Welcome to the Mill Valley Historical Society
This website serves to keep our members and visitors informed about the many activities as well as the extensive historical archives pertaining to and related to the history of Mill Valley, California. If you are not already a member of the Mill Valley Historical Society, whether you live in the area or not we warmly encourage you to go to the BECOME A MEMBER page and see what a yearly bargain it is to join.
We invite all those with an affection for Mill Valley to join and learn about the charming history of this little historic town at the base of Mount Tamalpais. Check the CALENDAR for past and upcoming events and programs. See the news posts below for the latest historical news about Mill Valley and Southern Marin. You can search the posts by the keywords that are listed on the sidebar. And please consider making a DONATION in support of our mission. We hope you enjoy your stay at www.mvhistory.org.
Wishing you health and happiness this Holiday Season and
prosperity in the New Year.
MILL VALLEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA FOR PEOPLE THAT HAVE EVERYTHING!
Mill Valley’s Best “Coffee Table Book”
Mill Valley, The Early Years, by Barry Spitz,
This is the perfect gift for Mill Valley residents or former residents. Your friends and family will love browsing through this book filled with historical photos and stories of old Mill Valley. You will gain new perspectives on Mill Valley’s neighborhoods and history.
MVHS is offering a special price from now through December 25th for MVHS members.
$27 including tax!
In addition, we have a limited number of copies autographed by the author that will go to the first purchasers.
To purchase copies, stop by the History Room at the Mill Valley Public Library or email email@example.com to obtain free local delivery. For out of town shoppers, click the “Add to cart” PayPal button below ($4 shipping will be charged).
Mill Valley: The Early Years
The single most comprehensive volume on the history of Mill Valley until the great fire of 1929.
Hardbound – 264 pages with 165 photographs.
$31 including tax, shipping and handling
($27 when picked up in the MV Library History Room)
Retiring MVHS President Tim Amyx challenged the attendees of the 2013 annual dinner with this short Mill Valley History quiz. Take it now and see how you do!
The MVHS Dinner Game Quiz – 2013
New 2013 MVHS Board
One hundred and thirty three members and guests enjoyed a pleasant social time, partook of excellent food, elected new directors and officers, took a Mill Valley history quiz, and listened to Dick Spotswood’s presentation, “Trains in and around Mill Valley.”
President Tim Amyx honored three departing board directors: Vivian Broadway-Firmage, Donna Carrillo, and Peter Richmond.
Four new board directors were elected: Monica Miller, Bill Stock, Jill Benton-Tardy and Pam Keon. See the Fall Newsletter for their bios.
Officers were also elected:
- President - Stella Perone
- Vice President - Betty Goerke
- Secretary - Cullyn Vaeth Russell
- Treasurer - Bob McCully
To honor his four years service as president, Tim Amyx was presented with a Tom Killion print of the Dipsea Trail (Tim has run it every year since 1989).
The fun part came when Tim Amyx produced a quiz: fourteen multiple choice questions about the history of Mill Valley. Lots of laughs and some surprises when Tim showed the answers.
Dick Spotswood covered the history of the two railroads that terminated at the downtown depot:
- the train to Sausalito (1889 — 1940)
- the train to Mt. Tam and Muir Woods (1896 — 1930)
An enjoyable evening.
L-R: Stephen Gordon – owner of Guideboats, Andrew Berman – MV Mayor and Daniel Escalzo – Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce
The Mill Valley Lumberyard served Mill Valley for well over 100 years as a Lumber and Hardware store. (They first opened in 1892) It was the gateway to Mill Valley, as generations of visitors arrived by train. Eventually, Miller Avenue laid pavement over the tracks, (early 1940′s) and it then served as the gateway to downtown for auto traffic.
L-R: Andrew Berman Mayor, Matt Mathews – Co owner of Lumberyard (property), Jan Mathewes – Co Owner of Lumberyard and Daniel Escalzo – MV Chamber
The Lumberyard went out of business in 2011 and was sold to Mill Valley residents, Matt and Jan Mathews. Their vision to keep this historic relic alive is beginning to take shape. The first step was to hold off bulldozers who could have come in, mow it down, and build something afresh. The next step is now taking place, attracting tenants who will bring new and innovative ideas to the community.
The grand opening of the first tenant took place on September 17th. Stephen Gordon is the proprietor of Guideboats Co, a company that sells boating attire, equipment, and canoe-type boats. Their showroom and retail store are now in what used to be sawmill rooms and the hardware store.
Their long term plan is to bring an eclectic mix of businesses that can continue to energize this location and add a charm to the entrance of downtown Mill Valley. It’s possible that part of the old lumberyard may one day house restaurants or smaller type cafeterias.
On June 5th, Local Dipsea and Mill Valley historian, Barry Spitz spoke to the Mill Valley Historical Society at the final First Wednesday presentation of the 2013 season. A crowd of 70 guests looked on as Barry shared 35 historic slides and anecdotes of Dipsea champions, many of them from Mill Valley.
Also in attendance was local hero, Russ Kiernan. Russ is a 3 time Dipsea champion, 40 year resident of Mill Valley, AND a board member of the Mill Valley historical society.
Four minutes of Barry’s “slide show” also included film from the 1980’s archives of races. The film clips were taken from the movie titled, “Dipsea, 1983 – 1988”, which is available for check out from the Mill Valley library.
The Mill Valley Historical society will return with its season of first Wednesday speakers in February of 2014. There will also be a guest speaker of historical significance at the annual MVHS dinner in October. Check back to this web site in the summer for details.