Simone Wilson Simone said the April BBQ was a great success and over 100 raffle prizes helped raise funds. Tom Origer & Associates - Tom Origer Tom was our host for the day in the Laguna Foundation's Great Heron Hall. (a terrific meeting place and great display of Don Jackson's Laguna photos). Tom said his group is doing many archaeology projects out of the County. He is a board member of the Laguna Foundation. He is working to help the group emphasize cultural topics vs. the natural of the Laguna. Georgetown, Pacific Coast Air Museum-Guy Smith The Burbank car will be at the Gravenstein Fair this year. The boardwalks at Georgetown have been replaced. Some buildings repaired, some may come down if unrepairable. Guy is involved in a documentary project on the Panavision camera used in so many movies and made in the Los Angeles area. The PCAM air show August 18-19 will have a Harrier plane. Sonoma County Genealogical Society-Rural Cemetery-Ray Owen The SCGS Spring Seminar went very well. Tony Hoskins is now president of the group.  The Rural Cemetery held their Dark Side Tour on Friday the 13th, there will not be a Friday the 13th for several years. The Lamplight tour in September will highlight eight people. With permission from the Coroner¹s office, the RC committee has assumed maintenance of the indigent burial grounds, cutting weeds, etc. Sandy Frary has been given access to Coroner records and is compiling inquest histories, this will especially be helpful in identifying Rural Cemetery burials previously unknown. The RC group dedicated a marker for Santa Rosa's first mayor, the cost of the marker was paid for by former Santa Rosa mayors. Sonoma County Historical Society - Jeremy Nichols Jeff Tobes led the 8th big walk to Fort Ross, 125 people participated. Jeff is to be commended for all the "red tape" he waded through to get permission to cross private lands. The Chanate Cemetery dedication was held. It has only taken 9 years to reach this point. Volunteer contractors did the work and the monument was provided with donations. There will be a tour of the Chanate cemetery on July 21 for the Rural Cemetery volunteers. Jeremy continues to research people buried at Chanate with Ray Owen¹s help. At Spring Hill Cemetery, Brad DaVall has helped repair stones. Another headstone has been returned to the cemetery. Relatives of the deceased had removed it to repair it, unsuccessfully. It is now put together with Brad's help. Sue Zeni has amassed a database of burials at Spring Hill. The SCHS summer picnic is scheduled for Sat. Sept. 22 at the Castelli Ranch in Windsor. The Castelli's have a car and antique collection that should be very interesting to visit. Friends of the Carrillo Adobe, SR Cultural Heritage Board-Mark DeBacker Mark reported that SR HS teacher Dave Franzen and his students have done a lot of cleanup work at the Adobe. Much of the historical Adobe wood had been taken by homeless, some was recovered. An inventory is to be done on the building. Mark also clued us in about new building codes to be instituted. Green requirements will probably be very expensive when remodeling or building new. Old buildings may be greener than thought, since they don¹t require AC or other so-called modern technology for comfortable living. The new code will take into account the benefits of an old building. Mark said Dan Peterson is moving back to Santa Rosa from Marin County. Tomales Regional History Center-John LeBaron for Ginny Magan John said there will be reunions for the Tomales High School for classes of 1936 to 1950. On August 5th, there will be a celebration of Tomales' 100th anniversary, with an open house at the museum, 1-4 pm, with a new exhibit. Northwestern Pacific Railroad Historical Society-David Lightfoot  David said the 1867 Central Pacific coach has been restored. The group will continue working on restoration projects. Fort Ross and More - Dan Murley 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the hike to Mt. St. Helena by Honoria Tuomey and company to replace the original Russian plaque. Dan and group did the hike this year. Dan mentioned an article he has done and hopes will be published on Ralph Rose, Healdsburg Olympian. Ralph participated in shot put and hammer throw in the London Olympics (year?). The Fort Ross festivities will be winding down with the Cultural History Day at the end of July (last Sat. & Sunday). The finale will come in the Fall.

Santa Rosa Earthquakes Report c1970

I came across some historical data on Santa Rosa Earthquakes that may be interesting to some of you.
Sean Bressie | Sonoma County Historical Society

Rancher Shirley Modini dies on land she cherished

By CLARK MASON THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 4:01 a.m. Shirley Modini, who lived her entire married life on a ranch in the rugged Mayacmas range and bequeathed it as a wilderness sanctuary, died there Tuesday. Modini, 89, died at home off Pine Flat Road, northeast of Healdsburg, on a 1,725-acre property described as "impressively wild" and a haven for bears, mountain lions and eagles, as well as a native plant habitat.... Full Story:

Petaluma Museum Unveils “I Do!” with Vintage Wedding Fashions

The romance of antique wedding attire—lace, flounces, fine handwork—joins the historical record in a never-before exhibit of gowns and accessories from Petaluma Historical Museum’s textile collection. “I Do!” traces the stories of over 20 Petaluma brides from the 1870s to the 1930s through vintage photographs, personal stories and of course, the actual finery worn by the women. Textile Curator Teresa Fröschl pored through boxes of the museum’s collection to unwrap not only gowns but also veils, gloves, shoes and the dainty “unmentionables” that made up the brides’ trousseaus, as well as fashions for the groom, ring-bearer and flower girl. Volunteers in the Research Library searched for and located news accounts of many of the weddings, including those of some of Petaluma’s leading families such as the McNears and the Denmans. The exhibit comes to fruition courtesy of a grant that Ms. Fröschl secured from Community Foundation of Sonoma County to create and assemble 20 body forms that match the petite frames and corset-winnowed waistlines of the past brides. Modern mannequins simply “wouldn’t do,” which is why the garments languished for so long, stored in acid-free paper and boxes. Most of the gowns have not been available for viewing since they were folded away decades ago. “I Do!” opens July 15 and runs through September 30, 2012. A Reception for the public at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, will feature—what else?—cake and champagne. Admission: $3 Members and Seniors, $5 General.  Children 12 and under free.  The Museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays, noon to 3 p.m. on Sundays 20 Fourth Street, Petaluma, CA; 707-778-4398;  

2012 photography contest at the 25 mile walk a success!! (First year)

Jeff Tobes led us on a carefully planned 25 mile walk along the Fort Ross coastline this year on June 2nd, 2012. Always looking for ways to add to the fun, Jeff secured sponsorship from Shutterbug Camera Shop to offer four $50 gift certificate prizes for Adult and Youth categories in Human Interest or Nature photography. At the onset of the walk we asked for a show of hands to see how many were taking us up on the challenge. About 25 of the 137 walkers said they had their cameras ready for action. Here are the winners!!!

Julian Oleary - Youth: Nature - "Morning Light"

Morning Light Read more

Aircraft museum skipper Pinsky is not retiring voluntarily

Friday, June 29th, 2012 BY CHRIS SMITH/The Press Democrat Retired colonel Dave Pinsky has achieved much as chief of the volunteer-run museum that sponsors the annual air show at the Sonoma County airport, but the board of the Pacific Coast Air Museum this week pressured him to step down.... Read more

1930 Jetty Exposed

The low summer flows of the Russian River have exposed the massive rock-and-concrete jetty built at the river's mouth at Jenner in the 1930s in an attempt to keep the river open for barge traffic..... Press Democrat Story

Retrofit/Renewables Program

Pending Countywide Retrofit/Renewables Program including sustainable solutions for historic houses

At today's Heritagate Network meeting (April 10, 2010), Mark DeBacker spoke about pending legislation that affects all buildings in the coming years.  The plan is generally positive, but can be detrimental to historic homes if not addessed with an exemption.  A list of historic structures that would be affected needs to be put together soon to get them included in an addendum. Please contact Mark if you have any homes to add to the list.


The Program: The Good-The program is primarily a single-stop clearing house for all energy efficiency improvement funding incentives like a sustainable luxury window replacement and to a lesser degree, solar panels. It will provide a uniform standard that will apply throughout the county. All of the inspectors and contractors will be certified to ensure quality is maintained. It hopes to create jobs. The “Basic” program recommendations are roughly in keeping with those of the Secretary of the Interior and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Though they had overlooked preservation in the draft program, they are now interested in addressing preservation concerns, offering to identify older buildings to put them on a separate track and certify a cadre of experienced preservation contractors. The Bad- No credit is given for energy efficiency work already in place. The model mechanisms that have been selected for the implementation of the program simply do not address the special approaches required for working with older construction materials, methods and finishes. It will be very easy for in inexperienced or thoughtless contractor to disable effective existing passive functions or unnecessarily damage character defining elements. The work will be expensive on all homes, but even more so on historic ones. “Do it yourself” is not an acceptable option in the program. The payback period will be approximately twice as long in our mild climate as in the Midwest, Central Valley or Lake Tahoe areas. Perhaps the most onerous issue is that it could become a MANDATORY program in certain jurisdictions or if it appears to be failing to meet its objectives. The whole approach will need to be re-evaluated if this happens and certain types of structures MUST be excluded (such as privately-owned Sonoma adobes, un-conditioned round barns and special structures like Luther Burbank’s greenhouse). In its current form, nothing would prevent triggering multiple mandatory $10,000 upgrades in a single year (or month). There is no exclusion for new buildings that are already “net-zero” emitters either. . I will not go into the program’s minor impact on county greenhouse gas emissions, even if it fully meets its target of 200 homes per day. The Documents: “Sustainable Solutions…” is a large, Dept of Energy document prepared for the town of Samoa near Eureka. Its recommendations are the most pertinent for our climate yet encountered in over a year of searching. The chapter on insulation is extremely relevant to the proposed county program. Most local jurisdictions are a bit less flexible than those in the Windows section and the recommendations regarding wood-burning heat in Chapter 5 are unlikely to fly with the Bay Area Air Quality District or the local Lung Association. It would be good for readers to review this prior to reviewing the BIG checklist. The 2009 LEED update is a good example on how national and state standards have begun to migrate to the “sustainable” approach in lieu of the previous (but currently popular) “Green”, tack-on technology approach. That said, USGBC, the authors of LEED had only a short time to incorporate this complex issue and it is disappointingly weak in the latest edition. If they are struggling with this, imagine how small places like, DFW roofing companies are feeling. The Build It Green (BIG) Existing Home checklist is a critical item. BIG is the default standard for most jurisdictions here, but one only needs to scan the list to realize that it still seems to be more directed at new construction, the checklist from which is appears to have been derived. Would the owner of an existing home REALLY demo the homes concrete and wood structure to replace it with concrete containing fly ash or “rapidly- renewable” stud framing at a greater spacing to get points? What does having a porch that faces the street, adding 2 inches of mulch to your landscaping or the ability to add grab bars to a bathroom have to do with reducing one’s energy bill or greenhouse gas emissions? Only 93 of the approximately 215 points have anything to do with directly reducing energy consumption. IMPORTANT: This is one of the key documents I need people to review to consider if there are actions that would damage historic fabric or disable existing functions in their homes. “GREEN approaches and exemptions” is a summary of the paths selected by other communities. I would be interested in what people feel is reasonable for application here. Online home energy evaluator by Dept. of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley Labs Finally, the draft of the program itself. I would direct readers to pages 10 through 14 for the BASIC and ADVANCED track descriptions (begins on the 14th page of the document). Added 6/2/2010,

Programmatic Agreement - CA retrofits

Speech by Donovan D. Rypkema at The National Trust Annual Conference - Portland, Oregon; October 1, 2005 HERS II- Inspection Assumptions - On-Site Inspection Protocols