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Annual Jeff Tobes Memorial History Walk

2019 walk update #1

Attention Walkers of Jeff Tobes Memorial 20-mile History Walk Date – May 4th, 2019 Start location --- Wichersham Park, Petaluma Registration time --- 6:00 am Please go on line to register at (soon) You may pay and register on line. Or you may register online and mail in a check (soon) We are expecting a good turnout for this year’s May 4th walk. When you enroll online you can pay by credit card or PayPal. You can also pay with a check as well, by enrolling online and mail me a check in with a short note and I will do the rest. (coming soon) The walk route will be posted online at and I believe that there will be sections that you have never been on before. There will lots of photos of the historical spots showing what it looked like years ago, so everyone should be able to help by holding the photos like last year’s walk. Petaluma has some very good and important history. There will be short talks about all the Hatcheries and Chicken Pharmacy’s that have made Petaluma the egg capital. Also, a look around the Heritage Homes and the wonderful D St. The walk will be almost all flat, there is a couple of hills, we will be walking through the Petaluma Museum. We will also see and hopefully hear about the train station. We will meet at Wickersham Park 6:00am and. Breakfast will be at Penry Park after we walk along Petaluma Blvd. Hopefully there will be no fog and we will have amazing views. The weather should be very pleasant, so be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen. The support vehicle will carry everything for you, so you don’t have to, but you should be prepared to carry water. The support vehicle will be available periodically, at short intervals including the port-a-pottys. Training for this event is necessary, you should be walking regularly with some longer walks. 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. If anyone wants to lead any practice walks, let me know and I will post them. You need to carry these four phone numbers with you during the walk for emergencies. If you need help or anything and if you need to exit the walk please let us know. Ray 707-535-6476, Jessica 707-338-2305 and Maryann 707-529-6271. Since this walk is all in the city, we will not be keeping track of everyone and if some needs to leave early or join us late that will be okay. We still need a tee shirt sponsor; the cost is $750, and their logo will be prominently displayed on the back. If you know anyone would be interested in being the tee shirt sponsor refer them to Cecilia at 707-953-0186, since she has been handling the donations. Business card sponsors are also welcome and shall be shown on the map and website. We need a volunteer to pick up breakfast and coffee in the morning. The 2019 walk is the first walk that Maryann and I (Jessica) will be organizing. My first walk was the Fort Bragg to Fort Ross walk and I loved every minute of it. Maryann's first walk was the Monte Rio and we both loved it. We have done every year except for last year which we were so sad about. We have kids in sports and April is prime time for sports. We are looking forward to this year and super excited about all the history we have already found on our home town and all the history we are still looking for. Thank you all for wanting to keep this walk going. Jeff was an amazing person and I along with you all miss him and his knowledge very much. Jessica Miller 707-338-2305

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, … more Source:: PressDemo – Local News

Washoe House north of Petaluma sold

The popular watering hole and restaurant at Stony Point and Roblar roads have new owners.
Covered in a layer of road dust, the red Old West building with white trim has stood along the country-road thoroughfare between Petaluma and Santa Rosa since 1859, first as a stagecoach stop then as a watering hole.
Source: Press Democrat - Washoe House north of Petaluma being sold

Petaluma's historic Washoe House restaurant sold

The new owners will tidy up the joint and renovate/repair as needed, but likely the key elements will remain, such as the bar ceiling thickly papered with business cards, photographs, and lots and lots of dollar bills. Source:  Petaluma's historic Washoe House restaurant sold

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

Lest We Forget – Brainerd Jones

Although a photograph of Brainerd Jones hangs on the wall of the Petaluma Historical Museum and Library I wonder how many current Petaluma residents know about the impact he had on architecture of the schools, churches, businesses, public buildings, as well as homes in our town? As stated in his obituary in the Argus-Courier (March 21, 1945), “Architecture was his life and today a large group of buildings in this city rise as monuments to his artistry and skill.” Among the most notable structures he designed in Petaluma over a five decade career are:

Brainerd Jones

  The Carnegie Library (Now the Historical Museum) 1904-1906. The former Lincoln Primary School, School Administration building, 11 Fifth Avenue The former Post Office Building, 22-34 Petaluma Boulevard (1926). The Petaluma Woman's Club, 518 “B” Street An addition to the Sunset Line and Twine building (1906 & 1922). The remodel of the old Opera House, 147-149 Kentucky Street The original art Deco-style Fire Station on “D” Street (1938). The Must Hatch Incubator building, 401 7th Street The 1922 Petaluma Golf & Country Club Clubhouse The First Congregational Church, Fifth & “B” Streets Former Philip Sweed School, 331 Keller Street Jones's home-office, 226 Washington Street The Byce House (used for filming of Peggy Sue Got Married), 226 Liberty Street Residences at: 319 Keokuk Street, 300 Kentucky Street, 500 Western Avenue, and 625, 901, 910, 920 “D” Street.   Jones was born in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Petaluma with his recently widowed mother, when he was six years old. He won drawing contests at local fairs, as a young man. After his studies and work as an architect in San Francisco, he returned to Petaluma and became a very active member of the community: Petaluma Rotary Club, Petaluma B.P.O.E. Lodge #901, City Council member, and the City Panning Commission. It has been estimated that approximately 75% of the buildings in Petaluma's historic core were designed by Jones, although many are no linger there, now. Local researchers have found it difficult to find much about Jones' personal history. Katie Watts, has written for the Argus-Courier that, “It's almost as though he planned it that way – allowing his work to speak so magnificently about who he was.” Lest we forget. Resources: Research files: Petaluma Historical Library & Museum History Room, Sonoma County Library, Petaluma Katherine Rinehardt, Petaluma: A Histoiry of Architecture, 2005. Source: Petaluma - Our River Town

The Sages of Petaluma – Oral History Project

Recently, my blogs have focused on promoting our Petaluma Historical Museum and Research Library as a local “Treasure Chest” that contains many “Golden Nuggets” that enrich the legacy of “Our River Town.” A discussion group of Petalumans, who were either born here or have lived in Petaluma for several years, has been meeting monthly at the Museum and sharing their personal memories of growing up, going to school, playing, working and living here. They're known as “The Sages of Petaluma.” A few years ago, an oral history project was initiated by students at Kenilworth Jr. High School. They interviewed several Sages, using a video camera. To date, seven of these interviews, plus DVDs featuring “The Petalumans of Yesteryear” (Capt. Tom Baylis, Isaac Wickersham, William Howard Pepper) and a talk about Fred Wiseman's first air mail flight from Petaluma to Santa Rosa in 1911, have been given to the Museum and will be available for viewing by the public. The Sages who have been interviewed include: Dick Dunbar, Jim Giovando, Growling Bear, Lily Krulevich, Shep Shepard, Tim Talamantes, and Don Waite. Hopefully, additional interviews will take place over the coming months and added to this collection of “Golden Nuggets” in our community's “Treasure Chest.” Stay Tuned. Source: Petaluma - Our River Town

It all started here

Although his name is well known in “Our River Town,” how much do current Petalumans really know about Lyman Byce? Most readers will respond, “he built the first incubator.” However, are there other tidbits of information we should be aware of? This strange looking device was exhibited at several regional fairs. It was reported that a 400 egg Byce incubator hatched 95% of the eggs it cooked on a 200 mile trip by boat, train, and wagon. Christopher Nisson, a local Danish farmer, purchased several of these incubators and became the world's first commercial hatchery on his 100 acre farm near Two Rock. more Source: Petaluma - Our River Town

Wineries growing in Penngrove

New winemakers put down roots in historic Denman Creamery Building on Goodwin Avenue. The so-called Petaluma Gap, though not an official site on the American Viticultural Areas map, has been recognized for years as a wine-growing region deserving of respect. more    Source: Petaluma Argus-Courier Denman Creamery, c2011

Petaluma’s Other History Treasure Chest

My last blog (June 21st) featured the availability of the Argus-Courier's 85th Anniversary Progress Edition in the Hoppy Hopkins Research Room of the Petaluma Historical Museum (4th & B Streets). My thanks to Nancy Wilson, a docent from the Petaluma Library. more Source: Petaluma - Our River Town