Welcome to the Mill Valley Historical Society

The Old Mill, built by John Thomas Reed around 1836. MVN1328 – Courtesy of the Lucretia Little History Room, Mill Valley Public Library

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.

June’s First Wednesday Event: Operation Storm: Japan’s Top Secret Submarines and Its Plan to Change the Course of World War II

Did you know that the California coast was swarming with Japanese submarines in the weeks immediately following the Pearl Harbor attack? 

Between December 10, 1941 and October 1942, Japanese submarines not only sunk nearly a dozen merchant ships between Vancouver and San Diego, they shelled the California coast on more than one occasion–episodes little remembered today. 

The presentation will be based on interviews John Geoghegan undertook for his non-fiction book Operation Storm: Japan’s Top Secret Submarines and Its Plan to Change the Course of World War II (Crown 2014), which were conducted with the same Japanese officers who participated in the sub attacks. As you might expect, they provide an unusual viewpoint not often represented in western history today. 

Mr. Geoghegan, who is Executive Director of The SILOE Research Group’s Archival Division, has been an invited speaker at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC, and appeared on National Public Radio and C-Span’s Book Talk. Additionally, he helped shepherd into production the PBS documentary, Japanese SuperSub, based on his book.

The New York Times called Japanese SuperSub “consistently…fascinating history.”

Registration recommended. Click here to register.

40th Annual “Walk into History” – Mill Valley Days, Small Town Heros

Mill Valley Days…Small Town Heroes

The 2017 Walk into History is Sunday, May 28th.

This year we honor our history of community action that has “fueled” this town. We will learn the history of the Fire Department, make our way around the center of town and meet some amazing people who helped to make Mill Valley what it is today through their creative and generous actions. The walk begins at the famous Outdoor Art Club and ends at the Depot Clock Tower.

This year’s Walk is just a mile but with all the great stops will take around 2 hours. There are many interesting people, buildings and artifacts in this year’s Walk into History. Learn more about Mill Valley’s colorful past!

The Walk will mostly be on sidewalks and occasionally direct sun…please dress accordingly, consider wearing hats and bringing water.

Groups are led by trained volunteer Guides who are personable and take great interest in local history.

Tours leave every 15 minutes starting at 9:30am with the last tour leaving at 3:30pm.

MVHS Members – $15 | Non-members – $20 | Teens with student ID – $10 | Under 10 – FREE

Sorry… we can’t accommodate Strollers or Dogs

Reserve your place now! Register HERE and reserve your preferred time for free. Check-in 15 minutes before your Walk to purchase your tickets.

Groups are led by trained volunteer Guides who are personable and take great interest in local history.

Cycling 1890s Marin: Riding Marin’s Back Roads 120 Years Ago

Marin Museum of Bicycling presents:

Cycling 1890s Marin: Riding Marin’s back roads 120 years ago.

An illustrated history by Joe Breeze

Wednesday, May 24th 7PM to 8:30PM. Doors open at 6:15

(Fairfax, CA)  For Immediate Release

Marin County cyclist, framebuilder and designer Joe Breeze, Curator of the Marin Museum of Bicycling, will host the museum’s next Speaker Series event, “Cycling 1890s Marin.” The illustrated presentation will take place at 7 PM on May 24, 2017 at the museum in Fairfax.

The talk will feature images from a recently discovered 19th century photo album. The album, produced by the Bay City Wheelmen, San Francisco’s largest cycling club, documents the club’s rides from 1894 to 1904. The album’s 150 pages are full of photos of Bay Area bike rides 120 years ago. Almost a hundred photos depict rides in Marin, a favorite destination.

Breeze has researched the club’s rides to Marin destinations of yore, including Blithedale Hotel in Mill Valley, McNear’s Beach, Camp Taylor on Papermill Creek, Tocaloma and Nicasio Hotels in western Marin, Larkin’s Lodge and Dillon’s Beach.

Breeze, who has been riding the same routes himself for 50 years, has matched images from the album with photos from today. A lifelong student of Marin County history, Breeze brings extensive knowledge of the roads and landscapes of the period.

Please join us for this fascinating illustrated history. A Q&A session will follow. Snacks and refreshments will be available.

Tickets are $10 per adult ($5 for students and Marin Museum of Bicycling members). Tickets can be purchased in advance at the museum, online, or at the door the evening of the event. Advance purchase is recommended. All proceeds benefit the Marin Museum of Bicycling.

Wednesday, May 24, 7 to 8:30 PM. Doors open at 6:15 PM.

Marin Museum of Bicycling

1966 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Fairfax, CA 94930

Phone (415) 450-8000.


The Marin Museum of Bicycling is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization. The museum is a comprehensive bicycle museum and cultural center. Open since 2015, the museum is also home to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. For regular hours, admission fees and membership information, please see the museum’s web site: https://mmbhof.org