Historic Mill Valley trails map mural proposed for Old Mill Park

Mural was painted on store as a guide for hikers

by Janis Mara – Marin IJ

A 10-foot-tall map of decades-old Mill Valley hiking trails is revealed on a wall of the former Old Mill Market at the corner of Throckmorton and Old Mill avenues in Mill Valley. (Courtesy Mill Valley Historical Society)

A 10-foot-tall map of decades-old Mill Valley hiking trails is revealed on a wall of the former Old Mill Market at the corner of Throckmorton and Old Mill avenues in Mill Valley. (Courtesy Mill Valley Historical Society)

A 10-foot-tall map of decades-old Mill Valley hiking trails torn off the side of a building will be considered for installation in Old Mill Park.

Please read the Marin IJ article HERE.

Interpretive Plaque Marks Site of John Reed’s Adobe

John Reed Plaque 1Today the City of Mill Valley installed the interpretive plaque which identifies the approximate location of the adobe home of Mill Valley pioneer John Reed.

In approximately 1836 John Reed, the first recipient of a Mexican land-grant north of San Francisco, Corte Madera del Presidio, built a one-story, 18’x30’ adobe home near the current intersection of La Goma Avenue and Locke Lane in Mill Valley. Although the exact location is unknown, it is believed to have been at the top of the knoll.

In 1843, John Reed began building a more ambitious, two-story adobe hacienda which extended 45’ south from the approximate location of the first structure. This second home, a replica of which is shown on the plaque, was patterned after the Sanchez adobe in Pacifica, where John Reed and his bride Hilaria Sanchez had honeymooned.

The wood for the beams and the veranda was cut at Reed’s Mill in Cascade Canyon. A replica of the original mill is on the creek at Old Mill Park today.

Each of the two stories had three rooms, and walls that averaged three feet in thickness for winter warmth and summer cooling.

The entire 24’x45’ house was encircled by a five-foot wide double veranda, and there was no interior staircase.

Although John Reed died before construction was complete, his wife lived in the house for many years and was followed by his daughter Maria del Refugio Ynes Reed, “Inez”, and her husband Thomas Deffebach until their deaths in 1883 and 1884.

The wooden portion of the adobe home was burned by fire in approximately 1884, and the last photographic evidence we have of the remains was taken sometime between 1912 and 1916.

This plaque was designed and the production overseen by Mill Valley Historical Society board member Betty Goerke, who was also instrumental to the creation and installation of the Chief Marin plaque on Locust Avenue. It is a priority of MVHS to continue to support the creation and installation of interpretive signage in our community, to educate and foster appreciation for our wonderful historic resources. We are grateful to the City of Mill Valley for its continued support of this important work.  [click first photo for slideshow]

37th Annual Members Meeting & Potluck Dinner

MVHS 2014 Dinner PosterPlease join us on Thursday, October 30th for the Mill Valley Historical Society’s 37th Annual Member Meeting and Potluck Dinner. This yearly event provides a wonderful opportunity to see old friends and to meet those who share our own interest in the rich history of Mill Valley. The Annual Meeting includes the election of six new directors and officers for the coming year.
RSVP ASAP for this evening’s special guest speaker and slide show will likely make this an event that will fill quickly. As always, the Annual Members’ Meeting and Dinner is held for our current paid membership, and we warmly welcome those who wish to join at the door.
This year’s guest speaker will be local photographer and
garyyost_mugshot-1filmmaker, Gary Yost. A long time hiker, Gary has been interested in
the history of Mt. Tam and the surrounding areas of Mill Valley. He will be sharing a slide show and talking about his most recent movie, “The Invisible Peak”. “The Invisible Peak” focuses on the Cold War missile targeting radar station on Mt. Tamalpais which was abandoned by the military 30 years ago. Considered sacred by the Coast Miwok Indians for thousands of years, the West Yost Inv Peak for BlogPeak of Mt. Tam was bulldozed in 1950 in order to build an Air Force station. “The Invisible Peak” uses
breathtaking time-lapse cinematography, historical footage, interviews and moving narration by Peter Coyote to tell the story of the “missing” West Peak and the engaged citizens who have fought for over 30 years to return the mountain to its natural state.

Gary’s slide show will show a behind the scenes view of the making of his movie and be followed by a brief Q&A.