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2016

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…

SCHS Annual Picnic at Jack London State Historic Park

Save the date, September 18, 2016!

The Sonoma County Historical Society invites all members and their guests to a picnic at Jack London State Historic Park. Date: Sunday, September 18. Time: 11AM to 3 PM. Place: Oak Grove (group) picnic area, Jack London State Historic Park, 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442. SCHS paid for the picnic area and negotiated free parking!

We will provide soda, water, hot dogs and buns. Please bring a dish to share (based on the first letter of your last name, bring appetizers A-H, salads I-R, desserts S-Z). Beer/wine is permitted (BYOB) so bring your cooler. Bring chairs and, if you have them, portable picnic tables.

Please RSVP online or by calling Joann Mitchell, 707-545-5094 or Marj Torliatt, 707-545-7507. (Reservations are necessary so we know how many hot dogs and buns to buy.)

Jeremy Nichols, President
Sonoma County Historical Society

2016 Walk Update #2

Date – June 4th 2016
Start location --- Sebastiani Winery in Sonoma Park on Lovall Street
Registration time --- 5:30 am
You may register and pay online or mail in check with application.

We are expecting a record turnout for this year’s June 4th walk in Sonoma 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 on the info bar to the right. The route includes the Sonoma Plaza, with a loop into the south east Sonoma and a loop through Boyes Hot Springs, Agua Caliente, and El Verano. There will be a couple of hills, however we will be sharing information on the local history and the views will be beautiful. I guarantee there will be places that you have never seen before.

Read more

A brief history of Russian River's Pliny the Younger

There was a time, before the Russian River Brewing Company settled into its present downtown Santa Rosa site in 2004, when local citizens walked Fourth … ...read more Source:: PressDemo – Top News

The 2016 Annual Jeff Tobes Memorial Walk planning is gearing up - Update #1

Hello fellow walkers,

For June 4th 2016 we shall be having the Annual Jeff Tobes Memorial Walk presented by the Sonoma County Historical Society. This years walk will be around Sonoma City including the plaza, Depot Park, the Springs, Schellville, Buena Vista, and more. The route and stops are in their preliminary stage at this time and more information will be coming as we pull it together.

If any of you would like to help out please give me a call. Items that we need help on is: arrange busses, breakfast, lunch, dinner, driving support vans, driving port-a-potties, contacting sponsors, thank you letters, fruit, ice, snacks, water, and planning.

    Ray Johnson

Sonoma County Historian 2016 #1 in the mail shortly

If you are a member of the Society, you will be receiving your Historian in the next week.

In this issue:
SCHS Banquet, p. 2
Houdini Search, pp. 4-6
Jasper O’Farrell, pp. 7-12
Petaluma Argus, pp. 13-16
Jack London, pp.18-19
Christo at Museum, p. 21
Members, p. 22
Friends Lost, p. 22-23v
Daken’s Screen, p. 23
Book Review, p. 24-5
Upcoming Events, p. 26.
Walk in Sonoma, p. 28

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.

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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