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Sonoma County Historical Society

DeTurk Round Barn open to the public Oct 5th for tours.

Deturk Round BarnThe Sonoma County Historical Society (SCHS) continues to have its weekly booth at the new West End Farmers Market on Donahue Street in Santa Rosa. The market is held on Sundays from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. and is located next to the historic DeTurk Round Barn, now restored and available for rent.     On Sunday, October 5th, the Round Barn will be open to the public so market attendees can see how beautiful it is inside.  Come visit us and see the round barn! Jeremy Dwight Nichols President - Sonoma County Historical Society  

SCHS Board Meeting Minutes – 8/27/2013

Sonoma County Historical Society Minutes
Sonoma County Library Annex
Wednesday, August 27, 2013
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SCHS Board Meeting Minutes - 7/24/2013

Sonoma County Historical Society Minutes

Sonoma County Library Annex

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

      Board Members Present: Jeremy Nichols, Lee Torliatt, Marj Torliatt, Tony Hoskins, Harry Lapham, Jeff Tobes, Sean Bressie, Jim Shere, Joann Mitchell, Guy Smith, and Kathy Fitzpatrick Absent: John Schubert Guests: Ray Johnson, Norm Corwin   Call to Order:  Jeremy called the meeting to order at 6:25pm   Minutes:  Tony motioned, Lee second, unanimously approved the June meeting minutes.   Treasurer’s Report:      Jeff distributed the Income/Expense report for June 19, 2013 - July 24, 2013. Jim motioned, Kathy second, unanimously approved the Income/Expense report.   Membership Report:  Marj reports current membership count at 598 members. Marj also went over the numbers of drops/renewals to the membership rolls.   Archivists/Journal Editor Report:  Lee has obtained a copy of 1879 History of Sonoma County. (Not in very good condition). Tony will take a look at the book before having it available at the Library.   The next issue of the Journal will be dubbed the “Civil War Issue” as Lee plans to have couple of stories on Sonoma County and the Civil War. Also to include report on this year’s History Walk in San Francisco with pictures.   Lee recently gave a talk at the Watson School. A story piece on the school and talk will be in this year’s last issue of the Journal.   President’s Report:  Jeremy reports letters found in Santa Cruz CA from Charles Brewster’s younger brother James Brewster may hold info on the source of the Brewster tombstone at Chanate Cemetery.   Jeremy will be checking with the City of Santa Rosa on a Landmark application for Chanate Cemetery. Joann suggested also checking with the National Registry.   Local Areas:  Russian River -  No report due to John Schubert’s absence.   PCAM -  Guy reports the PCAM folks are busy getting prepared for the Air Show. Dates are 08/17/2013 - 08/18/2013. The Air Show will not include as many Air Force planes this year due to budget cuts.   The Healdsburg Museum benefit was recently held at Georgetown with 132 peoples attending.   Glen Ellen -  Jim reports DVD’s of previous panel discussions are available for purchase.   Jim reports the safe has finally been opened - only to find decomposed currency and rusty paper clips. Jim suspects these items date back to the 1990’s.   Check from County received for plaques to be made and placed around Glen Ellen for the self-guided tours. They will be placed at various locations around Jack London Village and include QR code for audiovisual description.   Next panel discussion topic will be History of Music in the Valley of the Moon. Focus will be on years 1965-1975. Jim is in process to organize local musicians to discuss the “scene” in the Sonoma Valley at that time.   Petaluma - Lee reports the Petaluma Museum is planning a display on the Petaluma River in July.   Committee Reports: Website: Sean reports he has been working on converting the links on the website. This should make searches easier.   Heritage Network: Next meeting is tentatively planned for October 17, 2013 at the Carrillo Adobe in Santa Rosa.   History Database:  Joanne reports she has spoken to involved parties and no one recalls any such database created. So it’s back to square 1.   Joann would like to have a small committee to get the database together. Marj motioned. Sean second, and the board unanimously approved the committee. Kathy volunteered to assist Joann on the committee.   Old Business: Annual Picnic:  The picnic will be promoted as an “old fashioned” picnic. The SCHS will provide beverages (soda, wine, beer) and barbequed hot dogs, sausages, buns and condiments. Members attending will be asked to bring a dish to share.   Details will go out beginning of August.   Harry plans to have couple of the girls from Muffin Street attend for BBQ duties.   Kathy mentioned the need for a couple of Porta-Potties due to water conditions this year in the West County. Guy knows someone who can provide for reasonable cost.   There may be a need for tables/chairs depending on the attendance numbers. The Lapham ranch has a small number of chairs/table available.   To coincide with the Sturgeon’s Mill anniversary, a speaker will talk on the mill. (Harvey Henningsen?)   The History Day students will also be in attendance. They will present their displays around 12:30pm.   Letterhead/Envelopes/Business Cards: No progress has made on the envelope/cards. To be tabled to next meeting.   West End Farmers Market: Jeremy reports the fee for the marker has been waived for SCHS (non-profit). He reports quite a bit of foot traffic at the market and has made CD’s of the 1898 Atlas and created a laminated map of Santa Rosa which delights visitors to the booth.   Jeremy shared the involved time for the booth set-up, manning and tear down. He expressed he would not be able to do this by himself next year. Kathy made the suggestion to contact the membership (email or Journal?) to request volunteers to help with the booth in the future.   A schedule for other groups using the booth was shared.   San Francisco Bus Trip:  Further discussion on this topic tabled to future meeting.   Annual Luncheon 2014: Marj shared the emailed luncheon menu choices from the Flamingo.   The menu choices approved by the board include: Choice of Rosemary & Garlic Polenta, Pork Sirloin Medallions, or Atlantic salmon. All entrees include Sonoma Mixed Green Salad and traditional mashed potatoes.   Flamingo price = $29/plate includes tax/tip.   Possible speaker - Betty Goerke - author of Chief Marin: Leader, Rebel, and Legend   New Business:   New Board Member:  Ray Johnson is in attendance at tonight’s meeting. He has expressed interest in joining the board as a Member at Large. Jeff motioned, Lee second, and the board unanimously approved Ray Johnson as member of the SCHS board. Welcome Ray!   100 Year anniversary: 2015 marks the 100 year anniversary of the 1915 Treasure Island World’s Exposition. This topic will be tabled for further discussion at future meeting.   Guest:  Norm Corwin was present at tonight’s meeting. He is pursuing an oral history project - The North Bay Oral Histories Project. The purpose is to document elder and family oral history. His goal is to involve local students and teachers for his project. Norm is looking for advice from the members of the board. Several board members shared their experiences working with students and suggestions were provided.   Joann suggested the Santa Rosa Foundation for funding assistance on the project.   McNear Family:  Lee, Katherine Rinehart, and Jeremy are working on review of the collection of family records from the McNear Family. Most impressive is the diaries dating back to the 1850’s.   Next Board Meeting:  Wednesday, August 28, 2013 6:15pm at the Library Annex Please email Jeremy to add any items to the meeting agenda. Meeting adjourned8:26pm.   Respectfully submitted by Kathy Fitzpatrick, Secretary

SCHS Board Meeting Minutes – 6/19/2013

Sonoma County Historical Society Minutes Sonoma County Library Annex Wednesday, June 19, 2013

  Board Members Present: Jeremy Nichols, Lee Torliatt, Tony Hoskins, John Schubert, Jeff Tobes, Sean Bressie, Jim Shere, Joann Mitchell, Guy Smith, and Kathy Fitzpatrick Absent: Harry Lapham, Marj Torliatt Call to Order:  Jeremy called the meeting to order at 6:25pm Minutes:  Tony motioned, Kathy second, unanimously approved the May meetingminutes. Thank you Laura!   Treasurer’s Report:   Jeff distributed the Income/Expense report for May 29, 2013 - June 19, 2013. Tony motioned, John second, unanimously approved the Income/Expense report.   Jeff also shared the financial summary for the June SF History walk. This year’s walk showed a profit of $1,086.98! A total of 113 walkers started out for the 25 mile walk. 108 walkers completed the trek. The group went a little over 25 miles - 26.5 miles to be exact. Extra maps of the walk were handed out to board members.   Membership Report:  Due to Marj’s absence - Lee reported the membership report on her behalf. Currently we have 594 members. Total number added from this year’s walk = 74. Marj has sent out 136 renewal letters to members whose membership will be terminating. 2014 Annual Lunch: Lee reports for Marj confirming the reservation has been submitted to the Flamingo Resort for next year’s luncheon. Date is set for March 23, 2014. Marj will present menu choices at next meeting. Board members are asked to think about a speaker for the luncheon. Archivists/Journal Editor Report:  Lee is working on several stories for the next Journal issue. He plans to include a piece on the recent History Day walk, Civil War topics such as how Sonoma County was affected by the Civil War and a piece on John Goete Pressley - Confederate soldier. Story of shooting in 1935 Sonoma County of Police Chief by Al Chamberlain is topic of book - Race (or Rage? Can’t read my notes!) of Honor by Denny Peticart (sp?)   Lee will be giving talk on Watson School at the Watson School on July 12, 2013 President’s Report:  Jeremy reports the re-installation of the Brewster tombstone will take place on July 20th Cleanup of the Chanate Historic Cemetery is planned for July 15th - 18th by the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corp. John Ryan has volunteered along with 8-10 peoples for the project. Local Areas:  Russian River -  John reports the annual Bohemian Show (Monte Rio Variety Show) is planned for July 25th. The Russian River Historical Society September newsletter will have a story on Duncan’s Mill School. A clean up of Duncan’s Mill cemetery is planned. John also requested he would like to nominate Cheryl Parmenter (sp?) for one of the 2014 Annual Luncheon awards for her work on clean up and mapping of the cemetery. PCAM -  Guy reports PCAM is doing fine - looking to expand in future. They also are busy gearing up for this year’s air show in August. A benefit will be held at Georgetown for the Healdsburg Museum on July 21, 2013. Glen Ellen -  Jim reports the recent panel discussion at Mayflower Hall on winemaking went very well. DVD’s of the panel will be available for purchase in a couple of weeks. The next panel discussion topic planned is History of Music in the Valley. Date and location TBD. QR code set up is being done around Glen Ellen and Jack London Village. The restoration of Jack London Village is still under way. An impromptu discussion was held on ideas to preserve legacy. Jim is looking for ideas/suggestions for his monthly column. Petaluma - No report - Due to recent resignation of Ken Nugent. Board members are asked to think about another person to fill Ken’s position. Suggested someone from Petaluma area? Committee Reports: Website: Sean reports ongoing posts to keep home page updated and newsworthy. Photo contest winners from History Day walk will be announced and posted on the website in a couple of weeks. Total number of photos submitted to the contest: 17 adult entries and 1 student entry. Heritage Network: Next meeting is planned for Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 10am. Location: Marshall House in Guerneville. Signs directing will be out on Armstrong Road. Old Business: History Database:  Joanne reports she continues to not have much success in reaching any contacts from previous listing. She is attempting to contact Dan Markwyn however she has not had any response yet. Is wondering if we need to start back at square 1?   Fees for Records Research:  Joanne reports this issue has been currently dropped by the State Legislature. Not enough funds in the state budget so the issue was not pushed through. Letterhead/Envelopes/Business Cards: Jeremy researched the cost of color business cards = 500/count for $8.50. Jeremy will email board members with any additional information on the print job. West End Farmers Market: Time for the booth at the market is 10am - 2pm. Discussion on possible fee waiver since SCHS is a non-profit. It was decided not put any info of the WE Farmers Market on SCHS website until the issue on fees is addressed. Jeremy plans to be at booth - if any board members are interested in helping out - please notify Jeremy. San Francisco Bus Trip:  Ken Nugent was beginning the organization of trip. A new leader will need to take over due to his recent resignation. Annual Picnic:  Spector/Kling/Lapham Ranch in Occidental on Sunday, 09/08/2013 11am - 3pm. Harry has been in contact with Harvey Henningson to give talk on Sturgeon’s Mill and their upcoming anniversary. Sean’s video of the tree take down on the Ranch by Guy & Company will be shown. Jeff suggested the History Day winners be invited to present at the picnic. Two students from PHCS and Stacy Olson (National winner) selected with payment of $25/student ($75 total) be given at the picnic to them for presenting to SCHS members in attendance. Lee motioned, Joanne second and the board unanimously approved. New Business: 100 Year anniversary: 2015 marks the 100 year anniversary of the 1915 Treasure Island World’s Exposition. Jeff suggested we celebrate this milestone as great men of the time gathered at the Exposition - Luther Burbank, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Jeff will do a rough draft letter and forward to Jeremy for review. Board Member Resignation:  Sadly, Ken Nugent has resigned from his duties on the SCHS board. Jim suggested a card be sent to Ken from the board thanking him for his services. Ray Johnson was suggested to replace Ken. Jeff will ask if he is willing and able to commit to the board. Royal Visitor:  Tony has a young German friend, Duke Alexander of Mecklenburg, who will be visiting at the end of the month. Tony shared his royal ancestors which include the Russian Tsars who ruled during the Fort Ross period of 1812-1841. Next Board Meeting:  Wednesday, July 24th 6:15pm at the Library Annex Please email Jeremy to add any items to the meeting agenda. Respectfully submitted by Kathy Fitzpatrick, Secretary

Susheel Bibbs Presents Her Chautauqua as Mary Ellen Pleasant - Annual Luncheon, March 24th

Guest Speaker Susheel Bibbs Presenting Her Chautauqua as Mary Ellen Pleasant

Mary Ellen Pleasant

Mary Ellen Pleasant

This unique, historical interactive performance by Dr. Susheel Bibbs will unfold the extraordinary saga of Mary Ellen Pleasant. Born a slave and known as “Mammy” Pleasant, this daring activist and entrepreneur was an associate of John Brown, and played an important role in the Underground Railroad. She is now recognized as the Mother of Civil Rights in California. Her dramatic life spanned the Gold Rush and the Civil War, and was instrumental in shaping early San Francisco society, amassing a fortune with which she established Beltane Ranch in the Valley of the Moon. Dr. Bibbs, an EMMY award winning TV producer and scholar, is known as the “foremost expert on Mary Pleasant”. She will portray Mary Pleasant, and then take part in a question and answer session.

2013 Luncheon Flyer and reservation form

Pleasant was a Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Malcom X all rolled into one. Read more about her at Dr. Susheel Bibbs' website.

Last founding member, Jeanne Thurlow Miller dies

On January 9, 2013, Jeanne Thurlow Miller, which one of our awards is named after, passed away. She was 5 months short of her 100th birthday. She is believed to be the last living founding member of the Sonoma County Historical Society, as well as a past president. The last Society meeting she attended was in 2006, when an award was given in her name. She carried her love of history and research well into her nineties, passing all of her work onto her granddaughters. -Robert and Katey Miller Jeanne co-authored "Wild Oats in Eden: Sonoma County in the 19th Century" with Harvey J. Hansen in 1962. She also Authored "Seeing historic Sonoma today" in 1967. Jeanne Thurlow Miller's collection of exceptional watercolors, oils, and photographs represent turn-of-the-century Sonoma County lifestyles and landscapes. They can be seen at the Sonoma County Museum in March 2013.

Pleasant was a Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Malcom X all rolled into one.

Dr. Susheel Bibbs presents the living history tribute to Mary Ellen Pleasant, Mother of Civil Rights in California at this year's Annual Banquet luncheon in March.  More info to come soon.  Read more about Pleasant on her website

The 2013 Twenty-five mile walk is coming June 1st

 - Online Map -

SCHS walk 2013 enrollment form

The Sonoma County Historical Society is sponsoring its Ninth Annual 20-25 mile historical walk through San Francisco Saturday, June 1, 2013 for history and physical fitness buffs. It will be led by experienced group walker, Jeff Tobes.  The last San Francisco walk in 2011 had 68 strong and wonderful walkers, even though it rained for part of the walk. The purpose of the walk is threefold: to increase health through walking, to learn about San Francisco’s unique history, and to promote Sonoma County. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, healthy snacks, support vehicle, bus, hourly stretches, and interesting people and sights will be provided. The support vehicle will meet us every hour where we will stretch, get resupplied and shed or put on clothing. Driven by bus to the Marin County side of the Golden Gate, Bridge, tentatively the route will be crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, walk through the Presidio, (Breakfast) to the Cliff House at the Pacific Ocean, along the beach, through Golden Gate Park (lunch) to Randall Museum, to Mission Dolores, to Union Square, to Chinatown, to Fisherman’s Wharf to the Ferry Building for dinner. The exact route will be determined by the advance team in the upcoming months, and posted on our website. Rest assured the route will be safe and fairly flat most of the way. If you need best preparation for such events go to Sweat Equity Fitness.  

SCHS walk 2013 enrollment form

25 mile walk - San Francisco

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.