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.

First Wednesday Event for November: Mt Tamalpais: Inspiration for action and art

The Mill Valley Historical Society’s November 2ndevent is about Mt. Tam’s place in our community as a creative force, told through a story of connection and how Gary Yost has been introduced by the mountain to many creative friends along the way.  It’s a story that starts with Gary’s work on the East Peak as a fire lookout and how that led to his creation of the “West Peak Trilogy” — collaborating with Miwok artist Sky Road Webb and activist Peter Coyote on the film “The Invisible Peak”, street-painting artist Genna Panzarella (“Mountains Made of Chalk Fall into the Sea”) and musicians Jimmy Dillon and Lorin Rowan (“Song of the Last Place”).  Gary will take us on a guided tour, showing how those collaborations have been synergistic, leading to unexpected creations.   Gary will present the West Peak interactive timeline encompassing the full history of that forgotten 106 acres on the summit of Mt. Tam and he’ll bring us up to date on the very real restoration work going on at West Peak right now.

This special evening will feature Gary, Sky Road, Genna, Jimmy and Lorin sharing their thoughts, playing music inspired by the mountain and leading all of us in Miwok songs, accessing the pure spiritual energy that Mt. Tamalpais makes available to each of us in every moment. Registration recommended. Click here to register.

Gary Yost is a filmmaker, photographer, and 20-year resident of Mill Valley who focuses on telling stories about the interesting people and places where he lives.  He  has been using photography and technology to tell complex stories for a long time.  As the leader of the team that created Autodesk 3DS Max, he gave millions of people 3D modeling and animation tools, enabling them to use computers to visualize anything they could think of…. and a lot of those things were too large, too small, too fast or too slow to show with conventional video or photography.  These days, Yost spends much of his time on the West Peak of Mt. Tamalpais, donating his skills to the Marin Municipal Water District and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy supporting the restoration of the 106 acres on the mountain’s true summit.  

MVHS Annual Membership Dinner

MVHS 39th Annual Members’ Meeting
and Potluck Dinner

Featuring Guest Speaker Barry Spitz


We are pleased to once again welcome Barry Spitz as the evening’s speaker.  His topic will be “How We Got to Own the Mountain,” based on his 2012 book on the subject.  “It is the story of how Mt. Tamalpais was changed from 100% private ownership in 1900 to essentially all public land during the 20th century”, says Barry.

Thursday Oct. 20, 2016

Mill Valley Community Center

Social Hour- 6:00 PM
Meeting- 7:15 PM
Presentation – 7:30 PM

We appreciate your contributions (by last name) as follows:
A-H Dessert
I-Z Salad, Side, or Main Dish 

RSVP by Oct 13 to:
info@mvhistory.org or 415-388-1953

1st Wednesday Speaker: “A Homestead Tale” by Chuck Odenburg


Chuck Oldenburg reflects on his life in Homestead Valley.

Chuck Oldenburg – [click to enlarge]

by Chuck Oldenburg

The Tale focuses on a 100-year old mansion on a 2.2-acre estate and the families that lived there.  Starting with neighborhood folklore It took three years of research and three lucky breaks to discover the true history.

Former Mill Valley Historical Society board member Chuck Oldenburg researched and wrote ten guidebooks for the annual history walks. Chuck has lived in Homestead Valley for 53 years. He has been president the Homestead Valley Community Association and cofounder and president of the Homestead Valley Land Trust. He is currently on the board of the Homestead Valley Sanitary District. Since 2000, his column on the history of Homestead Valley has appeared monthly in the Homestead Headlines, a newsletter sent to all Homestead Valley residents.  He is the author of the Mill Valley History Vignettes that are sent every two weeks to over 700 recipients including all members of the Mill Valley Historical Society They also appear in the Mill Valley Herald. The 85th Vignette came out last week. All Homestead History articles and Mill Valley History Vignettes are archived on the Mill Valley Historical Society website, mvhistory.org. This evening he will recount a tale about Homestead Valley that took him three years to unravel.

>>  Registration highly recommended. Click here to register.  <<