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2015

The last time fire came through was 1964

 

HISTORIC SONOMA COUNTY NEWSPAPERS NOW ONLINE

Source:: I see by the Papers…

For everyone interested in Sonoma County history and genealogy, it's a fabulous day: The historic Santa Rosa and Petaluma newspapers are now online and searchable. This includes the Press Democrat (up to 1916), the Sonoma Democrat, The Argus-Courier and many Argus' (Argussess?) before that paper emerged. Together with the Healdsburg archive that's been available for awhile we finally have a pretty good picture of local doings all over the county.

To make it easy for you (and myself!) to search the Santa Rosa and Healdsburg archives I've created an Internet resources web page where queries can be entered for each paper. There are also links to the Petaluma papers - available through a newspapers.com subscription - as well as other county journals. The web page additionally includes sections with every online Sonoma county history, local maps, searchable books on state history, Luther Burbank, the 1906 earthquake and more.

That resource page is part of SantaRosaHistory.com which I've been developing over the last several months. It's a spin-off from the Comstock House web site with several important differences.

The house web site was designed 'way back in 2007 and integrates four blogs on house restoration, architecture, gardening and local history plus a few pages with precise layouts. It all looks fine on a desktop computer but today most people are using smartphones or tablets, and not being 100 percent "mobile friendly" is the kiss of death when it comes to the search engines. Non m.f. pages may rank lower in the display of search results or not be shown at all, which means the material effectively has disappeared from the Internet. That Google et. al. are putting thumbs on the scale to favor pages deemed to have a high quality "user experience" over high quality of content should concern you.

There are also technical issues with the "I See by the Papers…" blog, which started with modest ambitions to discuss newspaper items about the Oates and Comstock families. Now it has almost 600 articles containing a million words. The Blogger service (owned by Google) was state-of-the-art a decade ago but has been plagued with problems; as just one example, I can't correct a typo in an older item without being prepared for the Blogger editor to mess up parts of my page layout by "fixing" it without warning or asking permission. I have spent untold hours in the archives undoing these and other monkey-wrench changes made by Blogger.

Rather than redesign all the sections of the house web site and continuing to workaround Blogger's bugs and quirks, the easiest solution was to port "I See by the Papers…" to a more stable platform that was mobile-friendly from the start - hence SantaRosaHistory.com. I will continue to mirror the blog at both sites, with the difference that I'm no longer going to make major repairs to the original site the next time Blogger blows up.

Thanks to the WordPress platform, SantaRosaHistory.com is not only more stable but easier to customize; I was able to ...read more

Source:: I see by the Papers…

Sonoma women's club marks 100 years at center of civic life

Its unassuming clubhouse is located only a half-block off the Sonoma Plaza, overlooked by visitors drawn to nearby restaurants, the mission and historic adobes.But for … ...read more

Source:: PressDemo – Local News

Happy Birthday Luther Burbank!

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/

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, … ...read more Source:: PressDemo – Local News

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

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.

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: SFgate.com  Petaluma's historic Washoe House restaurant sold
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