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Summer Picnic

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.

2015 Picnic at the amazing Castelli Ranch Sept 13th

The Sonoma County Historical Society invites you to come visit the amazing Castelli Collection with us!

Castelli's Ranch

Castelli's Ranch

Steve and Glenda Castelli have been collecting just about everything they ever saw over the past half century, and what they’ve got will take you on a long journey deep into the American past.

What have they got? —classic autos and trucks, old tractors and gas station signs and pumps, games and toys of every description, Lionel Trains and Schwinns and Flexy Racers, kitchen kitsch from the sublime to the outrageous, and much, much more than all that.

Here’s your chance to wander through their private museum during the Sonoma County Historical Society Annual Picnic, from 11 to 2 on Sunday, September 13th. The Castelli Ranch is located at 420 Grapevine Lane in Healdsburg, off Eastside Road, just west of Highway 101. We’ll provide free hot dogs and sausages, as long as you bring a salad or dessert to share. Nonmembers are welcome, so bring your friends— there’s no charge, but reservations are required to make sure there’ll be enough food. Call Joann Mitchell at (707) 545-5094 or Marjorie Torliatt at (707) 545-7507 to tell us you’re coming.

Sonoma County Historical Society's Annual Picnic at Georgetown Sept 28th 2014

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

Sonoma County History Day students win 2013 State finals with website

20130908-160844.jpg Those of you that went to the picnic in Occidental watched a presentation about this years History Day winners Nicole Shaeffer and Gillian Mangiapane, that built a website about Rosie the Riveter. Follow this link to look at and interact with the website in all of its glory. Rosie the Riveter website  
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