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Announcement

2017 History Society picnic spot is Sturgeon’s Mill - Sept 17th

For this year’s Sonoma County History Society picnic, our historic chosen spot is Sturgeon’s Mill, at 2150 Green Hill Road west of Sebastopol. It’s a great place to get a sense of what rural life was like back in the late 19th and early 20th century. SCHS day at the mill is Sunday, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. on. The visit is open to members and friends. We ask that you let us know if you are coming and how many are in your party by phoning Sharie Sbrazza at 707-570-7076 or Marjorie Torliatt at 707-545-7507. Hot lunches will be available for sale at reasonable prices although people can also bring goodies from home if they so desire. There are some restrictions. No dogs are allowed, and the same goes for alcoholic beverages and recreational drugs. It’s recommended that people wear flat shoes, since there are some slippery areas, and since we are not going to a Broadway musical, high heels don’t seem quite right.

Since we’ll only a few miles from the ocean, mill veterans tell us to dress in layers and take photos in the morning. The mill, with 60 or so volunteers, welcomes visitors four weekends a year. The last weekend opening is Oct. 14-15.

In the 2nd half of the 19th century, logging was a dangerous business. Mules, oxen and horses pulled logs out of the woods. Things got better in the 1880s, when steam-powered Donkey engines came along, improving production of lumber. Arrival of the North Coast Railroad in 1877 opened the Russian River area to more intense logging. Partners Wade Sturgeon, John Donati and J.W. Gonella opened the first Sturgeon’s Mill in Coleman Valley in 1914. In the 1920s, the mill was moved to its present location. In 1942, Wade’s son Ralph and Jim Henningsen became partners and continued in business until 1964.

The current activities include a chance to view close-up an 1890s Atlas Steam Engine which drives a saw blade that cuts through giant redwood and fir logs. Also in prime condition, especially in a year when we’ve had lots of rain, are the Woodland Gardens first planted by Wayne and Esther Sturgeon many years ago. Driving directions: From Hwy. 101 in Santa Rosa, take Hwy. 12 exit toward Sebastopol; go on Hwy. 12 for 3.4 miles, then take a right onto Fulton Road (just one block) and turn west (left) onto Occidental Road; After 7 miles, turn right onto Green Hill Rd., go one-half mile down hill to the bottom where you will find the parking lot.

Amazing Free Community Event - May 21st, 2017

Don’t miss the first annual Finding History in Sonoma County – A Day of Discovery on Sunday, May 21st, 2017! It is free and open to the public, and is being held at the historic DeTurk Round Barn on 919 Donahue St in Santa Rosa from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

The purpose of the Finding History in Sonoma County event is to discover, celebrate and promote the historical records collections held by 34 Sonoma County based organizations. The event will include presentations by local authors and historians, book signings by nine local authors, a tour of the historic West End neighborhood and mini workshops focused on the preservation of archival materials. There will be special appearances by the Model A Ford Club and individuals in period costume.

Finding History in Sonoma County will serve as an opportunity to learn from other organizations and share valuable resources with the public, in what we hope will be the first of many such events that celebrates our county’s history.

Call 545-0831 ext 1562 for more information.

2017 Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon

ONLINE REGISTRATION

Sunday, March 19th, 2017
with DENNIS MCNALLY
A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead
and Susana Millman
Alive with the Dead: A Fly on the Wall with a Camera
Sean Bressie | Sonoma County Historical Society

2017 Banquet Flier

ONLINE REGISTRATION

2017 walk update #2

Attention Walkers of Jeff Tobes Memorial 20 mile History Walk

Date – April 1st, 2017 Start location --- Park and Ride at highway 101 and the first Healdsburg exit, south side of town Registration time --- 5:30 am Please go on line to register at sonomacountyhistory.org/historywalk You may pay and register on line. Or you may register online and mail in a check We are expecting a good turnout for this year’s April 1st walk in Healdsburg and now you can enroll and pay online if you wish, however you can also pay with a check as well.

The walk route is posted online at sonomacountyhistory.org. The route starts in Healdsburg with breakfast at Big John’s Market; up Chiquita Rd and through the Salvation Army facility at Lytton Springs. Through Geyserville where we have a special lunch spot next to the river. Next, we continue up to Asti where we will have a special tour of the old Italian Swiss Colony tasting room. This is not to be missed. Onward through old Cloverdale for dinner and then a bus ride back to Healdsburg. Some of this walk will be alongside vineyards to avoid the main road if it is not too muddy. There is plenty of pretty countryside to see on this walk and I think it will be one for the history books.

Training for this event is recommended, if you have not begun walking you should be starting to train for the walk; to get in shape. Start with daily 1-3 mile walks with some 5+ walks occasionally, next month boost your daily walks to 3-6 miles with occasional 10+ and do at least a couple of 15+ walks before April 1st. Don’t push it all to the last week, your feet won’t take it. In fact, it would be good to not walk much a couple of days before the walk.

I thank Cecilia for doing much of the legwork for this walk. We still need to arrange for a bus, if anyone has a contact or lead please let me know. Oh, and we still need a tee shirt sponsor, this costs $750 and their logo will be prominently displayed on the back.

The history will be like last year’s walk with pictures and some speaking. Ray Johnson

The 2017 Annual History walk will be in April instead of June

Stay tuned for details on the Jeff Tobes Memorial History walk April 1st, 2017 from Healdsburg to Cloverdale.

CELEBRATING NAGASAWA AT FOUNTAINGROVE

Fountaingrove / Museum Fundraiser


Sunday, September 11 / 4 PM – 7 PM
Paradise Ridge Winery
$35 Members/ $45 General
Appetizers, Cash Bar
Buy tickets here Fountaingrove Fundraiser

2016 Banquet, March 20th - How We Came to Make Such Fine Wines

Get your Tickets ONLINE
It’s no accident that the Sonoma County Historical Society modestly boasts of what we like to think is our skill at putting together interesting annual banquets. This year is no exception. The big show Sunday, Mar. 20 at the Flamingo Hotel includes a round-table discussion on wine, a fine luncheon, awards, raffles, a look at History Day activities, conversations with old friends, and who knows what else.

The program for this year’s annual luncheon is a panel discussion titled “How We Came to Make Such Fine Wines”. We hope to present a wide-ranging panel discussion, featuring distinctly different voices, to tell the grand and fascinating story of how— throughout our history— Sonoma County wines have become so well known throughout the world.

Five speakers are taking part, according to coordinator Jim Shere: Michael Topolos, who will speak on the history of winemaking in Sonoma County since its beginnings with the mission padres; John Burdick, who will speak about the evolution of the appellations, terroir, varietals, vintages, marketing and presentation of the fine wines of Sonoma County; Frank Pastori, who worked the vineyards and cellars near Geyserville since Prohibition, and will talk about the wines of the North County from a personal perspective; George MacLeod, who will talk about his personal experiences establishing and developing a quality vineyard and winery in Sonoma Valley; and special guest George Webber, impersonating Count Agoston Haraszthy de Mokesa, who will act as moderator.
Read more

Burbank Gardens seeking helpers

Calling all gardeners and garden lovers. The Luther Burbank Home and Gardens is looking for docents, gift shop works and gardeners, to work at the historic site on a volunteer basis.

Gardeners volunteer two morning shifts per month year-round while docents and gift shop workers commit to three shifts per month from April through October. Training begins Saturday, Feb. 27. No experience is necessary. To apply call 524-5445 or email BurbankHome@LutherBurbank.org.

Two vacancies currently exist for the Historical Records Commission

THE SONOMA COUNTY HISTORICAL RECORDS COMMISSION

SEEKS QUALIFIED APPLICANTS

  The Sonoma County Historical Records Commission fosters and promotes the preservation of historical records. All voting members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Two vacancies currently exist.   Those interested in applying must have experience in archival and records management; are an professional historian affiliated with an accredited institutions of higher education in Sonoma County; are an active member of an established historical society or museum located in Sonoma County; or are a recognized, licensed, or accredited professional working in a field which uses historical records on a regular basis.   For more information about the terms and duties of the Commission as well as application, please go to http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Historical-Records-Commission/

SCHS Board Vice President, Jeff Tobes dies of cancer at 68

Jeff Tobes, 1947-2015Sean Bressie
Jeff Tobes has left us at age 68, but he has also left us with a wonderful legacy.

Jeff had more energy than most of us could have ever imagined, and used it to make good things happen.

For many years, he was a key figure in building the History Day program in Sonoma County. He inspired his students to do research, work extra hard and even find financial sources to keep the program alive. Because of Jeff and others like him, Sonoma County's History Day people have left their mark at every level, from the local school to the national competitions.

When Jeff decided 10 years ago to take his loyal youngsters on long walks, they, and perhaps he, were not sure what they were getting into. More and more people joined up for 25-mile jaunts in Sonoma County and around San Francisco, starting in the very early morning and ending deep into the evening. More and more people got their exercise, learned their history and had a great time as Jeff set the pace. He even threw in an extra muscle-bender in 2011 in honor of Fred Wiseman, our favorite daring ex-pilot of the early 20th century.

Jeff was a fine teacher, a great treasurer for the Sonoma County Historical Society (the books are balanced), and a real contributor to the world in which we live. Read more
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